The Cost Of Rehab

This article shows the full breadth of work that needs to be done when expanding a major rapid transit line, above, at or below grade.
This will happen to all stations on the Expo and Millennium lines, when the much needed system $3 billion rehab takes place and must take place if the Expo Line extension to Langley is ever built.
The real question is; “does TransLink have the funding to do it?”


Metrolinx puts out call for teams to work on Finch Station as part of Yonge North Subway Extension

Behind-the-scenes work in areas that aren’t often seen by transit riders is key to getting Finch Station ready for major construction on the Yonge North Subway Extension. Metrolinx is starting the search for experts interested in delivering this work through a ‘Request for Qualifications’ that was issued today (Dec. 14), marking another step forward for the new transit project.

Metrolinx officials announced today (Dec. 14) they are looking for teams who are interested in completing early upgrades at Finch Station before major construction on the Yonge North Subway Extension begins.

Image shows a sign for the Yonge Line
The early works include upgrades to portions of the station that will connect existing Line 1 service to the future subway extension. (Metrolinx photo)

The Request for Qualifications asks any interested teams to share their qualifications and construction expertise so they can be included when the bidding process begins next year. This ‘early works’ will create the foundation for major construction set to start in 2023, and help Metrolinx keep the project running smoothly. The Yonge North Subway Extension will extend Line 1 roughly eight kilometres north from Finch Station with four new stops along the way that will serve North York, Markham, Richmond Hill and Vaughan.

“We’re excited to move the Yonge North Subway Extension another step toward major construction.”

Stephen Collins, Metrolinx project sponsor

A lot of the work will happen behind the scenes in parts of Finch Station that are seldom noticed by transit riders – but they’re an important part of the progress being made on this project. The early works include upgrades to portions of the station that will connect existing Line 1 service to the future subway extension.

Image shows Finch Station
A train approaches Finch Station. (Metrolinx photo)

What’s Included In This Work?

The most noticeable work will happen at street level, where improvements will be made to the electrical system that powers the rails. Heavy-duty cables that will travel from an existing traction power substation – a building where electricity is converted to a form suitable for providing power to the subway – on Hendon Avenue to Finch Station, will be secured inside a protective casing and installed underground. A new fire department connection will also be installed near the intersection of Yonge Street and Hendon.

The ‘tail tracks’ that support existing Line 1 service provide temporary parking space for subway trains while they’re not taking riders to and from their destinations. The changes Metrolinx is making to the tail track area will prepare it to become part of the main subway line. This involves extending the waterless sprinkler system from the existing service tracks through the tail tracks, along with new cables and other equipment that will link the future subway extension into the existing communications and support systems.

The rooms where transformers and other electrical equipment are housed will get an upgrade, too. The systems inside provide Line 1 with the power it needs to keep the city moving. Minor renovations will be made to these areas to accommodate the additional power cables that will travel underground from the traction power substation.

Metrolinx will collaborate closely with the City of Toronto and the TTC to keep customers and road users up-to-date on the work taking place and to keep people moving.

Construction on the early works at Finch Station is expected to start in the fall of 2022.

“We’re excited to move the Yonge North Subway Extension another step toward major construction,” says Metrolinx project sponsor Stephen Collins.

“Our future project partners will be part of a team that is building a transit legacy in this region for generations to come.”

Visit the Yonge North Subway Extension web page to learn more about the project and sign up to receive the latest updates via email and over social media.

Metrolinx project leaders will answer questions from an online audience as they share a progress update at a virtual open house event on December 16th from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

You can sign up for the event here.

Story by James Moore, Metrolinx senior communications advisor.


2 Responses to “The Cost Of Rehab”
  1. Bill Burgess says:

    I believe that some of the above ‘rehab costs’ are included in Translink’s capital budget. I’m no judge of the real scope of these projects and what may be omitted.

    See p. 40-56 of

    If you are going to cite numbers like $3 billion you should ground them in the evidence that is available.

    Zwie replies: The $3 billion rehab includes a completely new and enhanced electrical supply; a completely new re-signalling (40K kilomtres of cable); all switched replaced for high speed switches; all stations rebuilt (Translink has been doing this piecemeal); and a big one, sections of the original guideway need replacing. There is a lot more, more housekeeping items but those are the biggies!

  2. Haveacow says:

    The other big issue is that stage 2 of Translink’s $7.3 Billion spending plan has been blown to pieces. There is the funding of $4.5 Billion for stage 1 of the Broadway Skytrain Extension to Arbutus, now under construction for $2.83 Billion and $1.55 Billion in funding for the now, $3.95 Billion single stage Expo Line extension to Langley. The Fed’s did pony up another $1.3 Billion but there’s now $1.05 Billion hole to fill.

    You see what used to be $1.63 Billion in funding (originally for the first part of Surrey’s SNG LRT line ), has been reduced because $164 Million was coming from Translink’s, mostly future revenue (2018-2028). But since between 2020 an so far in 2021, $75 Million less has been collected in revenue.

    The other issue is that roughly $560+ Million of the remaining $2.7-$2.8 Billion in the existing 10 year plan was also coming from Translink ‘s own revenues. Translink doesn’t expect revenues to reach pre Covid 19 levels until 2025 at the earliest. All these other smaller projects that make up the rest of the second stage of Translink’s 10 year plan and their associated costs, made up of all those smaller maintenance items and technology and service upgrades. That’s why Translink’s new CEO admitted several times, in July, Agust and again in September of this year, that a new 10 year spending plan and business plan were being created. I just wonder how many of those upgrades won’t make the new plan. I wonder if the Langley extension gets shelved past the updated, 2024-2028 construction period.

    They can’t keep funding a 16 km extension that will attract less than 35,000 riders a day on the planned 2028 opening day that was originally supposed to cost 1.63 Billion for a 7km first stage and roughly $1.3 Billion for a 9 km second stage (totalling $2.9 Billion). Now, that there isn’t enough existing funding to complete stage 1 alone, due to its $1.72 Billion cost, they were forced into combining both stages into a single stage project. A project that has now ballooned to $3.95 Billion and may continue to rise if they don’t start securing construction material supplies and final costs soon and I mean in the next couple of months, not next year, late 2022 or early 2023 like they are planning to do. Ultimately, I think the long term prospects for the Surrey to Langley Skytrain extension isn’t looking good.

    When the incoming Mayor of Surrey shot down a fully funded LRT Line, that been in the planning stages locally and regionally since 2008 and perhaps even earlier if you look at the documentary planning report history. A Mayor who, swore up and down that he could do a Skytrain line cheap and do it fast. That this new Skytrain line extension to Surrey has had one planning report done for it and that report, looked at no other alternative choices, looked at only one main design form, included no basic engineering, hydrological analysis, environmental impact study or operation plan, the supporters get what they deserve, a screwed mess. I say again, I warned you all, get rid of the LRT line and Surrey gets nothing until after 2030.

    Zwei replies: I would like to add to this but I am trying to verify what I have been told, in so much that the Broadway subway cost will be over $3 billion as issues of long forgotten and buried creeks come into play. As well ridership is not returning as originally planned and with Omricon, this will delay things by several months if not a year!

    TransLink is cutting back on maintenance (the thrown pick-up shoe on the Canada Line is evidence of this), which is playing havoc with the maintenance prone MK1’s. Not only is TransLink cutting back on bus services due to lack of ridership, they are running fewer trains on the light metro system.

    With the Fraser Valley flood and the destruction of three highways, TransLink’s pleas for more and more money is falling on deaf ears. The 2030 Olympic bid is a desperate ploy to secure funding for the Broadway subway, but I think the electorate played that game before and do not want to fund this extravagance. the money tree is drying up for TransLink and there are great concerns by the mayor’s council that the TransLink reality will come back to haunt them at the next round of civic elections.

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