Union Station Enhancement Project crane building

Things are looking up at Union Station

The first of two cranes installed in Union Station rail corridor to support station improvements.

May 25, 2023

Work continues on the Union Station Enhancement Project at Toronto’s iconic transit hub.

Once complete, GO Transit customers will enjoy a new concourse that will seamlessly connect Bay and York Streets, provide wider platforms and more convenient access to and from the concourse levels. These improvements will allow for increased service levels across the network as trains move through the station more efficiently.

Work to construct the new south passenger concourse is happening in an area only 30 meters wide between Bay and York Street, located in one of the busiest passenger rail corridors in the country.

To support construction and allow for material to be transported within the small site, two large cranes need to be installed within the Union Station Rail Corridor.

The first crane was trucked to site and installed in mid-April, on the west side of the project site – take a look

A lot of preparatory work was done before the crane could be installed – starting with ensuring a solid foundation.

Crews first dug down, and then began constructing an engineered crane pad in stages. At the end of each backfilling stage, a soil compaction test was done to ensure the ground below could support the weight of the crane.

A 300-tonne mobile crane was brought to site to begin installing sections of the west crane known as the mast.

After the crane was assembled, load testing was completed, which involves lifting increasingly heavy weights. The crane was then inspected and commissioned – which is critical to ensuring safety onsite.

Both cranes will also have swing limiters, to ensure they only lift within the designated construction area.

Union Station Enhancement Project crane building

Crane Specs

  • These cranes can reach up to 60m (that’s the length of 2 basketball courts) and can lift 24,000 kg or 12 MINI Coopers
  • Can lift from zero to almost a 90-degree angle, which allows for maximum maneuverability in such a tight space

What’s next at Union Station?

In the coming weeks, the second crane will be installed on the east side of the site.

Demolition and excavation work – which has been ongoing since last fall – will wrap up in the coming weeks as well. This work was being done to remove the older GO platforms on the south side of Union Station, and to dig out space for the new south GO concourse. Concrete work on this new passenger area is the next step.

This is all part of building the Union Station of tomorrow, while respecting the heritage of the past. It’s heart of the GO network, connecting Toronto to every part of the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

For more information on the Union Station Enhancement Project, please visit metrolinx.com/unionstation and follow @GOExpansion on Twitter and Instagram.

by Jocelyn Stenner Metrolinx capital communications senior advisor