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Courtesy of Zeidler Partnership Architects


Located at Union Station, one of Canada’s national historic sites, the renovation of the train shed roof covering the passenger platforms and tracks which connects GO Transit’s Union Station Bus Terminal to the station building delivers part of the “Big Move” promise, Metrolinx’s 25-year regional transportation plan for Ontario. A major component of the Union Station renewal project, the objective was to renovate and restore the east and west portions of the shed totaling 30,000 square metres and to replace the central 5,000 square metres of the train shed with a large glass atrium. An early 20th-century Beaux-Arts-style building, the train shed is a designated heritage structure on a national historic site, so the architects worked closely with Parks Canada during the design stages, ensuring preservation of the heritage character.

While most of the seven-acre train shed roof will be refurbished, the central portion will be removed and replaced with a new glass atrium to celebrate the station. The glass jewel box will float over the tracks, providing daylight at platform level and a visual connection from the station to the waterfront. Midway in this overlap, delicate curtains of clear glass louvres will be suspended from the roof on a light network of steel tubes and cables to repel penetration by rain and snow while naturally ventilating the train shed. The view of the roof, visible from offices and other tall buildings in the area, will be improved by the glass jewel and a green roof with photovoltaic (solar) cells. These changes will help reduce the heat-island effect that raises temperatures in urban areas, reduce the concentration of rainwater runoff, and generate electricity to offset the needs of the station. [1]


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


[1]       “GO Roof, Union Station.” Canadian Architect, November 30, 2012. https://www.canadianarchitect.com/go-roof-union-station/.

Additional information:

Furuto, Alison. “Toronto Union Station: Go Transit Roof Proposal / Zeidler Partnership Architects.” ArchDaily. ArchDaily, March 15, 2013. https://www.archdaily.com/342301/toronto-union-station-go-transit-roof-proposal-zeidler-partnership-architects.

“Gallery of Toronto Union Station: Go Transit Roof Proposal / Zeidler Partnership Architects – 12.” ArchDaily. Accessed August 16, 2021. https://www.archdaily.com/342301/toronto-union-station-go-transit-roof-proposal-zeidler-partnership-architects/513b7303b3fc4b8d7200002f-toronto-union-station-go-transit-roof-proposal-zeidler-partnership-architects-image?next_project=no.

Gee, Marcus. “Raise the Roof? Union STATION Reno Runs into Problem: New Trains Won’t Fit.” The Globe and Mail, January 29, 2016. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/union-station-shed-renovation-stalled-by-low-arches-and-an-electrified-future/article28448568/.

“GO Transit: Regional Public Transit Service for the GTHA.” GO Transit | Regional Public Transit Service for the GTHA. Accessed August 16, 2021. https://www.gotransit.com/.

“Raise the Roof or Lower the Rails? Union Station’s Go Platform RENO Needs a Re-Think | CBC News.” CBCnews. CBC/Radio Canada, January 30, 2016. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/union-go-platform-design-rethink-1.3426236.

“Toronto’s Union Station Prepares for New Work on Major Section.” Metrolinx News, September 30, 2020. https://blog.metrolinx.com/2020/10/01/torontos-union-station-prepares-for-new-work-on-major-section/.

“Union Station Redevelopment.” Walters Group, n.d. https://www.waltersgroupinc.com/project/union-station/.

“Union Station Train SHED Renewal Project.” EXP, September 1, 2020. https://www.exp.com/project/union-station-train-shed-renewal-project/.

“Union Station Train SHED REVITALIZATION.” Zeidler, February 27, 2020. https://zeidler.com/projects/union-station-train-shed-revitalization/.

“Union Station: Where Toronto Is Going.” Union, May 22, 2019. https://torontounion.ca/.

Project Title: Union Station Train Shed Revitalization
Artists: Zeidler Partnership Architects
Year: 2015

Place: Toronto, Ontario

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