In order to keep up with record growth in Toronto, we're investing in the grid in all areas of the city. To help address our densely populated downtown core, we've opened Copeland Station, only the second underground transformer station of its kind in Canada.
What is Copeland Station?
Copeland Station is our newest transformer station located in the heart of downtown Toronto. It's the first transformer station to be built in the downtown core since the 1950s.
Located at the corner of Bremner Boulevard and Rees Street, beside the historic Roundhouse building, Copeland Station will power major Toronto institutions in the downtown core. It will also connect to new infrastructure along Queens Quay which is being revitalized as part of Waterfront Toronto’s vision.
Why was Copeland Station built?
Given unprecedented urban growth, we estimated that our existing downtown transformer stations would not be able to handle anticipated load increases in the coming years.
As a result, we built Copeland Station to add much-needed additional capacity to the grid — the station adds a total of 144 mega volt amps (MVA) of additional capacity, which is the equivalent of approximately 70 condo towers. A second phase of the project is expected to add even further capacity to the grid.
The construction of Copeland Station will also provide load relief for our existing downtown transformer stations. This will help us upgrade and refurbish these stations while maintaining the electrical supply to customers in the downtown core.
Overall, Copeland Station will help serve the future energy needs of the community and provide reliable power to homes and businesses for years to come.
How was Copeland Station constructed?
In Toronto, new building space is limited. To help solve this challenge, we selected an innovative underground design for Copeland Station to help preserve the valuable green space above ground. Housing our equipment underground reduces the station’s overall footprint and allows it to blend in with the existing area.
The construction of Copeland Station was done in stages, starting with the careful, brick-by-brick dismantling of the historic Machine Shop, which is part of the Roundhouse building. We've since reconstructed the building under the watch of heritage experts.
A 600-metre long tunnel located 100 feet below street level connects Copeland Station with Hydro One equipment located at Lower Simcoe and Front streets. Large cables carrying high-voltage electricity run through the tunnel and power the station.
- Copeland Station is named in tribute of Clare R. Copeland, who served as chair of Toronto Hydro's Board of Directors from 1999–2013
- The roof of the station supports the weight of the rebuilt Machine Shop, as well as a driveway that carries full-size water tankers to the adjacent Steam Whistle Brewing
- Being located three storeys below ground and very close to Lake Ontario, the station has been built with special flood protection
- A parkette is being built on top of the station, which features distinctive nods to the area’s railway past, as well as corten steel panels to help it blend in with the heritage feel of the location, while disguising the station below
- For the green space surrounding the Roundhouse and above the station, there are plans to landscape the area with seating areas and special features that reflect the railway history of the site