Davenport Diamond Rail Grade Separation

Untangling one of North America's busiest train crossings

Metrolinx | Canada | 2017-Ongoing

One of the busiest train crossings in North America

Reference concept design of a 575-metre long guideway structure


  • The Davenport Diamond is one of the busiest train crossings in North America, where CP Rail's North Toronto Subdivision intersects with Metrolinx's Barrie rail corridor.
  • The at-grade rail-to-rail crossing is very similar to a four-way intersection found on most city streets, with traffic signals directing trains in the same way that traffic lights guide cars.
  • The project will grade separate the railway tracks by elevating the north-south Barrie rail corridor tracks over the Davenport Diamond, eliminating the intersection and train traffic conflicts.
  • The project is technically challenging. The site location is within a dense urban environment in Toronto and will affect over one kilometer of rail in each direction, which will have an impact on the traffic flow of municipal roads. The project is located in a very tight, 66-foot-wide rail right-of-way, with adjacent buildings on both sides of the corridor.
  • Employing appropriate construction staging and methodologies for construction in an active rail corridor with limited access point and staging areas.
  • Upholding expectation of Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) as it relates to an overall design excellence and aesthetic vision.
  • Adherence to local/regional bylaws and obtaining and complying with all required permits, approvals and agreements.
  • Coordination with municipal and 3rd party utility companies for utility relocations.


  • Providing technical advisory services and leading a multidisciplinary project team that includes engineers, architects, urban landscape designers, lighting designers, an integrated art consultant and local artist, and associated support staff
  • The team will complete the identification, analysis, coordination, and implementation of the engineering and technical tasks throughout the duration of the project.
  • Developing the reference concept design of a 575-metre long guideway structure, retaining walls at approach embankments, bridges, and associated track, civil, drainage, electrical, signals, mechanical, and utilities works.
  • Providing detailed design for the integrated public realm architectural, landscaping, aesthetic lighting, and wayfinding work.
  • Provided an overall integrated reference concept design of the rail grade separation with a detailed design of a public realm amenity space, outdoor elements and multi-use trail adjacent and underneath the elevated guideway.


  • The integrated design includes the “Guideway”—an innovative sleek structure reducing visual impact—as well as the “Green Way”—a pedestrian link between the West Toronto Rail Path and cycling initiatives near the future Caledonia GO Station.
  • Construction will be completed more than two years earlier than if the project had elected to construct the new rail via an underground tunnel. By electing to construct elevated railways tracks as opposed to the tunnel option, there will be fewer impacts to existing road crossings and less traffic disruption during construction.
  • The Design-Build-Finance project was awarded in July 2019, following an open, fair and competitive procurement process overseen by a third-party fairness monitor. Hatch will provide construction inspection and owner’s representation related to technical support during the project construction phase over four years.

Project Numbers

Reference Concept Design Features:

830-metre long Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) retaining walls at approach embankments
2 x 25-30-metre span Through-Plate Girder (TPG) bridges
575-metre long multi-span elevated, precast and post-tensioned side-by-side double-voided box girder guideway structure
30 m pedestrian bridge over CP tracks connecting north and south inclined paths for multi-use trail connectivity

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