Yesterday, Wednesday, March 13, at the site of the future Highway 407 Station, the Honourable Lisa Raitt, (federal) Minister of Labour, the Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario, the Honourable Glen Murray, Ontario Minister of Transportation and Minister of Infrastructure, His Worship Rob Ford, Mayor of Toronto, Bill Fisch, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Regional Municipality of York, His Worship Maurizio Bevilacqua, Mayor of the City of Vaughan and Karen Stintz, Chair of the Toronto Transit Commission launched the next stage of tunnel construction for the project to extend the 1 Yonge - University - Spadina subway northwest beyond Downsview to Vaughan.
During this stage of construction, two-tunnel boring machines or TBMs, “Yorkie” and “Torkie”, will create twin tunnels, linking the site of the future Highway 407 Station to the site of the future Steeles West Station site.
The TBMs will dig a little more than one kilometre of twin subway tunnels at a rate of about 15 metres a day, southeast from the launch site to an extraction site near Steeles Avenue.
The project extends the subway by 8.6 kilometres from Downsview Station to the future Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Station on Highway 7 west of Jane Street. It includes six new subway stations and three new commuter parking lots. The TTC expects to complete the line by fall 2016.
The Government of Canada has committed as much as $697 million to the project, $622 million through its Building Canada Fund. It has already transferred the remaining $75 million to the project under the Public Transit Capital Trust 2006.
The Province of Ontario has provided $870 million towards the project through the Move Ontario Trust. The City of Toronto is contributing $526 million to the project and the Regional Municipality of York is contributing $352 million. The TTC is the project manager for building the extension.
The City of Toronto and the TTC held a contest to name the four TBMs working on the subway line in 2010. After 720 people submitted names for the machines and more than 2,000 people voted on line, the City and TTC announced that “Holey and Moley” and “Yorkie and Torkie” are the official names of the four machines.