Posts Tagged ‘Spadina extension’

as the cold wind blows…

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Seems like just yesterday vivaNext was ramping up construction activities at the first sign of warmer temperatures and while the warmer weather was here this year, a lot of progress was made along the vivaNext corridors. We captured our developments and put together a short video to share the progress of the transformation for each corridor.

Building on our successes, we will keep the progress moving even as we wind down for the return of Old Man Winter. Although the weather specialists forecast a cold winter season, our vivaNext construction projects will continue as the snow flies and the cold wind blows.  Here’s a snapshot of what we’re going to be working on this winter along the vivaNext corridors and how we’ll manage to keep construction moving along even when the temperatures plunge.

In Newmarket, crews will continue storm sewer installation, utility relocations and underground ductbank [gathers together and encases telecommunication wires] installation along Davis Drive. The south side of western creek culvert near Niagara Street will be also be widened over the next several months.

In Markham, utility relocations will continue on South Town Centre Boulevard, Cedarland Drive and Warden Avenue. Some construction work will also continue on Highway 7 East in the centre median.

Along the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre [VMC] corridor, hydro, gas and telecommunications installations and relocations will continue. Work will also begin on the CN Bridge. Preliminary construction activity also continues in Vaughan along Highway 7 West from Helen Street to Edgeley Boulevard and from east of Bowes Road to Yonge Street, including parts of Bathurst Street and Centre Street.

On Yonge Street, surveying, geotechnical testing and utility locates will take place in Richmond Hill and Newmarket. In early 2014, the design-build contract of the Yonge Street rapidway will be awarded. Once the contract is awarded, rapidway construction will begin.

While construction continues outside, inside our contractors are preparing for a busy spring. They are finalizing designs, plans and schedules for next year so when the warm weather returns construction crews can hit the ground running.

To see the progress we’re making over the winter, follow us on Twitter and Facebook. You can also sign up for email notices at to keep you updated on the construction underway in your area.

‘Holey’ ‘Moley’ tunnelling is complete!

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

photograph provided by The Toronto Transit Commission [TTC]

Here at vivaNext, we’re excited to announce that the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension (TYSSE) project has achieved another significant milestone – tunnelling for the project is 100% complete!

In the summer of 2011, the first Tunnel boring machine (TBM) “Holey” began boring from a launch shaft at the Downsview Park Station site. Since then, rain or shine, TBMs “Holey”, “Moley”, “Yorkie” and “Torkie” have been working hard and have collectively bored 6.4 kilometres of twin tunnels for the TYSSE project.

The final segment of tunnelling was finished when “Torkie” broke through the headwall at the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre (VMC) Station site, finishing the tenth and final tunnel drive for the project. This sets the stage for the next phase of work in the tunnels including installation of inverts and walkways, track, traction power, signals and communications systems.

With help from our friends at Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) we have some pretty cool photos and videos of the breakthrough to share with you on our website – see them here!

The TYSSE is an 8.6-kilometre extension of the TTC’s Yonge-University-Spadina subway line from Downsview Station to the VMC Station at Highway 7 in York Region.

Vaughan’s VMC station will be the northernmost station, connecting to a variety of other transit services. Situated in the future VMC development area, this station will act as a transportation hub, including convenient passenger pick-up and drop-off, a York Region Transit bus terminal, and connection to the viva rapidway running in dedicated lanes east and west along Highway 7.

Residents and visitors alike will enjoy the variety of transit options and mixed-use development offered in the VMC area. It will be a great place to work, shop or relax, and getting there will be easy whether you walk or ride transit.

Construction work for the TYSSE project is expected to be completed by fall 2016. Once the subway extension is completed, it will have 6 new subway stations (check out the TYSSE guide to station names) and 3 new commuter parking lots.

To learn more about the TYSSE project and sign up for construction notices, visit

working together….

Friday, October 18th, 2013

If you get vivaNext email updates, you probably recently read that Yorkie and Torkie the tunnel boring machines are munching their way closer and closer to Highway 7 and the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre (VMC).

This is great news, and means that the reality of a subway coming to York Region is getting closer every day.  But while the tunneling project is very high profile, vivaNext is also working hard to get ready for the subway opening at our VMC station.   Unlike other vivastations which we are building independently, the VMC station construction needs to be closely coordinated with the subway project, adding a whole new level of complexity.  Here’s a little background:

The VMC station will be located at Millway Avenue and Highway 7, as part of the VMC development area.  To provide passengers with seamless connections between the subway and the viva\YRT system, the subway station will be located on the lower level, with a concourse linking the subway to the vivastation above.

That may all sound relatively straightforward, but in fact there are significant engineering challenges involved with constructing a complicated building in the middle of a live highway, especially  when there’s a separate construction project going on directly underneath.  One of our top priorities is to ensure while we’re building the station to our own design plans, it also ties in to all the complex TTC systems down below so that everything works properly and in sync.

Some key elements such as escalators, elevators and stairways link the two structures. These need to be in place so the TTC can access the upstairs while they’re building their subway station down below. Escalators and elevator shafts aren’t very forgiving, so we need to work closely together to make sure all the elements line up perfectly.

Another challenge is that there’s not a lot of space to work given the location of the station in the middle of Highway 7.  From time to time we’re literally going to be working right on top of each other.  So we will be doing a lot of coordinating throughout the process to make sure all our contractors and subcontractors have enough room to do their jobs safely and in parallel.

The main priority for vivaNext and the TTC is that both parts of the VMC station are open when the subway service begins.  There’s a huge amount of work to be done between now and then, and we’ll be working closely with our TTC partners during the course of construction.

So stay tuned, and soon I’ll be giving you a proper tour of the VMC station design.  It’s going to be a showpiece that will be worth all the hard work.


vivaNext – more to come

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

When it comes to the future of transit in York Region, you don’t have to look far. The first rapidway along Highway 7 east corridor is now up and running smoothly. With it came wide pedestrian-friendly boulevards, lined with trees and other greenery. The transformation taking place along the Viva routes will change how pedestrians, cyclists and motorists not only view the area in general, but get from A to B more easily, more safely and more efficiently.  Check out this 3600 virtual tour for a peak.

This is just the beginning of many miles of rapidway that are under construction or coming soon.  Here is an update of what’s happening.

Construction on Highway 7 East continues and crews are working hard from Highway 404 to Warden Avenue to widen the road, build pedestrian boulevards, plant trees and shrubs as well as installing utilities. This next segment of rapidway is expected to be completed in 2014.

Moving along Highway 7 west to Vaughan, you will see the vivaNext rapidway construction starting to take shape between Edgeley Boulevard and Bowes Road.  Over the last few months, crews have been working to remove signs, test soil and begin utility relocation to prepare for heavier construction.  Throughout the fall and winter, hydro, gas and telecommunications installations and relocations will continue in Vaughan.

Preliminary construction activity will also continue in other parts of Vaughan as vivaNext rapidway construction continues along Highway 7 West.   The Vaughan Metropolitan Centre [VMC] station will be completed in time with the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension [TYSSE].  Vaughan’s VMC station will be the northernmost subway station, connecting to Viva and a variety of other transit services, for a convenient and seamless experience.

In Newmarket, as you drive or walk along Davis Drive, you’ll see that construction is in full swing and the transformation is starting to take shape. The relocation and replacement of underground infrastructure in some segments on the south side of Davis Drive is complete. In those sections, road widening and preliminary paving has started preparing the roadway for future rapidways.

Also in Newmarket, crews are working to re-locate the Historic Union Hotel and its adjoining building to their final foundations this fall. Extensive culvert work at eastern and western creek is underway.  Work continues on the north side of the Keith Bridge.  Once completed all this work will help make your travel along Davis Drive smoother and more efficient, especially if you are on transit!

Over the next few years, future rapidways will be added to the Viva routes to better service customers and make travel times shorter by up to 25%.  We know construction is messy, but the end results are marvelous!

this is just the beginning

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

Over the next three years, the vivaNext system is really going to be taking shape, with rapidways on Highway 7 and Davis Drive opening for service, and the Toronto York Spadina Subway Extension [TYSSE] welcoming its first passengers.  But these new transit options are only the beginning of expanding vivaNext network that’s being built for York Region commuters over the next few years.

Funding for the next priority series of rapidways is already lined up, and we hope to be confirming funding soon for a number of other high priority projects.  Here’s the rundown on what’s planned, and how your transit choices are going to be widened over the next few years as vivaNext continues to expand.

Rapidway projects are being built in the order that will create the most connectivity for the greatest number of people and get you past the worst traffic congestion.  Check out the map to see how the phases are rolling out.

The segments that are coloured pink on the map are what we’re currently building and include the rapidway on the East part of Highway 7, from Yonge Street to Warden Avenue, and the rapidway in Newmarket along Davis Drive from Yonge Street to Highway 404.

In the pink project bundle, we’re in the preliminary construction stages for a 36 km stretch of rapidway on Highway 7 West including a station at the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre [VMC].  This station and rapidway will be opening in time to connect viva passengers to the Spadina Subway Extension when it opens for service in 2016.

The blue projects run north on Yonge Street. We’re currently in the procurement phase for the first stage of two rapidway segments between Richmond Hill and Newmarket.  One stretch will whisk passengers north from the Richmond Hill Centre up to 19th Ave / Gamble.  The other stretch starts at Mulock Drive in Newmarket, and will connect to the new rapidway along Davis Drive.  Construction of these rapidways is expected to be completed in 2017.

But that’s not all – look at the orange segments on the map.  These segments are also all designed and funding is committed, with planning well underway for construction to start in 2015.  Orange projects include two rapidway segments on Highway 7 West, which will extend on either side of the VMC rapidway. When it’s complete in 2018 this whole section will run over 15 km from Helen to Yonge Street. Another orange project will extend the Highway 7 East rapidway from the existing Warden Station on Enterprise Boulevard, to Unionville GO Station.

Other projects that will eventually create a full network across the Region and connecting to other transit systems are grey on the map. Since we don’t have funding secured for all of them yet we can’t confirm the actual timing.

Of these unfunded segments, two are the top priority.  The first priority is the Yonge North Subway Extension, which will provide a critical link for passengers transferring between the vivaNext system and the TTC.  Without this connection, vivaNext is missing a critical link that will really make our system a key part of the larger Greater Toronto transit network.

Another key priority is a rapidway along Major Mackenzie Drive, which would provide a major transit artery for all the growth taking place in that area.  The Major Mackenzie rapidway would provide passengers with connections to the TYSSE, GO lines in both the east and west, and the viva Highway 7 rapidway in both the east and west.

Imagine how this wonderful rapid transit network would make your life easier?  We are working hard to bring it to life, so that everyone in York Region will have the choice to leave their car at home and hop on board viva for a fast, reliable and comfortable ride, no matter where they want to go.


Snow day at vivaNext

Friday, February 8th, 2013

Snow day at vivaNext

A glance outside our windows tells us it’s a snow day in York Region. Our construction sites are blanketed in snow, but even though we’re inside, we have plenty to do.

Our contractors are hard at work rescheduling construction that was planned for today. Like a game of dominoes, each change affects another. If the work planned for today needs to be completed before we start the next task, then we’ll be busy reassigning crews and making sure that the upcoming construction falls back in line with the overall project schedule.

VivaNext staff who aren’t outside on construction sites support the construction behind the scenes with planning, design and communications. Before construction begins on a project, we plan how the project will look and function, and we also refine the design of everything from the location of each vivastation to the types of trees we’ll plant. Sometimes there’s coordination to be done with local municipalities or private companies, so we work with everyone to ensure the project goes smoothly once construction gets started.

All of our projects are at different stages of development, and so we have staff working on different parts of each project. The Highway 7 East rapidway is in its final year of construction, whereas Davis Drive in Newmarket is about to start road widening this summer. Highway 7 West is just getting started with construction in Vaughan, and the Yonge Street rapidway is beginning with surveys and utility work. The Spadina Subway Extension from Downsview Station to Highway 7 in Vaughan continues, with tunneling beginning soon in Vaughan.

We’re also busy planning open houses for a few of our projects this spring and once dates are confirmed, we’ll be letting everyone know. If you have time on this snowy weekend, take a moment to sign up for email updates to find out about open houses, and construction underway in your area.


Stop by our new project office in Vaughan!

Monday, January 28th, 2013

vivaNext rapidway construction is just getting started in Vaughan. The first phase of a Highway 7 West rapidway is moving forward between Edgeley/Interchange Way and Bowes Road, and we want to ensure that you have a place to go to ask questions, look at maps and get all the facts about construction.

We’ve opened a new project information office in Vaughan at 7800 Jane Street [northwest corner of Highway 7 and Jane]. We’re sharing the office with staff from the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension [TYSSE] project, so our new office is the place to go to talk about transit in Vaughan.

vivaNext office hours:

Mondays 9am-12pm
Wednesdays 2pm-6pm
Community Liaison Carrie Slattery: 289.716.0091

TYSSE office hours:

Tuesdays 10:30am-12:30pm
Wednesdays 3-5pm
Thursdays 1-3pm
Construction Liaison Theresa Buck: 416.397.8644

So stop by to say hello to us this week, to get the scoop on construction and enjoy some refreshments.

If you’d like to make an appointment outside of office hours, please Carrie Slattery or Theresa Buck at the numbers above. If you can’t come to the office, there are lots of other ways to find out about the project:

Hope to see you soon!

Launch of a connected region

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Photo of Holey, the tunnel boring machine for the Spadina subway extension

Friday was a momentous day for anyone who dreams of when it will be easier to get around the GTA. On Friday, we took the first concrete step towards a true regional transit system. This was the day when “Holey”, the massive tunnel boring machine, was officially launched to build a subway connection between Toronto and York Region. On Friday the clock started ticking to the day in 2015, when, without needing to transfer, we’ll be able to buy one ticket, sit in comfort, and travel in and around the GTA to anywhere the subway goes. A momentous day, indeed.

I’m talking of course about the official start of tunnelling for the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension. This new service, when it’s finished in late 2015, will extend the Spadina Subway by 8.5 kilometres from Downsview Station, via six new stations, to a new terminus at the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre development area on Highway 7. Vaughan’s new subway station will also link to the Viva rapidways along Highway 7, up Yonge Street and across Davis Drive in Newmarket.

It’s impossible to overstate the important role subway extensions play in connecting GTA regions, and how this first of two north-south subway extensions will change the way people take transit in the GTA. Until now, each municipality or Region has had its own separate rapid transit system, divided by geographic boundaries. In an area like the GTA, where so many people live in one municipality and work in another, having one connected rapid transit system will make life more convenient, more predictable, and much, much easier.

So Friday’s launch was a very big deal.

The subway, which is going to cost about $2.6 billion, is being paid for by the federal government, the provincial government through Metrolinx, The Regional Municipality of York, and the City of Toronto. A joint Toronto-York project team is collaborating to complete the project, and the engineering logistics of how the subway will actually connect to the Viva rapidways in Vaughan is a whole story unto itself, which I’ll write about soon.

We know from research that people love the idea of being able to commute by public transit, if they’re offered a fast, convenient and reliable alternative to driving. So extending subway lines will make a lot of people very happy.

“Holey” will soon be joined by her tunnel boring machine partner “Moley” to tunnel northwest from the Sheppard West launch site toward the Finch West site at Keele. Their twin cousins “Yorkie” and “Torkie”, will soon begin tunnelling southeast from their Steeles West launch site toward York University. We’ll be cheering them on, and judging by the excitement of the onlookers and circling helicopters at Friday’s launch, we know people all across the GTA will be cheering too.

Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension project: 
Subways in York Region: 
The Missing Link – business case describing why a Yonge Subway extension should be considered a top priority:

Spadina Subway: it’s about connections

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Map of the extension to the Spadina Subway extension. Inset: future design of Vaughan Metropolitan Centre

Is it possible to live or work in northwest Toronto, western York Region or east side of Peel, and not know about the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension? Although you might know that a subway extension is planned, you might not know the details about this huge subway development project.

The extension to the University-Spadina TTC subway line from the current Downsview Station north to Highway 7 in Vaughan will be big news to anyone living or working along its route. A connection from Downsview Station to the Wilson Yard TTC storage and maintenance facility has already been built, and four Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) have been manufactured in Canada for this project. Each TBM took several months to build, and three weeks – 21 truckloads of parts – to deliver to its launch location. This spring the parts of the four TBMs will be lowered into their launch shafts at Sheppard West Station and Steeles West Station, and assembled in launch position. In the first of several tunnel drives, the TBMs at Sheppard West will bore northward to Finch West Station, and the TBMs at Steeles West will bore southward to York University Station. Each machine will bore at a rate of about 15 metres per day, and they’re multi-talented machines, excavating in front and placing tunnel reinforcements behind them. When they reach their destinations they’ll be removed from the ground and relocated to new launch locations for the next tunnel drive. The tunnelling is expected to take about two years, with the entire project, including stations, scheduled to be complete and in service by late 2015.

Highway 407 Station and the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre will be the first subway stations in York Region. Vaughan Metropolitan Centre will be built at Millway Avenue along the Highway 7 West rapidways, and will feature retail space, a domed roof with skylights positioned to reflect light to platform level, and pedestrian and transit-oriented development.

We talk about rapidways all the time, but really we’re developing a rapid transit network – a system to move people within our region and connect us to neighbouring transit networks. Subway extensions create a vital connection in the GTHA transit network, and will bring new life to communities near subway stations, as people gather in these areas to live, work, shop and play.

If you’re interested in more details about subway extensions, be sure to visit some of these links:

Coming to your region soon: getting around the GTHA without a car

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Viva Rider

Some of us can still remember when a drive across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) took you through a mixture of urban and rural scenery. Hard to believe now, isn’t it? Much of our region is now one interconnected, pretty much seamless urban expanse, from Hamilton all the way to Oshawa and beyond. And people’s travel patterns reflect this regional reality; many residents travel all over the GTHA for work, entertainment, shopping and recreation. We are truly citizens of a great region, not just of one town or city.

Unfortunately, getting around the GTHA by transit is anything but seamless. With nine separate transit services operated by various local and regional municipalities, connecting from service to service might require multiple transfers and waits at each municipal boundary. For some commuters, the hassle of transferring might make it easier to drive, even with all the congestion on our roads. Given all the environmental reasons for reducing car trips, that’s really a shame – but until there’s a better option, we know lots of people will stick to their cars.

The good news is that a more coordinated rapid transit network is on its way, and our vivaNext plan is going to play a large part.

Looking at the map created by Metrolinx you can see how the future system will be a truly regional transit network. With multiple connection points linking various new services, this new network is going to make it easier and faster for commuters to take rapid transit – whether that means a subway, bus rapid transit, or light rail transit – from one end of the GTHA to the other.

And Metrolinx is currently evaluating a whole range of other rapid transit options, including extending the Yonge Subway up to the Richmond Hill Centre. So as these other projects are funded, the regional network will become even bigger and better.

At the same time as the physical connections are being increased, Metrolinx has also been implementing their new Presto card, which allows you to use one fare card on most GTHA transit systems.

We’re really excited about being part of this huge plan to extend continuous rapid transit all across the GTHA. We know that once this network is built, leaving your car at home and taking rapid transit will finally be a convenient, comfortable and fast option, no matter where you want to go.