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Union Station Enhancement Project - Enabling, Early Works, and Heritage Restoration


The Union Station Enhancement Project (USEP) involves the enhancement and expansion of Union Station to accommodate more frequent (and higher speed) train service, increased passenger demand levels, and the electrification of the Metrolinx rail network throughout the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.

Smith + Andersen was engaged as mechanical and electrical design consultants for the enabling, early works, and heritage restoration portion of USEP. The project was completed through a Design-Bid-Build (DBB) approach.

As part of the main DBB work, the USEP included an upgrade to the existing low-voltage systems within the trainshed (public address, CCTV, and PINS digital signage), as well as added WiFi and infrastructure for future distributed antenna systems (providing better cellular signal quality). Electrical rooms and electrical distribution equipment capacities were upgraded to support the low voltage system upgrades and additions.

The project included the completion of previously procured platform lighting, the installation of feature LED lighting within the atrium glass box, platform LED lighting upgrades (under the atrium glass box and near vertical access elements), and lighting control upgrades. Designs for fire alarm and life safety upgrades were also included.

To minimize clutter within the trainshed (historically designated), a custom low-voltage wireway ""spine"" was employed to consolidate devices (speakers, microphones, cameras, digital signage, wireless access points, media converters, power supplies, lighting, and static signage) above platforms, as well as the wiring and cabling supporting these devices.

Train signal head masts and track sensors were deployed within the station to support train movements and facilitate clearances required for electrified trains, powered by a 25 kV overhead catenary system (OCS). Grounding and bonding provisions were installed for faults that could occur should the OCS wire detach and make contact with the trainshed or objects within its vicinity. Normal, emergency, and UPS power distribution systems were upgraded to support the station infrastructure.

Mechanical cooling was added to support electrical and communication room equipment upgrades. A building automation system was completed to facilitate atrium ventilation. Additional mechanical design work focussed on facilitating the low-voltage, electrical, architectural, and structural scope.

The main DBB work also included City of Toronto State-of-Good Repair upgrades to the station, including platform edge reconstruction, and edge tile installation, the rehabilitation of customer waiting areas, leak repair, elevator enclosure upgrades, miscellaneous lighting maintenance work, and mechanical and electrical re-work to facilitate architectural and structural repairs.

The project was constructed within the fully-operational Union Station Rail Corridor (USRC), with limited work windows (including day, afternoon, and night shifts). The project required extensive coordination with the $850-million City of Toronto Union Station Revitalization Project constructed simultaneously in the concourses serving the Union Station Trainshed.

Additionally, the project required extensive coordination with the neighbouring 81-141 Bay Street development, which includes an overbuild bridge that spans the USRC directly east of the existing Union Station Trainshed. Coordination with GO Transit was required to facilitate widespread track protection, and coordination with adjacent land owners was also required. Metrolinx Design Excellence requirements were an important factor in working towards the final design for the project.


Toronto, Ontario

Gross Floor Area

  • 500,000 sq ft

Total Construction Cost

$ 92,000,000

Completion Year