Site Location and Construction

What is the reasoning for placing the station on the First Parliament site, and not the empty lot on the southeast corner?

Answer from Metrolinx: In order to reduce community impacts and keep construction off the street, the First Parliament Site will be used to support construction of the Ontario Line. The empty lot on the other side of the street is not adequate in terms of location and size to support construction needs for the Ontario Line alignment, which include tunnel boring activities and station construction

Why is expropriation necessary?

Answer from Metrolinx: Metrolinx makes every effort to come to an amicable agreement with each property owner and provide a fair compensation based on market value. Expropriation is a tool used as a backstop only to ensure that required properties are delivered on time to maintain the project schedule and deliver the transit that Toronto needs so badly.

Why can the site not be leased from the City and returned?

Answer from Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario: The site requires extensive work to prepare it for its future use, including archeological work that is seasonal in nature and must be advanced this fall.

Much of the work at the site will involve substantial remediation of contaminated soil before any major construction begins, and Metrolinx will be assuming the significant costs of performing this extensive and sensitive work. Metrolinx cannot responsibly incur these costs or exercise the degree of control required to effectively remediate the issue unless it owns the land.

Negotiating license agreements for the work required would also add considerable time to the project schedule and may introduce administrative processes that will delay the extensive preparations that need to be completed in a relatively short period of time.

Furthermore, the province is pursuing a transit-oriented community proposal for the site that would create a dynamic community with housing, jobs, commercial uses, and community spaces, such as a library – all connected to the Ontario Line subway and TTC bus and streetcar services. In recognition of the historical significance of the land, the province will work closely with the City of Toronto, stakeholders, the community, and Indigenous partners to collaborate on a meaningful plan to commemorate the rich heritage of Canada's First Parliament site. This will have the benefit of delivering much-needed infrastructure at a lower cost to taxpayers.

The section of the Ontario Line on the north/west side of the rail corridor from East Harbour to Gerrard is already proposed to be above ground.

How does this change east of East Harbour affect the line and its construction methods from East Harbour to Corktown Station?

Answer from Metrolinx: The refinement in the rail corridor between East Harbour and Gerrard is being advanced to protect more park space and slim down permanent infrastructure requirements.

The area around the future Corktown station will be used as a tunnel boring machine launch site for the Ontario Line. As a result of the refinement, the Lower Don Bridges and the tunnel portals in the Don Yard (GO staging area west of Cherry Street) have been updated to reflect the Ontario Line running in the north/west of the existing rail corridor. In this area, we continue to work with the Toronto Region Conservation Authority to ensure we are coordinating with the many flood mitigation and City-led projects.

Can this station be called “First Parliament”?

Answer from Metrolinx: The current station names are working names only and with the support of a naming protocol we have developed, Metrolinx is looking forward to a community engagement process to select final station names for the Ontario Line

How will this transit line connect to the future Waterfront Transit/East Bayfront Streetcar/LRT?

Answer from Metrolinx: Metrolinx is working with the TTC and City of Toronto to explore opportunities to integrate both transit projects and create the best possible customer experience.

Who prepared the proposed development plans, and renderings, for the First Parliament Site that Infrastructure Ontatrio submitted April 12th?

Answer from Infrastructure Ontario: Support for this submission was provided by the Ontario Line Technical Advisor (OLTA) consortium. The OLTA is comprised of experienced technical advisors in fields such as engineering, urban planning, project management, procurement and delivery, stakeholder management, environmental sustainability, and safety.

Why does the Province seek to expropriate the lands? Why can they not proceed with ownership for the majority of the site remaining in the City’s hands?

Answer from Metrolinx and infrastructure Ontario: The Corktown site is required for subway construction of the Ontario Line to support the local transit needs of the community. All of these lands are necessary for transit construction. 

There are a few reasons why owning the land makes sense. The site requires extensive work to prepare it for its future use, including construction. The archeological work is also seasonal in nature, so it must be advanced this fall. Much of the work at the site will also involve substantial remediation of contaminated soil before any major construction begins, and Metrolinx will be assuming the significant costs of performing this potentially extensive and sensitive work. Metrolinx cannot responsibly incur these costs or exercise the degree of control required to effectively remediate the issue unless it owns the land. Negotiating license agreements for the work required would also add considerable time to the project schedule and may introduce administrative processes that will inhibit the extensive preparations that need to be completed in a relatively short period of time.

Government has made tremendous progress on transit, but we still have a long way to go and the GTA needs this subway and the benefits of transit as soon as possible. Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario will continue to work hand-in-glove with the City of Toronto as our plans move forward.

How and when was this site/area selected as a station for the Ontario Line?

Answer from Metrolinx: The station serving Corktown was included in the Ontario Line Initial Business Case, released in July 2019. The Corktown Station will be an important landmark on the Ontario Line, with connections to surface routes, bringing growing neighbourhoods east of the downtown core into the subway system. The station will be located on the north side of Front Street at Berkeley Street. The station will serve 26,400 residents living within a comfortable 10-minute walk, in areas including the Distillery District, St. Lawrence Market, the West Don Lands, and Regent Park.

Is there a process to place conditions on the future uses of the site that protect long-term community interests?

Answer from Infrastructure Ontario: The province and the City of Toronto both recognize the importance of accelerating the delivery of critical transit and transit-related infrastructure. 

Now that we have engaged city staff and elected officials, the Province is eager to further develop the proposed Corktown design concepts. The Province looks forward to receiving the City’s feedback. 

As envisioned under the Toronto-Ontario Memorandum of Understanding on Transit-Oriented Development, Ontario is working with the City to ensure we are able to get transit, housing, and job benefits to the people sooner, while still ensuring municipal and public engagement and transit service delivery commitments are met. This is of the utmost importance.

How far below ground level is the Subway track level anticipated to be below the First Parliament site etc? If different, how deep will the tunnels be?

Answer from Metrolinx: The Ontario Line platforms will be approximately 25-30 meters beneath the surface at Corktown station. The exact depths will be confirmed by the winning bidder of the South Stations, Tunnels and Civils contract.

Would any redevelopment of the site occur after the Ontario Line station is constructed and the tunneling completed?

Answer from Infrastructure Ontario: Work towards a potential transit-oriented community at Corktown Station is ongoing with the City of Toronto. After many months of work on the proposed Corktown transit-oriented community development concept, which considered and incorporated key elements from the City of Toronto’s First Parliament Master Plan, the Province was pleased to announce in April 2021 that the proposed Corktown Transit-Oriented Communities development concept was submitted to the City of Toronto.

Will the announcement about moving all of the Ontario Line to the north side of the rail corridor east of the Don affect construction methods & exact alignment in the area of First Parliament Station?

Answer from Metrolinx: No, it will not affect any of the plans for this area.

Is there any risk that soil contamination on the First Parliament Site can threaten nearby residential areas?

Answer from Metrolinx: Metrolinx will be completing soil investigations at the Corktown Station early works site, as project planning progresses, to properly characterize the soil and identify any potential contamination prior to construction. Any contaminated soil that may be encountered by this project will be confined to the limits of the project footprint. 

All excess soil will be disposed of in compliance with the Ontario Regulation 406/19 (On-Site and Excess Soil Management), and mitigation measures will be in place to minimize the spreading of contaminated materials. Mitigation measures will include but are not limited to, dust control, dust suppression (e.g., application of water), and stockpile management to ensure soils are protected from wind exposure and further cross-contamination. Other mitigation measures such as remedial action plans, risk assessments, and risk mitigation plans for encountering contamination will also be developed, as necessary. 

Phone: 416-392-7903
Constituency Office: 100 Queen St W, A5, Toronto, ON M5H 2N2

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