Ontario Moves Forward with Signature Subway Project

On June 2, Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation, and Kinga Surma, Associate Minister of Transportation (GTA), announced the Ontario government is moving forward with the next step in building the Ontario Line, the signature project in the largest subway expansion in the province’s history. The government is issuing the first two public-private partnership (P3) Requests for Qualifications (RFQs) to identify and qualify those who will design, build and maintain the subway line. The Ontario Line is being built under three separate P3 contracts.

“Under the leadership of Premier Ford, our government is taking historic steps to expand subway service and reduce traffic congestion across the GTA,” said Minister Mulroney. “By issuing these first RFQs we are one step closer to realizing our transit vision and helping to generate economic activity and create tens of thousands of jobs as the province recovers from COVID-19.”

The 15.5-km Ontario Line will extend from Exhibition/Ontario Place to the Ontario Science Center. Current plans include 15 potential stations, including 17 new multi-modal connections to GO Transit, existing TTC subway stations and streetcar lines, and the Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit line.

These first two RFQs being issued will include rolling stock systems, an operations and maintenance contract for the entire line and a design-build-finance contract for the southern portion of the Ontario Line. The RFQ for the northern civil package will be released once the successful proponent for the southern civil package is identified.

“Investments in infrastructure projects, like the Ontario Line, will be essential for getting people back to work and improving the quality of life for people throughout the GTA,” said Kinga Surma, Associate Minister of Transportation (GTA). “To build projects of this magnitude, however, we need everyone at the table. We are calling on the federal government to commit to paying their fair share, at least 40 per cent of the four nationally-significant subway projects.”

Companies interested in bidding on these contracts must register with www.merx.com to download the respective RFQs. Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx will evaluate RFQ submissions and shortlist teams to be invited to respond to a Request for Proposals in fall 2020.

“The Ontario Line is one of the most significant transit infrastructure projects for Ontario in a generation,” said Laurie Scott, Minister of Infrastructure. “Moving forward with these procurement contracts signals the government remains committed to building much needed transit infrastructure to reduce congestion and contribute to the economic recovery and renewal of our province.”

In April 2019, the province announced its historic new transportation vision, with a preliminary estimated cost of $28.5 billion. This includes four priority transit projects: the all-new Ontario Line; a three-stop Scarborough Subway Extension; the Yonge North Subway Extension; and the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension.

It was also recently reported that York Regional Council and the Province of Ontario reached an agreement to build the $5.6 billion (CAN) Yonge North Subway Extension, although financing has yet to be secured. The Yonge North project would extend the existing Yonge line 7.4 km from Finch Station to the Richmond Hill/Langstaff Gateway Urban Growth Center at Highway 7.

Quick Facts

  • In addition to the three P3 contracts, some segments of the Ontario Line, where the alignment joins GO Transit rail corridors, will be procured separately. Work on these sections is expected to start before construction commences on the three major work packages.
  • The TTC will be responsible for day to day operations, including in respect of labor relations. Maintenance that the project company could be responsible for includes re-establishing Ontario Line operations, restoring power, coordinating with utility companies or others depending on the source of failure to restore operations.
  • On February 18, Minister Mulroney introduced the Building Transit Faster Act, which, if passed, would provide the province with the tools to expedite the planning, design and construction process of the four priority transit projects.

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