Toronto is the financial capital of Canada, a cultural hub and home to nearly 6 million people and as of June 6th, has finally addressed the need for an air-rail link between Canada’s two busiest hubs: Union Station and Toronto Pearson Airport.
The Union Pearson (or UP) Express, complete with slick way finding, retro-modern visual identity and handsome high speed trains, will travel from Pearson to downtown Toronto in 25 minutes, every 15 minutes. With brief stops at Bloor/Dundas and Weston, riders will find convenient connections to other parts of the city. Tyler Brule's Winkreative, has deftly handled the entirety of the project’s creative such as train livery, uniforms, signage, interiors and creative oversight of the architecture of the four stations along the route. Each designed to combine warmth with modernity by using steel, concrete, glass and, most attractively, plenty of handsome Canadian timber offering a truly Canadian welcome.
As part of the initial communications strategy, Winkreative art directed a short animated film that introduced the service to the public. Animated and produced by Toronto-based animation studio Guru, and featuring illustrations by Finnish illustrator Lotta Nieminen, the clip blends in with the look and colour palette which was inspired the Canadian shield’s rich earthy hue’s.
The UP Express aims to provide guests with "an effortless travel experience", as it cuts through passages of the city never seen before as well as soaring 28-metres above the highway on an elevated spur track. Complementing the design, UP looks to offer concierge-like attention to guests' needs at a level of hospitality rare in travel today. A thoughtful curation of retail offerings is highlighted with partnerships with the Drake General Store (a Toronto-based lifestyle brand that reimagines the hotel gift shop while capturing inspiration from the classic general store. a cultural crossroad for art, design, fashion + lifestyle) as well as local favourite, Balzac’s Coffee Roasters (Artisanal, Sustainable, Local and Natural are the four cornerstones of Balzac’s approach). Both provide a unique shopping experience both within UP Express Union Station. Brule describes the UP experience as "the first and last mile of your journey".