Hydro One begins $120M Toronto tunnel dig

The project will replace infrastructure that dates back to the 1950s


Key Takeaways:

  • The 12-foot diameter tunnel will run from Esplanade to Bay and Dundas.
  • It will house new power infrastructure to replace cables that were installed in the 1950s.
  • The tunnel boring is expected to be completed by early 2024 and the installation of the new cables is expected to be completed by 2026.

The Whole Story:

Ladies and gentlemen, we have liftoff. 

Hydro One has launched construction on a new tunnel that will run 85 feet below ground in downtown Toronto, from the Esplanade to Bay and Dundas. 

The tunnel will be 12 feet in diameter, approximately the size of three park benches, and will house new transmission cables, replacing cables that have served Toronto’s downtown core since the 1950s. Hydro One is investing approximately $120 million dollars in this infrastructure renewal project in the downtown core to ensure the company can continue to provide clean and reliable energy to some of Toronto’s most critical institutions, including Hospital Row, City Hall and the Financial District.

“Hydro One plays an important role in supplying power to Toronto Hydro and its customers in the downtown core. The new tunnel we are building underneath the city will house our critical, upgraded power lines and improve reliability for customers,” said Andrew Spencer, vice president, transmission and stations for Hydro One. “We’re steadfast in our commitment to making strategic investments in our aging infrastructure to prepare the grid for the impacts of climate change.”

Hydro One said it is working closely with the city of Toronto and Toronto Hydro to coordinate construction needs and the use of a tunnel boring machine, minimizing disruptions to residents and local businesses by allowing for most of the required construction to take place underground. The tunnel boring is expected to be completed by early 2024 and the installation of the new cables is expected to be completed by 2026.

Much of Ontario’s electricity system was built in the 1950s. Over the next five years, Hydro One plans to undertake projects that will reduce the impacts of power outages, renew and replace critical transmission and distribution infrastructure, enable economic growth and prepare for climate change in almost every community across Ontario. 

Once complete, the underground tunnel housing the new power cables will run between Esplanade TS and Terauley TS.

A map shows the route the tunnel will take. – Hydro One


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