On March 31, 2016 City Council approved the Corridor B1 – Pape Station to downtown via Queen/Richmond – as the preferred corridor for Relief Line.
Highlights of Approved Corridor
| Lower construction costs
- Avoids the major utility conflicts of King/Wellington corridor
- Queen alignment east of the Don Valley avoids the floodplain.
- Eastern alignment will be out of the flood plain following completion of the flood projection EA being undertaken by TRCA
|Fewer obstacles to construction in Downtown
- Queen has more open spaces, greater building setbacks, which allows for a standard station box and crossover box.
- Tunnelling along Queen would be less likely to run into heavy gauge steel tieback rods used in construction of tall buildings
- King is more highly developed with a 20m right-of-way, which barely accommodates a 19.5m finished station box width per TTC Design Standards. There would be greater impacts on adjacent properties.
- Greater ability to interface with Queen Station vs. King Station where there is currently significant overcrowding
- Geotechnical bedrock profile along Queen is fairly consistent and closer to the surface compared to other streets further south. This avoids an undulating track profile which can increase station costs and ease of station access.
- Simpler PATH network along Queen allows for connectivity improvements to be included as part of the project.
|Best distributes rapid transit service in the Downtown area
- Provides good access to the Financial District via pedestrian and transit routes from the north; it also has the support of the Financial District BIA
- Avoids concentration of pedestrian flows at Union Station and pedestrian congestion on the surface sidewalk network and PATH network in the south Downtown (between King and Union Station) •
- More centrally located to east-west rapid transit service for the northern portions of Downtown (i.e. between Queen and Bloor)
- Opportunity to improve connections with Bay bus service
|Best access to a full range of key Downtown destinations which are heavily dependent on good transit service
- Best serves the ‘civic precinct’ (City Hall, Nathan Phillips Square, Old City Hall, Osgoode Hall, Opera House, Eaton Centre, new courthouse)
- Provides improved rapid transit service to major health and educational facilities, which are not captured in existing and projected population/employment numbers (St. Michael’s Hospital, Sick Kids Hospital, Toronto General Hospital, Ryerson University with 35,000 students)
- Increases transit ridership beyond the traditional rush hours
|Best at opening up new opportunities for transit oriented development
- Opportunity to attract new private investment at strategic station locations along Queen Street; development interests are already apparent
- Eastern alignment east of the Don Valley would also provide good access to support the planned redevelopment of the Unilever site
|Best supports social equity
- Excellent access to Regent Park Neighbourhood Improvement Area
- Supports redevelopment of Moss Park (potential station location)
|Complements, rather than duplicates, other planned rapid transit investments
- SmartTrack/GO RER to Union Station
- King Street Transit Priority
|Retains opportunities for future extensions west
- Does not preclude the option of heading south to provide interchange with GO Rail at Liberty Village