For the most part, GO Transit is just a way to get around the Greater Toronto Area, but an Ontario teenager has taken his love of the Metrolinx regional transit system to the next level, building a tribute touching her grandfather, a bus driver who died entirely from LEGO.
Ethan Thompson, a 19-year-old from the Niagara region, built an elaborate LEGO bus station in memory of his grandfather Garnett ‘Garney’ Thompson’s illustrious career on the road, driving buses for the TTC, Gray Coach, GO Transit and Metrolinx for 41 years before passing away in 2016.
The model does not represent a specific station. Instead, Thompson took a hybrid approach, blending features from Aldershot, Burlington and Oshawa GO stations to create a custom station with all of the familiar network features.
It’s the amount of detail that really takes this LEGO model to the next level, with Thompson carefully studying the photos for weeks to make sure everything was perfect down to the most minor elements.
This level of detail ranges from the most important features of stations like bus shelters, textured yellow safety strips, and PRESTO machines to detail, with touches like destinations on electronic bus signs and bus timetables adding details. details.
A figure stands out from the pack of dozens of little LEGO people who crowd around this adorable terminal. A gray-haired person waiting for passengers next to a GO bus is a portrayal of Garnett Thompson, a personal Easter egg memorial added by the younger Thompson.
Some work was contracted out, with Thompson enlisting his father to help him design the graphics and signage on a computer, print and glue them to the LEGO parts, and bring the GO brand to life.
Thompson put hundreds of hours of work into creating his custom GO Station, requiring tens of thousands of LEGO parts and likely encountering more than a few frustrating mistakes along the way.
Current GO bus driver and friend of “Garney” Thompson, Bob Lanigan, has been a big supporter of Ethan Thompson, acting as a design consultant throughout the process.
Lanigan also urged Thompson to launch his LEGO model at the Hamilton GO Bus garage this summer, where it received an overwhelmingly positive reception. In a blog post covering the LEGO creation, Thompson told Metrolinx how “people have been blown away by the realism of the buses.”
Thompson has even bigger visions on the horizon, already building a LEGO version of the recently opened Union Station bus station, which is expected to take a few weeks between design and construction.