Train Shed Roof Revitalization

The renovation of the train shed (the roof covering the platforms and tracks) is a major component of the Union Station renewal project. The objective is to renovate and restore the east and west portions of the shed totaling approximately 30,000 square metres (300,000 square feet) and to replace the central 5,000 square metres (50,000 square feet) of the train shed with a large glass atrium. The train shed is a designated heritage structure, so we worked with Parks Canada in the overall design, ensuring that the heritage character will be preserved.

The glass atrium will float over the tracks, providing daylight at platform level and a visual connection from the station to the waterfront. The view of the roof, which is visible from offices and other tall buildings in the area, will be improved by a green roof. These changes will help reduce the “heat island” effect that raises temperatures in urban areas and reduce the concentration of rainwater run-off.

The work is expected to take six years as the project will be done in phases to minimize disruption to daily train service. We will restore, repair and renovate all elements from the top of the roof down to track level, including:

  • Replacing the roofing material, improving drainage, and waterproofing
  • Cleaning and repairing the steel structure
  • Removal of tracks - two at a time - to enable construction and rebuilding the tracks at the end of each phase. Construction zones will be closed off to separate work areas them active passenger areas
  • Replacing the waterproof membrane at track level to prevent leakage to the concourses below
  • Replacing all of the old wiring and much of the public communications equipment including the loudspeakers, signs, and lights
  • Stair enclosures will be upgraded to glass structures, except at Platform 12/13 where heritage features will be carefully restored to original finish
  • Six new elevators will be installed on the west side of the shed once the new York Street GO Concourse is completed by the City of Toronto (City forecast is mid 2014)
  • An additional two elevators will be added on mid-east side of shed (City forecast 2014-2015)

CURRENT STATUS: October 2014

  • Tower crane removed to complete glass installation
  • Atrium glass installation is approximately 80 per cent complete
  • Platform 3 currently closed for revitalization related construction
  • All secondary steel (the framework for the glass atrium) has been installed


  • Construction Started: January 11, 2010
  • Phase One: Completed Spring 2013
  • Phase Two Target Completion Date: Fall 2014
  • Overall Target Completion Date: spring 2015 (atrium) and 2016 (renovation work)