Union Station is Canada's busiest transportation hub, with over 250,000 VIA and Amtrak passengers and GO commuters using the station everyday. With GO Transit's recent introduction of new 30-minute all-day, two-way train service from Oakville to Oshawa along the Lakeshore corridor, the station will be getting even busier. In total, 263 new trips will be added bringing in 12,000 new riders daily. It is no surprise then that the station is getting a massive overhaul to handle the ever-growing demands.

Union Station, Metrolinx, TTC, GO Transit, Zeidler Partnership ArchitectsRendering of the restored train shed green roof and glass atrium, image courtesy of Zeidler Partnership Architects

The TTC is building a new subway platform, GO is building new concourses, Metrolinx is building a new rail link to Pearson, VIA is renovating their spaces and lounges, and the City is building a mall under the existing track and concourse, all to provide passengers with a top notch experience. A pair of the most visible projects have been happening overhead and at track level. 

Union Station, Metrolinx, TTC, GO Transit, Zeidler Partnership Architectsrendering of the new glass atrium, image courtesy of Zeidler Partnership Architects

Metrolinx is constructing a new glass atrium over the central portion of the tracks. The new fritted glass roof designed by Zeidler Partnership will cover 71,000 square feet and sit roughly two storeys above the tracks. The structure will rest on 48 canted steel columns, placed to create an open and airy feel at track level.

Union Station, Metrolinx, TTC, GO Transit, Zeidler Partnership ArchitectsGlass atrium view from the southern station entrance, image by Forum member kram74

Replacing the middle portion of the dark shed over the station's platforms, the new glass structure should become a landmark in the centre of the city. The atrium will be lit up at night by LEDs, creating a beacon for travelers and tourists alike.

Union Station, Metrolinx, TTC, GO Transit, Zeidler Partnership ArchitectsNearly completed section of the glass atrium roof, image by Forum member kram74

Additionaly, Metrolinx is working on restoration of the train shed over the eastern and western ends of the platforms. Designed by Abraham Lincoln Bush in 1929, the 84-year-old trainshed has deteriorated over the years with heavy rail industry and age. As one of the last few surviving examples of a Bush train shed, Parks Canada gave the structure heritage designation. The lattice steel and wood work will be restored to look as it originally did while above the restored trainshed, a new green roof will be installed.

New atrium grows northwards as the Bush trainshed has been cleared from its pathNew atrium grows northwards as the Bush trainshed has been cleared from its path, image by ShonTron


To find out more about the ongoing work at Union Station, check out our dataBase entry below, or join the conversation and find out what everyone else is saying by posting a comment below and diving into our Forum discussion. Of course, you can always leave a comment in the space provided on this page.