The ongoing revitalization of Union Station has drawn much media attention in recent weeks, as various media outlets examine budget and scheduling issues tied to the project. While the stories leave many questions unanswered, there is progress to report on which is leading to both the beautification an aging station and improved transit.

Union Station revitalization, Metrolinx, TTC, Zeidler Partnership ArchitectsUnion Station atrium and shed replacement, image by Sean Marshall

The complicated Union Station revitalization project is divided into several separate components, one of the most prominent of which is the large Zeidler Partnership Architects-designed atrium, which stands 13 metres above track level and replaced the central 5,000 square metres (50,000 square feet) of Union's historic train shed. Installation was completed on the secondary steel—the framework for the glass atrium—in May, a few months after the atrium's final steel support column was erected earlier this year.

Union Station revitalization, Metrolinx, TTC, Zeidler Partnership ArchitectsUnion Station atrium and shed replacement, image courtesy of Metrolinx

To the east and west of the large atrium, work is now under way on refurbishing the remaining approximately 30,000 square metres (300,000 square feet) of the train shed's roof. The view of the train shed's roof, visible from offices and other tall buildings in the area, has for years been marred by an inconsistent patchwork of badly weathered panels. This is soon to change, as a new green roof will be installed, helping to reduce the “urban heat island” effect while reducing the concentration of rainwater run-off.

Rendering of the completed Union Station shed, Toronto, GO Transit, MetrolinxRendering of the completed shed, image courtesy of Metrolinx

The roof is being entirely replaced to handle the plantings, while at the same time, strips of skylights will allow light to make it down to track level along each platform in the formerly dark shed. The image below shows the state of the roof in August 2011 when the crane was first raised.

The Union Train shed at the beginning of the revitalization process, TorontoThe Union Train shed at the beginning of the revitalization process, image by Forum contributor M____J1

Now the bulk of the former roof has been removed and new panels are going in.

Union Station revitalization, Metrolinx, TTC, Zeidler Partnership ArchitectsEastern end of the train shed, image courtesy of Metrolinx

This revitalization marks the first renovation of Union Station's train shed since it was built over 80 years ago. The new atrium is expected to be completed this fall, while the remainder of the many upgrades to the station will be completed in stages throughout 2015 and into 2016.

Union Station revitalization, Metrolinx, TTC, Zeidler Partnership ArchitectsCrews installing glazing on the east side of the atrium, image courtesy of Metrolinx

Additional information and renderings can be found in the Union Station Revitalization dataBase file, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment in the space provided at the bottom of this page.