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Sarens plays crucial role in Finch West Station construction

November 28, 2022  By Don Horne

Sarens, among the world’s leaders in heavy lifting, engineered transport and crane rental, has been directly involved in the construction of Finch West Station on behalf of Mosaic Transit, providing machinery and support equipment for the installation of 30 pre-cast ceiling panels weighing 3.25T each below ground level.

The new light rail line, due to open in 2023, will be 11 km long with 18 stops, 16 of which will be above ground, and will run from the new TCC Finch West Subway Station at Keele St. to Humber College.

One of the key stations in this project is Finch West Station, in the construction of which Sarens has actively participated with the installation of 30 pre-cast ceiling panels of 3.25T each below ground level.

Sarens took advantage of its extensive experience in panel tilting over Canada to design a proprietary gantry system to cope with the minimal operating space available, reducing the time needed for traffic cuts for the operations.


The new Finch West light rail line, which began its works in 2019, will increase rapid mobility opportunities for the Jamestown, Rexdale and Black Creek neighbourhoods, providing approximately 46,000 daily commuters with interconnection options to the fastest growing residential areas in Northwest Toronto.

This new line, which has employed more than 600 people, 85 per cent of whom come from the Greater Toronto Area, will run from the new TCC Finch West Subway Station at Keele Street to Humber College. In addition, an underground interchange station at Finch West, which will serve as an interconnection with the new Toronto-York-Spadina Subway Extension.

For this job, Sarens, which has led projects in many different industries in Canada demonstrating its ability to adapt to any possible condition and challenge, had to design a special operation to cope with the minimal operating space available, only accessible through a small skylight in the station. Its engineering crew designed and built a proprietary system of gantry beams, platform between the gantry beams and sliding supports for the project. The gantry system was selected with a low-profile gantry track and gantry legs with lower height to ease the work in the limited space available.

During the works, the gantry track and legs were moved through the east-end of the site and lowered to the underground level through the west skylight. Then, the gantry beams, platform beams and skidding supports were lowered through the east skylight. The main 10m long gantry beams had to be rigged on to a steep angle to fit through the narrow skylight, and below the ground level, the beams were set across the concrete and re-rigged level to install on the gantry.

The ceiling panels installed were first lowered by a crane through the skylight opening and set on top of the gantry, that travelled afterwards west to east. The panels were then slid along the beams from north to south and lifted to the required position and installed safely.

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