A section of Queen Street in Toronto may be closed for nearly five years to construct a new subway station downtown.

On Tuesday, Metrolinx announced its detour plans to manage construction of a new Ontario Line subway stop at the intersection of Yonge and Queen streets.

The new subway station will be located underneath Queen Station and will provide connections to the existing Line 1 subway and TTC surface routes.

The proposed closure of Queen Street is expected to start in early 2023 and last for about four and a half years into 2027.

Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins says the Queen Street closure will be the most difficult to accommodate throughout the construction of the Ontario Line.

“Even though you're building subway underground, it's going to have impacts above ground. And we're going to limit them as much as we can by doing all kinds of things but it is definitely going to have an impact on cars, as well as transit,” Aikins told CTV News Toronto.

Ontario Line map

Metrolinx says detours will be made for both streetcar lines and car traffic around two parts of Queen on either side of Yonge, while maintaining pedestrian connections.

All vehicles and streetcars will be diverted off Queen from east of Bay Street to Yonge Street and from Yonge to Victoria streets.

Metrolinx says it decided to go with a full closure instead of a partial one to speed up construction.

“We looked at a partial closure option, but diverting all traffic for a set period of time means construction can be completed over a year sooner, the Ontario Line can open more than nine months earlier, and we can minimize disruptions to residents, businesses and visitors,” Malcolm MacKay, Metrolinx program sponsor for the Ontario Line, said in a news release on Tuesday.

Yonge, Bay and Victoria streets will remain open to cross north and south across Queen throughout construction and pedestrian access will remain open to all businesses in the area.

“There's some advantages that we didn't have in Eglinton [station construction] that we have here at Queen Street. They're all large businesses, they all have access off of Queen Street, and in some cases many different access points and even underground access. “So there's lots of advantages, there will always be pedestrian traffic so that will always be maintained,” Aikins says.

Streetcars will run on detour routes on Richmond and Adelaide streets during construction.

Metrolinx says it will construct new tracks that will link Queen to Adelaide via York Street for eastbound route diversions. Streetcar tracks that connect Queen to Richmond already exist for westbound diversions.

Ontario Line Map

For businesses in the area, Metrolinx says it will use “proven noise and vibration solutions” to address potential disruptions.

A 24-hour hotline will also be created to give people access to someone who can listen to their concerns, along with offices along the route to answer questions and provide updates.

Aikins says the closure and detour plan will go to city council for approval in November.

Metrolinx also plans to host a virtual open house about the closure in the coming weeks. More details can be found on Metrolinx's website.