The highly-contemporary new Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Subway Station is truly an artistic jewel on Toronto Transit Commission’s (TTC) Spadina Subway Extension. One of six new facilities on the route, the station offers intermodal transit services and rapid subway connection to downtown Toronto.


The curvilinear design of the main entrance pavilion creates a futuristic appearance for the structure. The design offers a column-free interior environment with high ceilings and bright open spaces that allow daylight to penetrate deeply into the station.


More than 1,000 uniquely tapered panels were fabricated by RHEINZINK distributor Agway Metals, Inc. at its Exeter, Ontario facility. “No two panels are alike,” said Paul MacGregor, estimator. “Each panel had an individual taper and length. We fabricated the panels using our CNC turret which was key to achieving the exact taper for each panel right down to the millimeter.”


Providing precise panel specifications to Agway Metals by the installer Bothwell-Accurate, Mississauga, Ontario, was obviously critical. It was a demanding process, according to Trevor McGrath, Bothwell’s estimating manager for cladding. “We used a 3D scanner on the roof structure and then utilized Radius Track Corporation to design the curved framing system that went on top of the roof structure,” McGrath said. “The RHEINZINK panels were then applied on that. Radius Track confirmed the skin model of the 3D structure for us and then computer- flattened it so that we could begin doing sheet design and layout. The flattened model gave us critical dimensions regarding panel lengths and widths.”


The RHEINZINK panels were in 10’ and 12’ lengths and were curved on-site by Bothwell-Accurate using Agway’s Schlebach machine. “We did a sheet stagger at the beginning of the installation with the two panel lengths which then allowed us to stagger all of the joints which is recommended,” according to McGrath.


Bothwell-Accurate has considerable experience in installing zinc. “We’re very familiar with how to form and work with the natural metal,” McGrath said. “The architects wanted an ‘old school’ appearance with hammered seams and the manner in which the flashings and counter-flashings were done. There was a painstaking amount of detailing done around the 46 skylights in the roof. Each one required custom attention. We had productions crews on the job getting the panels down and then finishing crews crafting the detail work.”


Design for the station was a collaboration of Grimshaw Architects (Design Architect) and Adamson Associates Architects (Architect of Record) in conjunction with ARUP Canada.   


The domed entrance pavilion integrates a mirrored ceiling art installation by Paul Raff Studio, which captures the drama of moving passengers and changing light conditions. As well as encouraging greater use of public transportation, the station creates an enjoyable pedestrian experience with accessible paths, intuitive wayfinding for onward travel and efficient transfers between modes of transportation.


The Vaughan Metropolitan Centre is a robust, elegant interchange. According to Juan Porral, partner at Grimshaw Architects, “We are always looking for opportunity to create high quality places with real character. By elevating a functional building to something artful and full of life that people will remember and enjoy, we can have a greater impact on urban space and user experience.”