The ongoing revitalization of Union Station reached major milestone last night, as the last of 48 vertical steel columns that will support the glass atrium over the GO Transit train shed roof in the historic Union Station was carefully lifted into place. Designed by Zeidler Partnership Architects, the new glass and steel canopy allows light to pour in to the train platforms below. Along with the imminent restoration of the surviving historic train shed, the new glass atrium at Union Station is a critical component in Metrolinx's regional transportation plan, which aims to dramatically improve how people move in the Greater Toronto Area. 

Union Station Revitalization Zeidler Partnership GO TorontoCrews preparing the final steel column for raising, image courtesy of Metrolinx

Construction of the train shed and glass atrium is being undertaken in phases to minimize disruption to GO’s regular rail services.  With a restricted schedule, the steel columns were installed during the night when rail service is at its lowest frequency. This renovation marks the first time that this train shed has been restored since it was built over 80 years ago. Featuring the atrium as its centerpiece, the most noticeable aspect of this project will be the natural light streaming down on to the train platform and passengers from the new roof and glass atrium above.

“The installation of the final column marks significant progress on the atrium roof at Union Station,” said Bruce McCuaig, Metrolinx President and CEO. “The improvements we’re making to the train shed mean we will be able to move more GO riders, more quickly through a much more pleasant environment over the coming years.”

Union Station Revitalization Zeidler Partnership GO TorontoSteel column being raised into place, image courtesy of Metrolinx

Once completed in late 2016, the atrium will have replaced the centre 5,000 square metres of the 35,000 square metre roof. The large glass atrium stands 13 metres above track level and will allow for sunlight and air circulation throughout the shed. Additional future upgrades are also in the works, including plans to add an expansive green roof atop the remaining historic train shed.

Union Station Revitalization Zeidler Partnership GO TorontoFinal steel column in place, image courtesy of Metrolinx

For additional information and renderings, check out the Union Station Revitalization dataBase listing, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Click on the the associated Forum thread link, or voice your opinion in the comments section provided at the bottom of this page.