Wayfinding Systems: Uniting Union Station

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Entro echoed the motif of the station’s pillars with sign modules installed upright at key decision points. Photo by Peter Saunders

From drawings to signs
Following the ultimate approvals, Entro’s drawings were put out for tendering by sign manufacturing companies. Five companies bid on the project and WSI Sign Systems in Bolton, Ont., was named the winner.

Since the tender, Entro’s work has mostly been a process of collaboration with the manufacturer. Prototypes were produced based on shop drawings, with WSI delivering a variety of sign packages to ensure the system met Union Station passengers’ needs. For example, the signs were tested on-site to ensure clear visibility.

“The concept is the same basic vision as we started with and hasn’t veered off much from the approvals,” says Aleks Bozovic, design director at Entro, “but along the way, there were many changes requested, which has meant a lot of juggling of final designs.”

(Also, as it happened, Entro’s hands-on approach to the project became a bit more convenient in 2013, when it moved from Parliament Street to new, larger offices on Harbour Square, just a short walk from Union Station.)

On to the next phase
The station’s York Street Concourse and Grand Hall, which represent approximately one-quarter of the overall revitalization project, opened to the public in early 2015 after nearly seven years of planning on Entro’s part.

In August, the next major phase began, with the station’s busy Bay Street Concourse closing after the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games for an anticipated two more years of renovations, during which time GO passengers will be rerouted through the York Concourse. Eventually, the Bay Concourse will reopen with nearly three times as much space for passengers to wait for their trains.

“We’ve passed our first major hurdle by installing signs in the York Concourse and major parts of the plaza,” says Bozovic. “We got them in before the Pan Am Games. They can now give the public an expectation of the rest of the program to come over the next two years.”

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With files from Entro, the city of Toronto, GO Transit, Metrolinx and the TTC. For more information, visit www.entro.com, www.toronto.ca, www.gotransit.com, www.metrolinx.com and www.ttc.ca.

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