The Ontario government has reached a major milestone in the plans to build the Ontario Line, the signature project in the largest subway expansion program in Canadian history.

The province issued two Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for procurement packages to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the Ontario Line project. The preliminary design business case for the project was also released.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on our economy, and major transit projects like this will contribute significantly to our recovery by stimulating future growth and job creation,” said Ontario’s Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney.

Following the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process that began in June 2020, Infrastructure Ontario (IO) and Metrolinx have invited shortlisted teams to bid on two RFP packages:

  1. The first package includes designing, building, financing, operating and maintaining the subway trains, communications and train control systems, a maintenance and storage facility, and the fare equipment that will be integrated with the PRESTO system.
  2. The second package includes designing, building and financing the tunnels and transit stations for the southern segment of the line from Exhibition Place to just west of the Don River. It also includes utility and conduit work and building structures to prepare for track installation

After evaluating the proposals received, IO and Metrolinx expect to award these contracts in 2022. The Ontario Line is being built under three separate public-private partnership (P3) contracts and a package of Early Works contracts.

Issuing of the RFPs was accompanied by the release of the Preliminary Design Business Case for the Ontario Line, which offers a more detailed understanding of the project’s design and benefits for the community, reflecting feedback from residents and businesses. Some of the benefits noted in the business case include faster travel and increased transit access and capacity.

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Once complete, the Ontario Line will be one of the most technologically advanced subway systems in the world with the highest degree of automation, on par with subway systems in Paris, Copenhagen and Barcelona. During rush hour, travellers can expect to have an Ontario Line train arriving at each station as frequently as every 90 seconds, with improved comfort, safety and reliability.

“We are closer to delivering a state-of-the-art subway that leverages existing rail corridors to minimize costs and disruption,” said Associate Minister of Transportation Kinga Surma. “By building this project our government is bringing rapid transit to currently underserved neighbourhoods and developing transit-oriented communities which will provide needed housing options.”

The Ontario Line Preliminary Design Business Case also highlights the economic benefits of this massive project with a forecast of over 4,700 construction jobs per year between 2020 and 2030, followed by continued employment after 2030 for the subway line’s operations and maintenance. In addition, the business case estimates the Ontario Line could put more than 255,000 people within a 10-minute walk of a new Ontario Line station and serve up to 388,000 trips each day by 2041.

“Our government is making historic investments in our transit and transportation infrastructure to support the province’s growth and economic recovery,” said Laurie Scott, Minister of Infrastructure. “The Ontario Line is one of the most significant transit projects for the Greater Toronto Area in a generation and it will be delivered using Ontario’s world-class P3 model, which will allow us to do it quickly and respect taxpayers.”

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Shortlisted teams

Teams have been shortlisted and invited to bid on the Ontario Line Southern Civil, Stations and Tunnel (South) package and the Ontario Line Rolling Stock, Systems, Operations and Maintenance (RSSOM) package.

Teams were selected based on criteria identified in the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process that began in June 2020. Criteria included design, construction, operations and maintenance experience and the financial capacity to deliver projects of this size and complexity.

For the Ontario Line RSSOM package, three teams were shortlisted. Their prime team members are:

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)
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For Ontario Line South package, three teams were prequalified. Their prime team members are:

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

Teams will begin preparing proposals that detail how they will deliver these projects. Upon evaluating the proposals received, IO and Metrolinx expect to award these contracts in 2022.

The historic transportation plan has a preliminary estimated cost of $28.5 billion. This includes four priority transit projects: the all-new Ontario Line; a three-stop Scarborough Subway Extension; the Yonge North Subway Extension; and the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension.


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