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COWI reaches milestone on Toronto subway 

Toronto, Canada, 29 January 2024: COWI, a leading international engineering consulting group, has reached the half-way mark of the design of two new subway stations for Ontario Line at King/Bathurst and Queen/Spadina in Toronto and will shortly move on to the construction documentation phase. 

Scandinavian architecture firm, Arkitema, a part of COWI Group, has supported COWI’s North American team with its in-depth knowledge of design excellence, metro station design and passenger experience. When designing the stations Arkitema has taken a holistic approach to create clean, sleek contemporary layouts with meticulous attention to detail, aesthetics and a welcoming atmosphere. 

Future Ontario Line station building at southeast corner of King Street West and Bathurst Street, incorporating historic façade of current building at 663 King St. W. Credit: Metrolinx and HDR

Thomas Dahlgren, President, COWI North America, said: “This is an exciting project for our North American team. With the Ontario Line, the balance has been to translate the project requirements into the quality that we prioritize over in Denmark: simple, rational, and aesthetic solutions with inviting, open, and friendly spaces, creating simple, intuitive pathways. Our goal was to create modern layouts with a strong focus on enhancing the passenger experience.” 

COWI was awarded the design and engineering contract for its first major subway project in Toronto, Canada in late 2021 by Ontario Transit Group, a joint venture between Ferrovial Construction and Vinci Construction. The team is responsible for the detailed design of two new underground stations – King/Bathurst and Queen/Spadina, located in downtown Toronto. The new stations will be situated within a 10-minute walking distance for around 50,000 local residents and will create vital connections between popular transport routes. 

Future Ontario Line station building at southwest corner of Queen Street West and Spadina Avenue. Credit: Metrolinx and HDR

The new Ontario Line is a 15.6-kilometre rapid transit line – the largest single expansion in Toronto’s subway history – which will connect Exhibition Place to the Eglinton 

Crosstown LRT at Don Mills Road and Eglinton Avenue East, with 15 fully accessible stations and more than 40 new connections to GO train lines and existing subway, streetcar, and bus lines. It will run along the existing rail corridor in Riverside and Leslieville. Expected to accommodate around 388,000 passengers per day, the line will relieve crowding on popular transport routes throughout the city and bring transit to underserviced neighborhoods. Construction is now underway. 

Central to COWI’s work on the project is safeguarding and future proofing the cities heritage by seamlessly integrating the new stations into their urban surroundings while retaining the existing buildings historical attributes and character in the new station designs.