Posts Tagged ‘subway’

Subway and new Viva connections NOW OPEN in Vaughan!

Sunday, December 17th, 2017

This morning, the first subway carrying transit customers arrived in York Region, forging a historic connection between bus rapid transit and subway. Now, everyone can experience seamless transit connections in Vaughan! The vivaNext rapidway and new landmark vivastation also opened for service this morning with an epic celebration at Vaughan Metropolitan Centre [VMC], alongside the TTC Line 1 subway extension opening. Viva la subway!

Read the news release.

even more transit connections

Now the transit connections available to customers simply go further and faster. The rapidway-subway connection marks a tipping point for transit in York Region, amplifying the power of the Viva rapid transit network.

The VMC area is a transit powerhouse, home to two new stations: the landmark Vaughan Metropolitan Centre vivastation and the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre subway station – the new terminus of TTC Line 1. In a few months, the SmartCentres Place Bus Terminal will make the VMC area even better, connecting YRT buses to both stations with a pedestrian tunnel.

true city building

There’s no doubt – your destination has arrived! The new VMC development is true city-building on an epic scale, built on the foundation of strong transit connections. Not only does rapid transit transform how people move in our Region, it changes how we live – for the better. Stronger economies, more jobs, and walkable, livable, desirable communities: it’s the driving force behind York Region’s Transportation Master Plan and the reason we build rapid transit.

On an even larger scale, strong connections like these that cross regional borders are crucial to the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area [GTHA], and a key strategy of the Metrolinx Draft 2041 Regional Transportation Plan.

Thank you!

Now we can see the network take shape in York Region, with three rapidways running, two more underway and an actual subway connection!

Changes of this magnitude are fueled by the power of collaboration and funding partnerships. Our rapidway projects are funded by the Province of Ontario, and our other projects are funded by a combination of Federal, Provincial and Regional contributions. SmartCentres Place Bus Terminal even includes some private funding for the pedestrian tunnel.

We’ve all come a long way together, and we thank you for your patience during construction. Now, we hope you enjoy the ride!

your sneak peek >> three new subway stations

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

your sneak peek >> three new subway stations

This Saturday, October 28, you have a chance to get a sneak peek at the three most northerly subway stations on the TTC Line 1 subway extension. Drop by Vaughan Metropolitan Centre [VMC – pictured above], Highway 407 or Pioneer Village stations from 1 to 5pm and take a self-guided tour where you’ll learn about how the stations were built and how they’ll operate. You’ll also be able to talk to staff and others involved in the project.

VivaNext staff will be there to chat, and YRT/Viva customer service staff will be on hand to talk about route changes on the way for the VMC.

The stations open on December 17 – bring your friends and family to get a good look around, at three new subway stations in York Region! Get there by transit or by driving – shuttle buses will get you from station to station. For details about locations and how to get there, visit, and for information on the vivaNext projects opening December 17 in the VMC, check out the pages for the VMC rapidway station on Highway 7, and for SmartCentres Place Bus Terminal. See you at the open house!

sneak peek >> what’s to come

Friday, May 26th, 2017

sneak peek >> what’s to come

Have you ever walked past those construction sites surrounded by wood walls, and wanted a peek inside to see what’s being built? Curiosity is good – it helps us to move forward and to try new things. In York Region right now, we have a chance to sneak a peek at what’s to come.

In some cases, it’s right out there in the middle of the road. Communities with rapidway construction underway can see how their street will look once it’s done, by looking at Highway 7 East in Markham and Richmond Hill or Davis Drive in Newmarket. It’s more than bus lanes – it’s new utilities and infrastructure like bridges, tree-lined sidewalks and where possible, bike lanes.

In Vaughan Metropolitan Centre [VMC], we can see the transit hub on the way in the next year that will include a super-sized vivastation in the centre of Highway 7, linking to a YRT bus terminal via an underground pathway and above ground plaza, and connecting directly to the new subway platform below via escalator and elevator.

We can even get a peek at the new subway stations that are part of the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension project. TTC is hosting a Doors Open Toronto event this Saturday only, at the new Downsview Park Station and York University Station, set to open for service at the end of 2017. Information about the event is available on the project website, and if you can’t go, be sure to take a look at the photos posted by project staff on their Flickr site. And check out this TTC video of the future subway ride from Downsview Park to VMC, recorded last year to celebrate the final tracks being laid.

So if you’re curious about the subway, be sure to visit Downsview or York University Stations this Saturday. And if you’re curious about transit in York Region, feel free to ask us a question or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

the ballet of building the VMC canopy

Friday, October 21st, 2016

Vaughan Metropolitan Centre – Spadina Subway Station

The giant sections of structural steel canopy were installed this fall in the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre [VMC] area – right in the middle of Highway 7 West – and it was a ballet of precision.

Having a large structure like this arise in the centre of a roadway is an incredibly unique construction event.

That’s why we made sure we were out on the corridor watching and recording the action to share with all of you.

The largest section lifted was 25,000 lbs – over 11,300 kg! You can read more about this new Vivastation, and check out the video to see how this feat was done.


Questions or comments? Comment below or email us at To stay up-to-date on construction, sign up for email updates at


‘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

choosing the right form of transit

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

In September the Province set up an expert panel to look at how Metrolinx should be expanding transit in the GTHA, and to propose realistic options to pay for it.  The panel has just released their second discussion paper, and it’s well worth a read for anyone interested in getting beyond the rhetoric and really understanding the facts and issues.

Certainly the issue of what transit technology should be funded, and where it should run, is a subject that’s dominated the headlines for months and is of interest to everyone.  It’s understandable that so many have views on this subject, and it’s also reasonable to expect that the people doing the planning should listen to those views.

But in the final analysis, choosing a mode of transit – the main rapid transit options are subway, LRT, BRT and commuter train – shouldn’t be treated like a popularity contest. There’s just too much money involved.  Each mode of transit has its uses, benefits and drawbacks.  Those qualities are well known to transit planners, and need to be thoroughly and objectively analyzed in the context of local circumstances including passenger volumes, current and anticipated densities, employment projections, and present and future land use patterns.

Planners ideally will look at a range of transit modes to meet the needs of users across a region or area, with the primary consideration being a seamless system that enables passengers to make easy, fast connections.  That doesn’t necessarily mean the trip will be non-stop, or use the same technology the entire way.

This is a concept we all already live with, so we shouldn’t expect transit to be any different. Pretend you are taking a trip to a small island in the Caribbean.  You’d probably drive to the airport, then you’d get on a big jet, then most likely transfer to a smaller plane for the last leg, or maybe even a boat if you were going somewhere out of the way. You’d never expect the big jet to swing by your house to pick you up at your door, then whisk you non-stop to the tiny island.  Getting around the GTHA, depending on where you’re travelling from and to, follows the same logic.  Some riders may need to take surface transit, then transfer to one form of rapid transit – and then possibly to another mode to complete their trip.  The key point is to create a system that gets you there as fast as possible.

In a world where there’s only so much new money available for transit, careful decisions are needed to ensure final choices get the greatest number of people into transit, reducing gridlock on the road system.  The most costly option – subways – should be reserved for where it will do the most good, i.e. get the greatest number of cars off the roads.  Given that the need for new transit massively outstrips the money available, every single transit dollar needs to be spent wisely.

Professional analysis of facts has always been the basis for our vivaNext decisions. That’s why we’re installing BRT – the lowest cost form of rapid transit – along Highway 7, with the option to change to LRT when future volumes justify it.  On the other hand, the ridership and future employment projections do justify the cost of extending the subways north to the VMC, and along Yonge Street from Finch to Highway 7, so our plan includes subways too.

We’re proud of the system we’ve planned and are building for York Region, and are looking forward to the day when it will be connected to a system that covers the entire GTHA.  Now that’s something we think everyone will support.

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.


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: