The important transit station has undergone a historic transformation – we review the changes, from top to bottom. As well, check out the drone video.
Things sure have changed.
Including at Cooksville GO.
After about three years in the making to transform the Cooksville Station, GO customers can now brag about a new and improved Mississauga transit hub.
It officially opens today.
But there’s a lot happening beyond the obvious changes – including design elements protecting nearby neighbours from the glare of car lights and how the facility is watering plants in a smart way.
As one of the most popular and therefore congested stations on the Milton line, parking at the facility was becoming a growing challenge year over year. One of the first things customers may notice is the new, six-story parking garage, located northwest of the station.
“Our goal from day one has been to deliver a final product that will greatly enhance the transit experience for our customers,” said James Schick, Metrolinx project manager.
“We are absolutely delighted by the customer feedback we have received to date and are excited for customers to experience the new and improved Cooksville GO in its entirety – better connections, better access to transit, and more station amenities.”
The parking garage provides more than 750 new spots, bringing the total number of parking at the station to more than 2,500 spaces. Partially opened in 2018, the parking garage is now fully operational.
Accessible parking is available on the first and fourth floors. Repairs were also made to the surface level parking lots.
To get from the parking garage to the platform is a brief elevator ride or stair climb, followed by a quick jaunt over the new pedestrian bridge. Customers can also access a tunnel from the platform to the parking garage.
THE NEW STATION
A new station building adjacent to the parking garage offers ticket booths, PRESTO machines, seated waiting area, digital screens with electronic train and bus schedules, and restrooms. An underground tunnel in the station provides customers with a direct connection to the rail platform on the other side of the tracks.
Both the parking garage and GO station building area can be easily accessed by the new east pavilion, located a couple hundred metres from the station. Opened in September 2020, the building provides WiFi accessibility, and a waiting area with a view of the new passenger pick-up and drop-off. The secure bike storage will be opening soon. An underground tunnel at the main entrance connects customers to the rail platform on the other side of the tracks.
PLATFORMS AND LIGHTING
New platforms have been built with tactile yellow safety tiles, digital signs, canopied shelters to protect against weather and a snowmelt system for icy and snowy conditions. Bus platforms have been expanded with a new snow melt system, a new indoor waiting area at the bus loop was added, and eight new bus bays for GO and MiWay bus service were built.
The objective of the new parking structure design was to enhance both the urban realm and the customer experience. The design enhancements for the parking garage include a sculptural screen cladding system that adds a unique quality to what could have been a utilitarian structure.
When dark outside, lighting illuminates the screen system to enhance safety and brings an added element to the view of the parking garage
Here’s an interesting design addition – for the sake of surrounding residents, a thick mesh has been installed around the perimeter of the parking garage to diffuse the light of vehicle headlights entering and leaving the garage.
The striking entrance canopy at the station building is another unusual feature that also supports intuitive wayfinding. For customers approaching by car, bicycle, or on foot, the canopy is a landmark that helps people orient themselves and navigate their way to trains and buses.
Another key element to the project was to reduce the station’s overall environmental footprint.
The project is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certified. LEED is a green building certification program used worldwide and Silver is one of four levels of certification.
With environmental impact and green legacy is important to communities, the designation is more than just an acronym.
LEED features at Cooksville include using drought tolerant and native species for landscaping to reduce watering needs. In fact, no potable water irrigation is necessary after initial planting. This year, Metrolinx implemented a waste management plan that diverted 86 per cent of waste through a combination of recycling miscellaneous items and construction materials. Also, no CFC-based refrigerants are used in any of the HVAC equipment for the station.
Customers now have a direct connection from Hurontario Street to the station via the extension of John Street, creating a new traffic flow around the station for the surrounding community. Cooksville GO customers can conveniently transfer to two bus services (GO and MiWay). In the future, the station will connect to the Hurontario LRT route, with an estimated completion in fall 2024.
For more information on the Cooksville GO project, just click here.
Or on your way through the station, take a pause for a moment to see how much has changed over the past three years.
Story by Teresa Ko, Metrolinx senior advisor