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Union Station Trainshed

Union Station Trainshed – Heritage Conservation


To support the GO Expansion Program, Metrolinx has identified infrastructure required in the Union Station trainshed. This includes changes to tracks and platforms, stairs and elevators, the addition of the overhead catenary for electrification of the rail network, and modifications to the Head House South Wall and York Street Bridge.

These changes will expand on the long list of improvements made to the Union Station Complex in recent years, and will ensure the trainshed can accommodate planned GO rail service increases and also improve the customer experience.

The Union Station Complex, including the trainshed, is a National Historic Site, has been designated under Part IV and V by the City of Toronto (Ontario Heritage Act) and has been identified by Metrolinx as a provincial heritage property of provincial significance. See Metrolinx’s Statement of Cultural Heritage Value for the Union Station Complex.

The proposed changes to the Union Station Trainshed are reviewed by Parks Canada and the City of Toronto under the Collateral Agreement which forms part of the Heritage Easement Agreements and by the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries under the Standards and Guidelines for Conservation of Provincial Heritage Properties.

  • These standards and guidelines set out the criteria and process for identifying provincial heritage properties and set the standards for their protection, maintenance, use and disposal.
  • The Standards and Guidelines require all provincial ministries and prescribed public bodies to identify, protect and care for provincial heritage properties they own and manage. More information is available at the Ministry’s website here.

The proposed changes to the Union Station Trainshed are being addressed in a Minister’s Consent Application.
Read more about the process including the scope and proposed mitigation measures.

As part of the 2017 GO Rail Network Electrification TPAP, Metrolinx prepared a Heritage Impact Assessment for the installation of electrification infrastructure within the historic trainshed. Achieving the necessary clearance with the roof was a key consideration and the proposed design of the overhead catenary is accommodated in the existing structure without proposing changes to the height of the trainshed roof.

As GO Expansion continues, Metrolinx has an important obligation to conserve the heritage attributes of Union Station’s trainshed. A 2017 Heritage Impact Assessment report has been undertaken and a Strategic Conservation Plan is being developed to provide guidance on the conservation, maintenance and uses. Read more about the Strategic Conservation Plan.

Similarly, for platforms 20 and 21, a separate Minister’s Consent Package (MCP) is being prepared for review by the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. This MCP will identify impacts and mitigation measures for three heritage elevator enclosures being converted to stairs for improved access between the concourses and the platform level. While no heritage elevator equipment remains within the enclosures, the heritage enclosures themselves will be retained and restored for use as stair enclosures, with this construction work starting in early 2021. Read more about platforms 20 and 21.

Project Status

Round 3 of public consultation for the GO Expansion Program was held online from November 27 to December 11, 2020. To view the materials from the third round of consultation, click here.

Please refer to the Heritage Conservation handout presented during the first round of public consultation for the GO Expansion program in February 2020.

To learn about other improvements in the Union Station trainshed click to view the Metrolinx News articles below:

To learn about the current construction status in the passenger concourses and in the rail corridor view the Union Station website here.