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Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension, Toronto, Canada

Two iconic stations open as part of major 8.6km line extension

 The Vaughan Metropolitan Centre (VMC) and York University (YU) stations offer direct, rapid access to central Toronto. As part of the Toronto-York Spadina subway extension, the new stations represent the Toronto Transit Commission’s first subway expansion across the municipal boundary of Toronto into the 905 region.

Arup served as prime consultant for the two new stations, providing comprehensive multidisciplinary engineering and consulting services including civil, geotechnical, structural, facades, lighting, mechanical, electrical, communications, plumbing, fire, and sustainability. 

York University Station

Located at the centre of York University’s Keele Campus, the YU Station provides transportation to and from the campus for 40,000 daily commuters. This means the station displaces up to 1,600 busses serving the central campus each day — significantly reducing CO2 emissions, travel times, and traffic congestion.

In collaboration with Perkins + Will as well as Adamson Associates Architects, the swooping roof of the entrance building provides a focal point and bounds the east end of the Harry W. Arthurs Common. A terraced landscaped light scoop provides external views and draws daylighting into to the below-ground concourse. Integrated into the architecture is a dynamic LCD artwork by Jason Bruges Studio, which is activated by trains passing through the station.

The station is wedged tightly between two existing buildings, one requiring compensation grouting to control damage from tunnelling and excavation settlement. Arup’s global experience with excavations in soft ground produced options for excavation support and dewatering to overcome the challenges of water-bearing ground.

Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Station

VMC Station is a transportation hub providing 143,000ft2 of intermodal transit services, with direct connections to the Viva Bus Transitway and the York Region Transit bus terminal. The station was also designed with future-proofing measures in mind — VMC can connect directly to a possible northward extension of the line, as well as to new adjacent developments. Arup provided complex construction planning and staging solutions in 4D — ensuring the regional highway could operate throughout construction and assisting with tunnel boring machine extraction.

A collaboration with Grimshaw Architects and Adamson Associates Architects, the station’s entrance pavilion is formed like a curving shell, bringing light down to the concourse and platforms below. This domed entrance building integrates a mirrored ceiling art installation by Paul Raff Studio, which captures the drama of moving passengers and changing light conditions.

Sustainability initiatives at VMC include a cool roof for the entrance building with an X-bridge structure at street level to maximise natural light, as well as a green roof for the traction substation. Both stations exceed Canada’s National Energy Code requirements for energy performance by 40% and meet sustainability standards comparable to those required for LEED Silver certification. 

Vaughan Metro Centre subway station Vaughan Metro Centre subway station
Mirrored surfaces on the VMC Station ceiling enhance the lighting and add an element of movement.