The Toronto Union Station is a grand monument to the age of railroad travel, which continues to serve as a major transportation hub both for local commuting lines and international inter-city travel. Located in Toronto city center, the railroad station was designed by Ross & Macdonald, a Montreal architecture firm with connections to Carrière and Hastings. Construction commenced in 1914 and the station was officially opened in 1927. Incorporated into the Beaux-Arts building are barrel vault ceilings by the Guastavino Company, including the coffered vault of the “Great Hall,” which measures 250 feet long by 84 feet wide and rises 88 feet above the floor at its apex. In 2009, the City of Toronto began a wide-reaching revitalization project that includes improvements to the railroad services, pedestrian traffic and retail facilities in the building.
Working with NORR and the Montreal-based architecture firm of Fournier, Gersovitz & Moss Architectes Associés, Derek Trelstad of Robert Silman Associates, Eric Jokinen of Jokinen Engineering Services and Kent Diebolt of Vertical Access were on-site in November 2010 for a close-up examination of a section of the Guastavino barrel vault in the Great Hall. The team examined the coffered face of the ceiling as well as the barrel vault exposed in the attic of the structure. The purpose of the investigation was to better understand the construction of the barrel vault and identify any fault patterns and conditions, at the small representative area, that should be planned for as part of the station revitalization.
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