Union Station Pedestrian Planning Study Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Union Station Render from MassMotion

Union Station is Toronto’s busiest transit facility, with current pedestrian volumes of over 30,000 individuals in the morning peak hour. The station is the main terminus for the GO regional rail system, a connection to the City of Toronto’s streetcar and subway networks, and a gateway to the PATH system of pedestrian tunnels beneath the downtown core.

The pedestrian activity is predicted to increase to over 70,000 people in the morning peak hour by 2021, and significant changes must be effected to this historic building to accommodate this level of traffic. Arup applied MassMotion to the problem of predicting the success of the proposed changes to the station with regard to efficient pedestrian movements.

The project started with a calibration exercise to capture an accurate profile of the behaviour of commuters at Union Station and finished with a full scale simulation of the busiest 15 minutes of the morning peak in 2021.

This work enabled us to assess the appropriateness of the proposed design for the station and advise the City of Toronto on the issues that will need to be resolved before construction begins. The MassMotion toolset with its accessible graphical output allowed us to successfully engage a variety of stakeholders in the project and allow our client to build consensus on the proposed changes.