Toronto's downtown relief line now has a 'preferred' route

City planners have an "emerging" favourite when it comes to the downtown relief line and will be seeking the public's feedback at an event on Thursday.

Planners trying to 'absolutely minimize' disruption to areas route will pass through

In one proposed alignment, the new subway line would run south at Pape, turn west at Eastern Avenue, then connect to Queen and Osgoode Stations. (TTC)

City planners have an "emerging" favourite when it comes to the downtown relief line.

If you're heading downtown, the route will run from south from Pape Station along Pape Avenue, turn west at Eastern Avenue, then connect to Queen and Osgoode Stations. The entire route will run underground in both directions, with several stops along the way.

Stella Gustavson, a city transit planner, said the next step is asking for the public's feedback on the route at an event on Thursday.

For now, it remains the "emerging preferred" route to send to city council for approval.

"There's strong support for this project," Gustavson told CBC News.

Gustavson said the city is aware that the relief line is the top priority for many transit riders in the city who are craving another option to get downtown. The line could also provide a redundancy in the event of a subway malfunction on another line, like the fire that shut down part of the Bloor-Danforth line during Wednesday's rush hour.

The province, meanwhile, announced it is investing $150 million into the project's planning.

Gustavson said the proposed route has a slew of benefits, from attracting new riders, to allowing people to access good jobs downtown. The line would also connect to areas the city wants to see develop in the future, like the Unilever lands on the east side of the Don River.

"It opens up new opportunities," Gustavson said.

The planner said the city is also aiming to "absolutely minimize" disruption to the neighbourhoods the proposed line would pass through, but warned it's too soon to get into specifics.

Gustavson said she's aware people are concerned about noise and vibration, but said that new technology should allow for quieter trains than the ones in currently service.