Innovative canopy lift at Eglinton GO takes project to new heights

New video shows first time a pre-built platform canopy getting hoisted into place at GO station.

On a Friday night in September, an empty platform at Eglinton GO Station was transformed.

The east Toronto station saw an innovative construction technique used by its contractor – Kenaidan Contracting Ltd. – to install a canopy structure over the station’s south platform over the course of 24 hours.

This technique involved the approximately 130-metre-long canopy being built in a staging area away from the tracks, then lifted about 12 metres in the air by a crane and lowered into place above the station’s south platform.

The canopy was built in segments and then lifted and lowered into position on the platform. (Metrolinx photo)

It’s the first time this method has been used on a GO Expansion project.

Thanks to this innovative method, Metrolinx was able to avoid potential service impacts at the station, which would have been unavoidable had the new canopy been built on the platform.  

So, how did the canopy hoist work?

The plan went something like this:

The canopy structure was divided into four sections, with the longest being about 36 metres.

Each of these four sections were built in the staging area on temporary concrete bases.

When the segments were complete, a specially-designed lifting cradle and rigging apparatus was used to lift the canopy pieces into place, with the heaviest lift coming in at almost 45 tonnes – that’s about the same weight as approximately 55 moose.

To safely hoist each segment, a team of engineers developed lifting plans and the lifts were modelled structurally to ensure safe hoisting of the sections.

What comes next?

Work on the current accessibility upgrades project at Eglinton GO will continue as planned, and in the coming months, the same construction maneuver will be completed on the station’s north platform.

In the same way, the north platform canopy is currently being prefabricated and will be hoisted from the south staging area all the way over to the north platform in the coming months.

One of the main differences in this second process is that an even larger crane will be used to transport the canopy across the three tracks.

The brand new platform canopy in place. (Metrolinx photo)

Work continues at Eglinton GO Station

The work currently underway at Eglinton GO will provide improved customer amenities and better accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities.

These upgrades include:

  • Four new elevators and stairwells on the existing two side platforms
  • Construction of elevators and stairwells for connections to the two previously-installed pedestrian tunnels under the rail tracks
  • Mechanical and electrical rooms for supporting the new infrastructure
  • Mini-platforms to enable boarding and exiting of the train accessibility coaches; accessible route canopies (from elevators to mini-platforms); digital signage and tactile edge tiles on the platforms
  • Heated ramps to the north platform on the west side and to the east tunnel on the east side
  • North vestibule to the east tunnel with seating, automated fare purchase and digital signage
  • Rehabilitation of the pick-up and drop-off area
  • Required shelter relocations, platform widening, and repairs as required to implement above scope elements on the platforms

Work began in 2021 and the station will remain fully operational for the duration of the work.

The canopy hoist is just one way that the work is being carried out to avoid major disruptions to customers and the community.

To stay up to date on the project, follow @GOExpansion on Twitter, or subscribe to the newsletter.

Story by Rosie Hales-Wilson, Metrolinx communications senior advisor