Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit

Connecting east and west Eglinton with a new Light Rail Transit (LRT) system

Metrolinx | Toronto, Ontario, Canada | 2010–Ongoing

The largest transit expansion project in Toronto’s history

Toronto’s first modern low-floor, urban style light rail system

Adds a much-needed fifth route to Toronto’s subway system

Reduces gas emissions by 29% per passenger


  • The Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit (ECLRT) is part of Metrolinx’s 2008 adoption of the “Big Move”, a long-term regional initiative to revitalize and expand transit in the Greater Toronto Area.
  • The LRT will cut across central Toronto for 19 kilometers, with about 10 kilometers of tunnels, 25 stations and stops, and 76 light rail vehicles running in two- or three-car trains.
  • Metrolinx needed to pay critical attention during construction, due to the tunnel alignment’s proximity to buried and surface utilities, two operational subway lines, and over 1,200 existing buildings.
  • A very narrow right-of-way required careful consideration to navigate issues of private property, treatment of utilities, and traffic management.
  • Tunnels were mined by four earth-pressure-balance tunnel-boring machines procured by the owner. The twin tunnels needed detailed design for the ECLRT, using a six-segment universal ring attachment.


  • Served on Metrolinx’s Technical Advisor team to oversee construction, contract compliance reviews, design audits, monitoring and construction across all ECLRT infrastructure.
  • Prepared conceptual designs that later formed the Reference Concept Designs (RCD) for six of the 15 underground stations and multiple guideways, including the elevated guideway across the Black Creek Drive, the at-grade guideway east of Brentcliffe Portal, cut-and-cover tunnels, and the maintenance storage facility.
  • Successfully delivered 76 LRVs for the ECLRT and 14 additional LRVs already in service in the Region of Waterloo (Ion Rapid Transit), leveraging proven technical and commercial expertise to manage all design reviews, quality assurance inspection, and production oversight.
  • Collaborated within a joint-venture team to provide program management and technical advisory services during the Public Private Partnership (PPP) procurement “In Market” period. Attended in-market design meetings, responded to RFIs, reviewed proposals for compliance, supported negotiations, and assisted preparation of Project Specific Out Specifications (PSOS) for the PPP tender.


  • Directly supported carbuilder negotiations, leading to Metrolinx’s original order with Alstom Transportation (previously Bombardier) for 182 LRVs.
  • Successfully completed and delivered design work under a compressed 16-month design schedule.
  • Minimized the number of times utilities had to be handled during the LRT construction by building jet-grouted headwalls at mine-through stations.
  • Provided trusted expertise in structural, electrical, geotechnical, systems, rail, and transportation engineering, along with property acquisition and disposition.

“Working with Hatch during the development of reference concept design of six underground stations and associated studies, with very tight time constraints, resulted in a very close working relationship between the two organizations. We developed an integrated and cooperative team atmosphere and had fun while we did it. The result was a very impressive body of work that came in on time and on budget and was very well received by all project stakeholders.” 

Frank Altomarre | Senior Project Manager, Metrolinx

Project numbers

$50 billion committed to a 25-year initiative to improve mass transit in the Toronto area
90 Light Rail Vehicles (LRV) delivered including 14 LRVs already in service
182 LRVs originally ordered by Metrolinx, based on negotiations with Alstom Transportation (previously Bombardier)
19 kilometers in length including 25 stations and stops, with more than 10 km running underground
60% faster than existing on-street buses
200,000 new jobs created by the transit project
1,200 existing buildings situated near tunnel alignment

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