As the City of Toronto expands its transportation lines to accommodate new population growth, the planning began for a new inter-regional bus-to-subway transfer point at Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, Canada’s largest urban mixed-use development.

Project Essentials

  • LocationToronto, ON
  • ClientDiamond Schmitt Architects
  • ArchitectDiamond Schmitt Architects
  • Size40,000 ft2 (roof), 10,000 ft2 (pavilion)

The single-storey structure incorporates interior retail space and two exterior wings. It is shaped like an extended horseshoe to ensure seamless wayfinding from the pedestrian entry and plaza.

Fast + Epp was engaged to design the new bus terminal’s mass timber and steel structure. The firm was one of the first in Western Canada to pioneer iconic transportation stations and canopies using heavy timber or hybrid materials, recognizing the materials’ aesthetic and durability potential.

For this project, an exposed heavy-timber structural solution seemed the most logical fit: it created a warm, inviting environment and was a sustainable building material with a low carbon footprint. Steel framing for the roof ensured durability and strength, and allowed the structure to slope upwards to create a large glazed façade at the main entrance. Glass windscreens and warming shelters at the platforms shelter pedestrians from the elements, yet still promote security, transparency and accessibility on all sides.