Yonge Subway Extension (YSE) is a proposed cross-jurisdictional project that will run underground from the City of Toronto to the City of Richmond Hill through the cities of Vaughan and Markham in Canada.

The project is being carried out by a partnership between Metrolinx, the City of Toronto, the Toronto Transit Commission, the Regional Municipality of York, and York Region Rapid Transit Corporation.

The extension completes the missing link in regional rapid transit system of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area and connects the region seamlessly. It will take up to ten years for the completion of the project upon commencing the construction works.

The Regional Municipality of York and York Region Rapid Transit Corporation granted approval to go ahead with the construction of the project in April 2019.

Yonge subway extension details

The 7.4km-long Yonge subway extension will originate at Finch Station in Toronto and head north before terminating at the Richmond Hill / Langstaff Gateway Urban Growth Centre at Highway 7.

A 1.61km stretch will be built in the City of Toronto, while the remaining 5.81km of the rail track will be constructed in York Region. An enclosed bridge structure will be built above the East Don River extension to cross the river.

The YSE project includes construction of a 5.08km-long twin-bored tunnel, eight emergency exit buildings, five electrical substations, six cross passages, and 513m of twin or triple box structure. Two bus terminals and two bus loops will also be built as part of the project.

The extension of subway towards north to Richmond Hill, an anchor hub will be created, which will link GO service, subway service, bus rapid transit and BRT service along Highway 407 ETR.

Yonge subway extension stations

The subway extension will have six stations along the route, namely Cummer / Drewry, Steeles, Clark, Royal Orchard, Langstaff / Longbridge, and Richmond Hill Centre.

It will have two intermodal terminals at Steeles and Richmond Hill Centre stations.

Architecture, design, landscaping and streetscaping of each station will enhance the quality of the station and improve passenger comfort.

“Yonge subway extension will replace 2,500 bus trips a day between Finch and Highway 7 along Yonge Street, which is equivalent to eliminating 28t of greenhouse gas emissions during a working day.”

Langstaff station will feature 2,000 commuter parking spaces along with passenger pick-up and drop-off facility.

Richmond Hill centre terminal will have an 831m-long triple-track underground storage and maintenance facility with a storage capacity of 14 subway trains. It will also have other facilities such as parking, staff building, and elevator.

The proposed station at Richmond Hill / Langstaff Gateway Urban Growth Centre will serve as an anchor hub and connect various transport services along the Highway 407 ETR, including GO Transit service, bus rapid transit (BRT), and BRT / express service.

Rolling stock details

YSE will be served by Bombardier’s Toronto Rocket subway six-car trains, featuring stainless steel car-body structure.

The trains have a maximum speed of 88km/h and can carry up to 68 passengers per car.

Financing

Estimated to cost $5.6bn, the project is part of a $28.5bn investment being made for Ontario transit network expansion.

The Government of Canada provided $36m for the preliminary planning, design and engineering works of the project. The Province of Ontario, through Metrolinx, committed $55m to support the same.

The Province of Ontario announced its commitment in April 2019 to provide $11.2bn for the capital construction of four major rapid transit projects in the region, including Yonge subway extension.

Yonge subway extension benefits and ridership

Yonge subway extension will replace 2,500 bus trips a day between Finch and Highway 7 along Yonge Street, which is equivalent to eliminating 28t of greenhouse gas emissions during a working day.

The project will offer economic benefits to York Region and Toronto by generating employment for thousands of people during the design and construction phase.

The subway extension is expected to accommodate an estimated daily ridership of 165,000 people by 2031.

Contractors involved

WSP was awarded a $5.1m contract in November 2018 to provide design services for the Clark and Langstaff stations. The contract includes civil, structural, mechanical, geotechnical, communications, electrical fire / life safety, project management, and property services.

Architectural services for the two metro stations will be provided by WestonWilliamson+Partners (WW+P) along with Architecture49.