Tunnel boring machines make progress on Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension

“Yorkie” and “Torkie” break through the headwall at the Keele St. extraction shaft

On Thursday, Nov. 29, the Toronto Transit Commission’s tunnel boring machines (TBMs) named “Yorkie” and “Torkie” simultaneously broke through the headwall at the Keele St. extraction shaft, marking another important milestone for the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension project that, upon completion, will provide direct subway access to York University’s Keele campus. The recent dig took the machines under York’s campus, creating the twin tunnels that connect from Steeles West through to York University and Finch West Station.

“Yorkie” and “Torkie” break through the headwall at the Keele St. extraction shaft

“Yorkie” and “Torkie” break through the headwall at the Keele St. extraction shaft

The TBMs began tunnelling last winter from the launch shaft located at the north end of the Keele campus – south of Steeles Avenue West and east of North West Gate. The extraction shaft, where the TBMs arrived, is located at Keele Street, north of Murray Ross Parkway. Each of the two tunnel drives was 1,660-m long and approximately 2,225 liner rings were placed to create the tunnels. Both TBMs will now be dismantled and moved to the Highway 407 launch shaft where they will begin creating the next section of twin tunnels towards Steeles West Station.

northern tunnel drives map

The tunnel boring machines will soon begin their route from Highway 407 Station to Steeles West Station 

Much progress is being made by the project’s other TBMs, too. “Holey” recently passed under Whitehorse Road and Kodiak Crescent and is anticipated to break through the headwall at the Downsview extraction shaft soon, while TBM “Moley” just crossed under Sheppard Avenue West Moley has tunnelled 484 m to date and is expected to arrive at Downsview in January.

tunnel boring machines map“Holey” and “Moley” are well on their way to completing their tunnels

Follow the progress of Yorkie, Torkie, Holey and Moley here and view maps of the area’s subway-related construction activity here.

For more information, visit York University’s Subway Construction web page. For specific Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension construction information, contact the construction information line at 1-800-223-6192 or e-mail TYSSE@ttc.ca. For hearing impaired service, contact TTY Service at 416-481-2523 (daily, from 8am to 6pm; closed holidays).