Ontario Line Station Renderings

On March 27, 2022, Premier Doug Ford and a very chilly bunch of his political colleagues gathered near Exhibition Station for an official “groundbreaking” for the Ontario Line. Never mind that Metrolinx will not award the first of the main construction projects until late April, and the posed set of excavation machinery sat idle in the background. This was very much an event plugging the Tories’ overall platform and positioning construction, wherever and whatever it might be, as an economic engine for Ontario.

Concurrently with the press conference, which revealed absolutely nothing new, a new set of renderings for Ontario Line stations was released. In some cases these were quite large and were intended for media use. I have downsized them where needed to work better online.

Absent from these renderings are any of the development schemes that Infrastructure Ontario has proposed under its Transit Oriented Communities program.

The Premier’s speech contained a basic error in math when he claimed that the Ontario Line would add more than 50 per cent to the Toronto subway network. No. it is the four Ford “priority projects” announced in 2019 that will do this. It’s in the press release. Some speech writer screwed up.

Probably the most annoying part of the press conference was a statement by Metrolinx CEO Phil Verster who spoke glowingly of how well Metrolinx had worked with communities both in Riverside and in Thorncliffe Park to create an acceptable design. This materially misrepresents the very contentious relationship with both communities, and continues Metrolinx’ gaslighting of critics to give the impression that all is well, and it is the critics who are out of step.

If Metrolinx had been truly involved with communities along the line while it was being designed, a great deal of contention could have been avoided.

Exhibition Station

Exhibition Station will be a junction between GO Transit, the TTC and the Ontario Line. Something that is not clear in the images below is how the north-south circulation will fit together with the Gardiner Expressway, a possible extension of the streetcar line west to at least Dufferin, and possibly beyond to beyond Sunnyside.

The first drawing shows the north side of the station including the planned new street with a bus, but there is no sign of the streetcar infrastructure south of the Gardiner.

Major redevelopment is planned by Infrastructure Ontario north of the rail corridor, but this is not shown.

King/Bathurst and Queen/Spadina

The left drawing below shows the King/Bathurst entrance on the southeast corner. The other drawings show the southwest and northeast corners at Queen/Spadina.

None of these show the planned towers by Infrastructure Ontario.

Osgoode

Osgoode Hall’s forest will be substantially reduced to make way for construction of the access into the new station. The new entryway, which will replace an existing stairway in the sidewalk, will be on the northeast corner. A second entrance will use the old bank building on the southwest corner of Queen and Simcoe.

Queen

Entrance to Queen Station will continue to be through existing buildings: the Simpson’s building on the southwest and the Bank of Montreal building on the northeast corner.

Moss Park / Corktown

At Moss Park, the new station entrance will replace the treed open space now on the northwest corner of Sherbourne and Queen.

At Corktown, the station entrance is shown as a low-rise pavilion, but it will actually be part of a large tower according to the Infrastructure Ontario drawings.

Riverside/Leslieville

This station is in one of the very contentious parts of the proposed route where the Ontario Line runs along an expanded GO rail corridor through Riverside. (The name Leslieville is a misnomer.)

On the left and centre are views looking east along Queen at what appears to be an expansion of the existing small plaza at Strange Street. The view on he right looks north on Degrassi Street from Queen showing how the new station encroaches into existing open space.

The space is portrayed as somewhat more open that it will really be through a “wide angle” viewpoint.

For comparison, here is what this area looks like today (Google Street View).

Gerrard / Pape / Cosburn

At Gerrard, a new bridge will be added west of the existing railway to carry the Ontario Line and the station over Carlaw and Gerrard. Redevelopment will occur in this neighbourhood, but not immediately over the station because of its location. The station entrance on the southwest corner appears to occupy a chunk of one of the parks that Metrolinx crows about expanding

At Pape and Danforth, the older buildings on the eastern portion of the block east of Pape will be replaced initially by the construction access site, and later by the new station entrance. This is an obvious location for development, but none is shown in the drawing.

At Cosburn, the station on the northwest corner will replace an existing row of low rise shops and residences. Again, redevelopment on a larger scale is an obvious future for the site considering that there is already a high rise neighbourhood to the west.

Thorncliffe Park

The station structure lies along the north side of Overlea Boulevard. The yard associated with the maintenance facility is visible in the background of the rightmost image. There is no indication of how this structure will relate to existing buildings on Overlea including the proposed new Islamic Centre that will be near the west end of the station.

Flemingdon Park / Science Centre

Flemingdon Park Station will be on the west side of Don Mills Road at Gateway Boulevard. The Ontario Science Centre is north of and behind the station.

Science Centre Station (which is now something of a misnomer) is on the east side of Don Mills Road north of Eglinton.

44 thoughts on “Ontario Line Station Renderings

  1. Steve……I very much appreciated reading your good and truthful comments regarding the lies of Phil Verester and Metrolinx, and for speaking for lot of us for so many years.
    Cheers

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  2. I must comment that after seeing the effects of Phil Verster’s ordered clearcut of the LSE corridor through Riverside, it’s apparent how much of a softening effect the wall of trees had on the elevated railway. It has a much larger presence now and it’s set to become even larger once the concrete walls go up. And this is all because an alumni of the UTDC has lived far beyond his best before date.

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  3. I don’t know if you’ve seen it yet, but Metrolinx has released the Ontario Line’s conceptual design alignment and profiles at long last, as an Appendix to their “final” environmental impact study.

    Steve: Yes, I have seen this but it’s not as revealing as I would have liked, specifically in that it does not show detailed station plans.

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  4. I could be mistaken, but the King/Bathurst illustration would appear to be the southeast corner, not the southwest. That appears to be the building the Banknote is in currently, not the Wheat Sheaf on the southwest corner.

    Steve: Thanks for catching that. Yes it is the southeast, and I have corrected the post.

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