The Brief

Accessible transportation tees entire communities up for success. We worked alongside Metrolinx to bring greater accessibility to its incredibly busy Lakeshore West commuter train line.

Project Overview

Inclusive designs foster accessible communities

Vibrant communities are inclusive communities. They break down barriers, and build up accessibility. When Metrolinx brought our team on board to guide accessibility improvements for GO Transit’s Lakeshore West Line, we knew this was a meaningful opportunity to help create a more inclusive commuter experience for all.

Evolving yesterday’s facilities to meet today’s demands begins with understanding. You need a clear sense of how people interact with an existing space, and the nuances of its use, to create the kind of solutions that will foster positive change. Millions of people use the Lakeshore West train line every year. As we set out to design barrier-free accessibility improvements for the line’s existing commuter train stations, we sought to understand key pain points. Then, we reverse engineered solutions back to those specific trouble spots.

What did this work entail? Our team carried out the preliminary and detailed designs for a new pedestrian tunnel, additional platforms with stair enclosures, and four electric elevators to provide foster accessibility at the Appleby GO Transit station, in Burlington.

At the same time, we worked to extend and rehabilitate existing platforms to accommodate 12-car commuter trains. This included incorporating an innovative hydronic environmental system to provide radiant heating, capable of keeping snow accumulation at bay over the winter months.

Like any project involving transportation channels, this engagement pushed us to navigate tricky complexities. Case in point: we had to ensure freight and commuter rail service could continue throughout the construction phase. By supporting construction with temporary shoring to carry rail traffic, and installing the pre-case tunnel on weekends, we were able to keep everyone—and everything—moving.

From those comprehensive designs right through to preparing and administering construction contracts, and providing full-time site review services: we brought this award-winning project to life on time, and on budget. But the true stand-out story is the lasting impact our designs have had on the community itself. The Lakeshore West line is one of the busiest in the country. Now, it’s also one of the more accessible. This is how you build inclusive communities and commuting, one accessible design at a time.