Originally anticipated to be operational in 2014, Toronto Hydro's upgrade to Downtown power infrastructure is finally approaching completion on Bremner Boulevard. Though behind schedule, recent construction progress has brought the Clare R. Copeland Transformer Station close to entering operation, while beginning to exhibit some of the public art components of its IBI Group Architects-designed street frontages.

Copeland Transformer Station, Toronto Hydro, IBI Group ArchitectsFacing southeast on Rees at Bremner, image by Craig White

Construction of the project kicked off in 2013, and after years of work—the transformer station is mostly below grade—it now sports some of the design flair shown in the project's pre-construction renderings. The most notable change in recent weeks being the installation of the corten steel feature wall that will surround the Rees Street and Lake Shore Boulevard frontages.

Copeland Transformer Station, Toronto Hydro, IBI Group ArchitectsFacing northeast at the Copeland Transformer Station, image by Craig White

The first set of these perforated pre-rusted steel panels offers passersby a glimpse into the area's past, with a map of the John Street Roundhouse site and the surrounding rail lands as they appeared before redevelopment of the area began in the last couple of decades.

Copeland Transformer Station, Toronto Hydro, IBI Group ArchitectsCorten steel details at the Copeland Transformer Station, image by Craig White

In the last two days, corten steel panel installation has begun along the project's Rees Street elevation too. On the southeast corner of the Bremner and Rees intersection across from the Rogers Centre, this elevation will be the more prominent of the two feature walls for pedestrians.

Copeland Transformer Station, Toronto Hydro, IBI Group ArchitectsCopeland Transformer Station's Rees Street frontage, image via EarthCam

To the east beside Lake Shore, an elevated park atop the buried transformer station is now taking shape. In the image below, captured in late November, the steel supports of the park's elevated "High Line" feature are evident, while tree plantings and paving have also materialized.

Copeland Transformer Station, Toronto Hydro, IBI Group ArchitectsNew park as it appeared in late November, image by Forum contributor Panontario

According to a year-end report published by Hydro One at the close of 2016, delays are attributed to factors including site conditions, inclement weather, and contractor performance. Aside from delaying the project's completion and placing additional strain on the nearby Windsor transformer station, these unforeseen circumstances have increased the Copeland station's total capital expenditures from $195 million to approximately $200 million, as well as capitalized borrowing costs. The project is now anticipated to complete in 2018, four years beyond the original timeline.

Copeland Transformer Station, Toronto Hydro, IBI Group ArchitectsSouth side of the Copeland Transformer Station, image by Forum contributor drum118

The long journey since the start of construction is summarized in the time lapse clip embedded below. This video also underscores the station's importance to the Bathurst-Fort York/CityPlace and South Core communities, which have both expanded significantly since the start of work.

Additional information and renderings for the Copeland Transformer Station can be found in our database file, linked below. Want to join in the discussion? Check out our associated Forum thread, or leave a comment in the space provided at the bottom of this page.