Metro Optic & Crosslake Fibre to launch Montreal-Toronto cable

13 July 2018 | James Pearce


Metro Optic and Crosslake Fibre have partnered to build a new fibre cable system linking the Canadian cities of Montreal and Toronto, including a submarine part running through Lake Ontario.

The new cable system, being launched by a JV between the two firms named Maple Leaf Fibre, will run a terrestrial segment connecting Motreal, Ottawa and Kingston, and a submarine system linking Kingston to downtown Toronto.

Utilities Kingston has agreed to partner on the project as both a strategic investor and as a development partner, and will use the cable system to boost its fibre optic services offering.

Jim Keech, president and CEO of Utilities Kingston, said: “This project will provide new and existing businesses in Kingston with even faster and more reliable broadband connectivity – connecting them directly to centres in Toronto, Montréal and Ottawa. 

“Fibre access is at the heart of strengthening our community’s competitive advantage, in particular with its potential to attract an enterprise-class data centre, contributing to a smart and liveable 21st century city. That's why we're pleased to support this initiative for Kingston.” 

The project, which is due to be completed in H2 2019, will offer a physically diverse route from existing systems and will be used to supply commercially-available dark fibre between Toronto and Montreal, which sit approximately 313 miles apart and combined have populations of around 4.5 million.

Maple Leaf Fibre will own the cable system, which will be operated independently of the JV partners, with dark fibre strands made available for carriers, data centre operators, ISPs, OTTs and others.

“Canada is uniquely situated as a gateway for high-capacity data flow between Europe, the U.S. and Asia. The Montréal-Toronto route is critical to reach Europe through the Maritimes, the major U.S. trading hubs of New York and Chicago to the South, and Asia to the West,” says Michael Bucheit, chief executive officer of Metro Optic.

This is the third project for Crosslake fibre. Crosslake’s first project, across Lake Ontario from Canada to the US is already underway, with a number of suppliers announced in April and May.

The second Crosslake project will be to link New Jersey and Long Island along the shore of the Atlantic, bypassing Manhattan. That and the still-to-be-announced third Crosslake project will be installed in 2019, he said, as will IFSC.

“This is a truly exciting opportunity to develop much needed Internet Infrastructure along one of the busiest routes in Canada,” states Mike Cunningham, chief executive officer of Crosslake Fibre. “We are thrilled to be working with great partners and believe that Maple Leaf Fibre has ideally positioned itself to provide a new, innovative solution in the Canadian wholesale marketplace.”