Ontario Line progress: RFPs issued, Preliminary Design Business Case released

Dec. 18, 2020
The provincial government says the milestones put the project a step closer to getting shovels in the ground.

The government of Ontario said one of its signature projects, the Ontario Line, which that is part of the largest subway expansion program in Canadian history, reached two significant milestones this week: The release of the Preliminary Design Business Case for the project and the issuing of two Requests for Proposals for procurement packages.  

The Preliminary Design Business Case for the Ontario Line offers details on the project’s design and benefits for the community. According to a blog posted by Metrolinx, the preliminary business case “takes a deeper dive into how the project will cut commute times for transit users and drivers alike thanks to more detailed plans and designs that give an even better understanding of the project’s benefits.”

Metrolinx highlights some of the key improvements that are expected to be delivered with the opening of the Ontario Line including:

  • There could be up to 22 percent less crowding at Bloor-Yonge Station and 14 percent less at Union Station during the busiest hour, equal to 14,000 fewer people passing through those congested interchanges. 
  • Up to 28,000 fewer cars are expected on Toronto’s roads each day because of the Ontario Line, which could contribute to a reduction in fuel consumption by 7.2 million liters per year – nearly enough to fill three Olympic-sized swimming pools.
  • More than 255,000 people are expected to live within a 10-minute walk of an Ontario Line station – nearly equal to the population of St. Catharines and Niagara Falls combined.

The 15.6-km (9.7-mile) rail line will run from the Ontario Science Centre to Exhibition/Ontario Place and serve 15 stations with connections to the Eglinton Crosstown and TTC’s Line 1 and 2 subways, as well as with Lakeshore East, Lakeshore West and Stouffville GO train services.

The C$10.9-billion (US$8.56-billion) project is one of four priority transit projects agreed to between the government of Ontario and city of Toronto. The other three transit projects include Yonge North Subway Extension, the Scarborough Subway Extension and the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension.

In addition to the preliminary business design case being released, Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx issued two RFPs from three shortlisted teams for each of the procurement packages. 

The teams solicited for the Ontario Line Rolling Stock, Systems, Operations and Maintenance package include:

Connect 6ix

  • Applicant Lead: Plenary Americas, Hitachi Rail STS SpA, Japan Infrastructure Initiative Co. Ltd., Webuild SpA, Transdev Canada 
  • Design Team: Hitachi Rail Canada, Webuild/Astaldi Canada Design & Construction, IBI Group Professional Services (Canada) Inc.
  • Construction Team: Hitachi Rail Canada, Webuild/Astaldi Canada
  • Maintenance and Rehabilitation Team: Hitachi Rail Canada, Transdev Canada
  • Operations Team: Hitachi Rail Canada, Transdev Canada
  • Financial Advisor: National Bank Financial Inc., Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation


  • Applicant Leads: Aecon Concessions, Siemens Project Ventures, Keolis SA 
  • Design Team: Siemens Mobility, Hatch Inc.
  • Construction Team: Aecon Infrastructure Management, Siemens Mobility
  • Maintenance and Rehabilitation Team: Siemens Mobility, Aecon O&M, Keolis Canada
  • Operations Team: Aecon O&M, Keolis Canada
  • Financial Advisor: Scotia Capital


  • Applicant Lead: John Laing, Alstom Transport Canada, 
  • Design Team: Alstom Transport Canada, Parsons
  • Construction Team: Alstom Transport Canada, FCC Construction Canada, Amico Infrastructures, Pomerleau Inc., Mass Electric Canada
  • Maintenance and Rehabilitation Team: Alstom Transport Canada, Deutsche Bahn International Operations, SMRT International
  • Operations Team: Alstom Transport Canada, Deutsche Bahn International Operations, SMRT International
  • Financial Advisor: HSBC Securities (Canada)

The teams solicited for the Ontario Line Southern Civil, Stations and Tunnel package include:

Community Transit Link

  • Applicant Lead: Aecon Infrastructure Management Inc., Dragados Canada Inc., STRABAG Inc. 
  • Design Team: Arup Canada Inc., Hatch Ltd.
  • Construction Team: Aecon Infrastructure Management Inc., Dragados Canada Inc., STRABAG Inc.
  • Financial Advisor: ACS Infrastructure Canada Inc., Aecon Concessions, National Bank Financial Inc.


  • Applicant Leads: Webuild S.p.A., Astaldi Canada Enterprises Inc., Amico Infrastructures Inc., Saipem S.p.A. 
  • Design Team: IBI Group Professional Services Canada Inc., Arcadis Canada Inc.
  • Construction Team: Webuild S.p.A., Astaldi Canada Design & Construction Inc., Amico Infrastructures Inc., Saipem S.p.A.

Ontario Transit Group

  • Applicant Lead: Ferrovial Construction Canada Inc., VINCI Construction Grands Projets 
  • Design Team: AECOM Canada Ltd., COWI North America Ltd., GHD Limited, SENER Group
  • Construction Team:Ferrovial Construction Canada Inc., Janin Atlas Inc.
  • Financial Advisor: HSBC

Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx anticipate awarding contracts for the packages in 2022. The RFPs represent two of the three procurement packages that will be used to deliver the Ontario Line. The Request for Qualifications for the third package is expected to be issued in 2022.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Editor in Chief

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the magazine’s editorial direction and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.