Mayor, Chair survey McNicoll construction site
The TTC’s next bus division and garage is beginning to taking shape in the Kennedy and McNicoll area of Scarborough. Toronto Mayor John Tory, TTC Chair Josh Colle, and Ward 39 Councillor Jim Karygiannis surveyed the construction site that will be home to 250 accessible buses in 2020 at a media event on Feb. 27.
McNicoll Division/Garage is a $181-million operating and maintenance facility on 19 acres of city-owned land. The building will be about 29,000 square metres (over 300,000 square feet) and house nearly 100 maintenance employees and 400 Operators and transportation staff.
Construction started last summer, and is scheduled for completion by mid-2020. After final preparations, the facility is set to become operational in the latter half of 2020.
“Things like bus garages don’t often strike people as too exciting unless you’re in the bus business, but at the end of the day they are absolutely essential to us building out the transit system and making sure we meet the needs of the people we serve,” Tory said.
McNicoll will have capacity for up to 250 standard 12-metre buses, or a mixture of standard 12-metre and articulated 18-metre buses, and will provide the TTC much-needed storage and maintenance space that begins to address overcapacity issues at its existing garages.
The future facility will provide critical new space for the TTC’s expanding bus fleet, which is currently over 1,900 vehicles strong (2,100 including Wheel-Trans). The current capacity of the garages is approximately 1,630 buses.
“Buses are the backbone of our system,” Colle said. “It’s critical that we invest in bus service if we want to improve transit service across the city. Without new buses there can’t be new service and without new garages we won’t have a place to store and maintain those buses.”
The accessible bus fleet logs about 140 million kilometres annually and carries more riders every year than the subway or streetcar fleets. A new garage in north Scarborough will mean operational efficiencies for the bus network as some buses currently servicing Scarborough are being maintained in the west end of the city.
The facility is located on part of the former “Vimy Oaks Farm” property. First World War veteran Leslie Miller, who fought at Vimy Ridge, planted acorns from Vimy on the farm property after returning home. The TTC has protected a Vimy Oak tree in the employee parking area. Artwork inspired by the story will adorn a sound wall along the southwest edge of the property.
The TTC has eight bus garages: Arrow Road, Birchmount, Eglinton, Malvern, Mount Dennis, Queensway, Wilson and Lakeshore-Wheel-Trans.
The last bus division/garage opened by the TTC was Mount Dennis in 2008.
What’s inside McNicoll Division/Garage
Approved by the TTC Board on Dec. 20, 2016, McNicoll is being built to Toronto Green Standard and includes:
- Indoor storage for 250 accessible buses.
- Two service lines with exterior wash system.
- Bus cleaning area.
- Transportation and maintenance offices.
- Repair garage, including 15 repair hoists and two inspection lanes with hoists.
- Paint and body shops with two bays and one hoist.
- One de-grease room with hoist.
- Design features will include hundreds of new plantings, one of the largest green roofs in Canada, as well as a storm water run-off system, rooftop solar electric panels, and a “transpired solar wall” that will convert sunlight to heat to reduce energy consumption.