Waterfront East LRT Extension
For the most up-to-date information and to learn more visit the City of Toronto’s Waterfront Transit Reset page. For more information on this project please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Harbourfront streetcar (Union Station to Queens Quay and Spadina) was opened in 1990. Since then, ridership has grown steadily as development along the streetcar route, especially the waterfront, has increased. The existing Union Station streetcar loop can’t accommodate the demand from new riders, particularly when transit is added to the east.
In 2010, the East Bayfront Transit Environmental Assessment (EA) was completed recommending expansion of the streetcar loop at Union Station as a means of providing the infrastructure to serve growing demand, including an interim loop at Parliament Street and future extension of the LRT along an extended Queens Quay to Cherry Street and into the Port Lands.
In 2018, the City of Toronto, in partnership with the TTC and Waterfront Toronto, completed the Waterfront Transit “Reset” study, including a comprehensive assessment of needs and options for transit improvements for the waterfront area. On January 31, 2018, City Council endorsed the overall Waterfront Transit Network Plan.
In April 2019, City Council approved a streetcar loop expansion as the preferred option for the Union-Queens Quay Link and requested staff to commence the preliminary design and engineering (PDE) stage of the project in 2020, and report back to City Council
The PDE phase of the Waterfront East LRT project is a collaborative effort between the City of Toronto (the asset owner), Waterfront Toronto (the tri-government lead for waterfront revitalization), and the TTC (the asset operator).
What we’re doing
The Waterfront East LRT project includes expansion of the Union Station streetcar loop, modifications to the underground section from the station to Queens Quay, expansion and/or improvements to Queen’s Quay Station, construction of a new running tunnel and portal east of Bay on Queen’s Quay, and a new at-grade streetcar line extending to Cherry Street. The project is divided into two main focus areas:
- Focus Area 1 – below-grade works, which include the expansion of the existing Union and Queens Quay LRT stations, new running tunnel and portal, and associated track works.
- Focus Area 2 (A and B) – at-grade works, including ancillary surface/public realm and an at-grade section of the streetcar extension, along Queens Quay from the new tunnel portal to Cherry Street with connection to existing TTC Distillery Streetcar Loop.
- Preliminary design is currently well underway, with the concept design for the below-grade works in Focus Area 1 expected to be confirmed/finalized by Q1 2021.
- Notice of Completion under the TPAP anticipated in late 2021.
- Stage Gate 3, or approximately 30% design, is projected for Q1 2022. The approval of Stage Gate 3 will establish the overall project performance baseline definition for project scope, schedule and cost, as well as determine the best project delivery strategy, which includes potential phased implementation of transit improvements.
- Major construction is not expected to begin until further funding is secured.
On February 19, 2020, City Council approved the TTC’s 2020-2029 Capital Budget, which includes $27 million to complete the Preliminary Design and Engineering phase of the Waterfront East LRT, Focus Area 1.
City of Toronto Reports
- Update on the City's Transit Expansion Projects – Fourth Quarter 2020 (November 26, 2020)
- Attachment 1 - Eglinton East Light Rail Transit and the Waterfront Transit Network (November 26, 2020)
- Toronto's Transit Expansion Program - Update and Next Steps (April 2, 2019)
- Attachment 3 - Waterfront Transit Network – Union Station – Queens Quay Link and East Bayfront LRT (April 2, 2019)
TTC Board Reports
- Waterfront East LRT, Union Station and Queens Quay Link (June 17, 2020)