The Pickering pedestrian bridge is shown lit up in blue at night, as it stands over busy Hwy. 401.

“Gateway to Durham Region” officially lights up the night sky

The pedestrian bridge at Pickering GO Station combines a vital link for customers with a landmark.

Sep 25, 2018

Metrolinx’s commitment to design excellence has cemented Durham Region as the home to a bridge unlike any other.

The Pickering Pedestrian Bridge is a massive structure. It is 250-metres long, spans 14 lanes of traffic and when it’s all lit up, it can be seen clearly from planes coming into Pearson Airport. The bridge also has a very distinct metal exoskeleton which combines with the LED lighting system to give the span an incredible incandescent glow.

At first glance, it almost looks like someone took the CN Tower and laid it on its side to span the entire 401. It’s no coincidence either. The bridge’s LED lighting system is similar to the one used on the famous Toronto landmark. It was designed intentionally to take advantage of the porous Kalzip (steel material usually used in roofing) material and give it that appealing glow. Just like the CN Tower, the bridge can transition between multiple colours.

All the innovative features of this bridge serve multiple functions. For example, the special metal exoskeleton gives the bridge its iconic form.  The “skin” also repels precipitation and regulates solar heat for pedestrian comfort, and corrosion resistance.

“The Kalzip exoskeleton is an integral part of what makes this a world-class piece of infrastructure,” said Bruce Sevier, Metrolinx Capital Projects Group Director. “Each individual panel is one-of-a-kind and carefully formed to the exact specifications that allow light in but keep the elements out.”

The bridge’s unique design is part of Metrolinx’s push towards design excellence. From its inception, the Pickering Pedestrian Bridge was seen as vital to getting customers to and from the GO station and a local landmark that could serve as the “Gateway to Durham Region”.


Instead of building an unimaginative concrete and steel bridge, Metrolinx says it is dedicated to long-term durability over short-term expediency, thereby reducing whole life costs.

“Metrolinx values design excellence,” said Sevier. “We want customers to take pride in their unique communities. This kind of infrastructure creates an important civic moment. It truly is a landmark.”

As a long time Durham-region resident, the impressive span holds a special place in Sevier’s heart. “This is something GTA residents and visitors alike will be proud to pass through for decades to come”.