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Lightemotion Makes Toronto’s New Union Station Food Hall Shine

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L ightemotion has quite literally reinvented the food hall’s lighting using indirect, adjustable mood lighting. The atmosphere created by Lightemotion promotes well-being and relaxation in a new era for food at Union Station, Toronto’s rail transit hub.

This immense achievement—reinventing the food court’s atmosphere—is the result of over four years of research and hard work. Lightemotion wholeheartedly took up the challenge along with its partners to make the Union Station Food Hall, in the heart of Toronto, shine. The lighting design was well integrated in the architectural and interior design of Partisan (who designed the pods) Dialog Architec and GH+A design. Although it is an underground space, you quickly forget the hustle and bustle of a busy transit hub where every minute counts, and commuters are in a rush to do everything, except take a break.

The concept of a changing atmosphere

Adorned with warm, energizing, clean light in the mornings when the first commuters arrive, come the evening Lightemotion’s concept transforms the space into an inviting haven to all users and commuters.


With this clever, multi-atmosphere system, Lightemotion ensured that the lighting could be adjusted according to the moment and the time of day. For Osmington, tenant and operator of the new space, the creative team conceived a lighting design that is a brilliant reflection of an ambitious mandate—to make the food court a place to be, where everyone will feel good. The system can make subtle lighting changes that give the space the atmosphere of a café during the morning, a trendy snack bar during the day, and a more elegant bar or restaurant in the evening.

Putting the focus on light

The light sources are embedded in soothing, white PODS (pressurized ocular diffuser system) made from glass fibre reinforced gypsum, inside each of which, just like an oyster’s pearl, is a bulb that provides indirect, warm, adjustable light that changes tone according to the time of day and can be adapted based on events taking place.

“We are very proud to have created an atmosphere that so effectively fosters well-being”, said Lightemotion’s president, François Roupinian. Our approach makes light the focal point, subtly punctuating the space and thereby avoiding the uniform, uninspiring effect that is so often apparent in traditional food halls.”   

The Union Station Food Hall opened on November 26, 2018. The next phase of the project, in which Lightemotion is also involved, is the Fresh Market and the common areas, which are scheduled to open soon. 

About Lightemotion

In just over 15 years, Lightemotion has designed lighting solutions for over 200 projects in every corner of the globe. Founded in 2002 by François Roupinian, today Lightemotion is a key Canadian contributor in showcasing Quebec’s creativity across the world.