Union Station Train Shed

Toronto, Ontario

Client: Metrolinx
Size: Atrium: 71,000 sq.ft. (6,600 sq.m.); Shed: 300,000 sq.ft. (27,800 sq.m)

The renovation of the train shed and addition of a new roof covering the passenger platforms and tracks is a major component of the Union Station renewal project. Zeidler led the design team to restore the east and west portions of the shed, totaling 300,000 sq.ft., and to replace the central area of the train shed with a new 50,000 sq.ft. glass roof. The existing network of steel arches is designated as a heritage structure and a national historic site. We worked closely with Parks Canada and ERA Architects in the overall design, ensuring preservation of the early 20th-century Beaux-Arts style character.

Rising as a major component of the Union Station renewal project, the glass “jewel box” floats over the tracks, providing daylight at platform level. Midway in this overlap, elegant curtains of clear glass louvers are suspended from the roof on a light network of steel tubes and cables to repel rain and snow while naturally ventilating the space. 

Visible from the surrounding buildings, the roof is a dynamic new architectural feature at Union Station that complements the heritage structure and also: reduces the station’s “heat island” effect; reduces the concentration of rainwater run-off, thereby assisting storm water management; and generates electricity to offset the needs of the station via its green roof with photovoltaic (solar) cells.

Another major element of the project is improved accessibility through 46 additional constructed or refurbished stairs, escalators, and elevators that facilitate safe and secure passenger access between the concourse level and the platforms. 
This project has been phased over six years to minimize disruption to daily train service.

Awards:

  • Architizer A+ Awards - Special Mention, Architecture + Urban Transformation, 2013
  • Canadian Architect - Award of Excellence, 2012