Pedestrian Tunnel Under Lake Ontario

Case Study: Constructing a Watertight Pedestrian Tunnel More Than 100 Feet Under Lake Ontario

Recognized with the prestigious Canadian Project of the Year Award in 2014 by the Tunnelling Association of Canada, the pedestrian tunnel under Lake Ontario represents a monumental advancement in urban infrastructure. Designed to enhance access to Toronto’s downtown Billy Bishop airport, currently reachable only by ferry, the tunnel is poised to facilitate the seamless movement of over 1,000 individuals per hour. Leading the charge in engineering design is Arup, spearheading the tunnel’s conception alongside the intricate design of water and sewer mains. Their comprehensive range of services includes structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, geotechnical, civil, utilities, acoustic, IT, communications, fire/life safety code, and security consulting. 


Recipient of the esteemed Canadian Association Project Awards, this project stands as a testament to unparalleled innovation and achievement in the field of tunnelling. The project team’s competence is evident in their skilful management of a confined site, ensuring the airport’s continuous operation throughout construction. Moreover, they overcame the formidable engineering hurdles inherent in building a 10-metre-wide watertight tunnel 40 metres below the earth’s surface. This feat of engineering ingenuity underscores not only the project’s technical excellence but also its transformative impact on urban accessibility and connectivity. 

This project highlighted Kelso's capabilities and the effectiveness of CN2000 in sealing leaks more than 100 feet below Lake Ontario under extreme hydrostatic pressure.

Project Description

  • Project Type: Structural Roofing and Waterproofing (Crystalline Waterproofing)

  • Location: Toronto, Ontario

  • Date: February 2015

Project Group

  • Client: PCL, Ports Toronto