The Pickering pedestrian bridge is shown lit up in blue at night, as it stands over busy Hwy. 401.

“Lit” Pickering bridge earns urban design award

The pedestrian span has become an important landmark for the community and region. Now it’s being acknowledged for its unique construction.

Most bridges go from over there to over here.

But a few cross boundaries and lead to pretty amazing places.

Every year, the City of Pickering presents Civic Awards to members of the community who have exemplified outstanding service and achievements. This year the selection committee named Metrolinx as the recipient for the Urban Design Award, for our work on the Pickering Pedestrian Bridge.

The pedestrian bridge is seen looming over Hwy. 401 traffic during a daylight shot.
A mighty span – The Pickering GO station crossing has become an iconic structure in the region.

The formal award event was held on Monday, May 13, 2019, at the Pickering Civic Complex.

Though a remarkable honour, it really mirrors the reaction by Durham Region, which has embraced the span as an iconic local landmark.

An award medal is shown aroun the neck of a Metrolinx official.
The city of Pickering’s Urban Design Award.

“The Pickering Pedestrian Bridge has become our city’s defining landmark to hundreds of thousands of residents, visitors, and commuters,” said Dave Ryan, Mayor, City of Pickering.

He added, not only does the project boldly announce where Pickering is, the bridge serves as a key connection between the Pickering GO Station and office towers, Pickering Town Centre, the Durham College & Centennial College Joint Learning Centre, and a rapidly emerging downtown.

“Additionally, residents south of the 401 enjoy a renewed connection with the rest of our community, and visitors and commuters are welcomed in comfort,” said Mayor Ryan.

Trucks and cars drive under the bridge, in a photo taken from high above during the day.
Shot from above, the size and scope of the crossing becomes apparent.

Officially opened last September, the pedestrian bridge that crosses over busy Hwy. 401 from Pickering GO station, is an architectural wonder, with a unique metal exoskeleton and LED lighting system that’s similar to the one used on the CN Tower.

Those driving on the 14 lanes below, often use it to help mark their journeys.

One of the longest enclosed pedestrian bridges in the world, it attracts attention from designers globally.

“We knew from the start of this project that the bridge’s iconic design would get noticed,” said Peter Zuk, Chief Program Officer, Metrolinx. “But we’re grateful that locals and visitors – and now the City of Pickering with this award – have told us that it’s become a well-used fixture and place of pride.”

At night, the LED lighting system brightens both the interior and exterior. The light weight, aluminium Kalzip cladding’s energy efficient and weather resistant properties control solar heat and allow natural lighting to saturate the interior, ensuring users are never in the dark.

Though the bridge – day and night – just naturally seems to attract attention.

The image shows three Netrolinx officials, standing next to one another.
Attending the May 13 awards ceremony, from left, Peter Zuk, Metrolinx chief program officer, Bruce Sevier, senior manager, non-AFP early works and Laura Soderman, project coordinator, non-AFP early works.

To see more details on the Pickering Pedestrian Bridge click here.

Story by Stacey Kenny, Metrolinx senior advisor, communications and stakeholder relations.