York University Subway Station

Subway Station building image

  • Client

    Toronto Transit Commission ("TTC")

  • Region

    Central Canada

  • City

    Central Canada

  • Year Completed


  • Size

    100,000 sq.ft.

  • Sector


  • Sub-Sector

    Transit & Transportation

The Story

The TTC - York University Subway Station project involved the construction of a new underground subway station with the ability to accommodate approximately 40,000 customers a day and was constructed as part of the Toronto York Spadina Subway Extension (“TYSSE”) project which included six stations along a new 8.6 km subway alignment. In addition, the facility also serves local bus routes which circulate within York University and the greater TTC network. The multi-disciplinary project replaced bus service in the main area, and provides pedestrian access, both for existing and future facilities on campus.


The majority of the underground station elements were constructed with reinforced concrete and structural steel. The main station concourse roof slab was cast in a waffle shape pattern and is supported at nine locations by a pair of 4 m long steel V-columns encased in concrete; each weighing more than 100,000 kgs. Further, all the glazing on the structure is bird-friendly fritted glass in painted steel curtain wall framing.


Once the structural foundations were complete, utilities were relocated, and the new station was connected to site services. EllisDon also constructed a skylight “lightwell” in the station entrance which provides increased natural light within the station. In addition, permeable concrete pavers were installed to construct a drainage system under the station that diverts storm water below ground as opposed to creating surface runoff.


Additional environmental initiatives that were incorporated include energy-efficient lighting and Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning (“HVAC”) systems, water-efficient plumbing fixtures, and green roof landscaping. The metal roof over the upper concourse and entrances in the common area is considered a “cool roof” due to its high solar reflectance with each custom-made, unique aluminum roof panel constructed based on a 3D model, then carefully installed in a specified order. An emergency exit building was also constructed, as well as a secure bicycle storage area that adopted similar green roofs and are clad in opaque glass panels.


In addition to the landscaped green roof, soft landscaping was also incorporated throughout the exterior of the station, as well as other auxiliary buildings. In all areas, the landscaping constructed was primarily hardy and low maintenance for durability within the local environment.

Notable Achievements:

  • Designed to comply with Toronto Green Standard
  • Featured in UrbanToronto’s 15 Most Influential Buildings of the 2010’s
  • Material Development and Innovation, Ontario Concrete Awards, 2017
  • Structural Design Innovation, Ontario Concrete Awards, 2017
  • Architectural Merit, Ontario Concrete Awards, 2017