This installation was cancelled due to unforeseeable circumstances on-site and we apologize for any inconvenience.

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For more than 40 years, Canadian photojournalist, musician, and poet Larry Towell has documented states of transition around the globe. Long journeys to photograph conflict and contested regions are balanced by an expanding interest in local issues within his country. In 2013, Towell instigated a documentary project in Union Station, Canada’s busiest transportation hub, to chronicle the revitalization of the heritage building that was constructed almost a century ago. Over the last two years he has often returned to capture the station’s transformation and the historical shift in the infrastructure of travel by rail, where people make their way to destinations in Toronto and across Canada. Towell received permission to go behind the scenes while workers were excavating a new concourse, four metres down from the station’s existing floor. Up to 900 tonnes of earth were being removed by nearly 450 trucks nightly, and over 440 structural columns were being extended to expand the station’s depth. During the same time, the daily procession of trains persisted and a quarter of a million pedestrians passed safely overhead, largely unaware of the complex feat of engineering taking place beneath them.

Towell‘s installation at Union Station marks the first phase of an extensive, ongoing endeavour. Long sequences of large-format images, in black-and-white and colour, cover the expanse of construction hoarding in the station’s west wing. While many of the photographs reveal what the hoardings typically conceal, others capture the shifting public space, showing people in and around the station. From the expansive dig-down far below the building, to the historic Great Hall, Towell documents a fleeting yet significant moment of transition in the city’s history.

A Magnum photographer who has published 13 books, Towell was commissioned by Osmington (Union Station) Inc to photograph the station, with artistic freedom and unhindered access, as part of their vision to transform Union into a unique civic and cultural destination.

Presented in partnership with Osmington (Union Station) Inc.

Curated by Bonnie Rubenstein