With a new train taking travellers from Toronto Pearson International Airport to Union Station downtown, Metrolinx had an ambition and opportunity to help create a better-connected Toronto. To make sure the UP Express train service realised its potential, they needed a brand and experience that could offer a warm Canadian welcome to its guests.
To elevate the guest experience in a way that felt natural, we needed to instil a sense of place – and we shaped the brand to allow the spirit of Toronto to shine through every element, from strategy and behaviours to uniform design. The UP train livery, interiors and station architecture were designed to reflect the colours and materials found in the Ontarian landscape. Rather than a traditional glass and steel structure, the use of wood throughout the station adds a feeling of warmth – vital in the Canadian winter.
Toronto is one of the most exciting cities in North America. We saw the opportunity to express its optimistic, cosmopolitan, welcoming spirit through this brand, and reinforce a sense of civic and provincial pride.
Tourists and residents were also able to connect with the brand through On the UP, a quarterly on-board magazine that presented the best of the Toronto and the Ontario region – championing local culture, businesses and community initiatives through in-depth features, seasonal highlights and original works of fiction.
With a brand bursting with optimism and a fresh, hospitality-focused approach to public transit, UP Express set out to make travel more enjoyable – and with thousands of guests still using the service every day, it’s an ambition they’re continuing to realise.