Lawrence East is situated at Lawrence Avenue between Kennedy Road and Midland Avenue, in Scarborough. The station sits directly west of the Uxbridge Subdivision, owned by Metrolinx and served by the GO Stouffville Line (although GO trains do not stop). Lawrence Avenue passes over the station and both rail lines via a bridge. The station's only fare line and bus entrance are accessed via a service road looping under the western abutment of the road bridge. An outdoor pedestrian underpass owned by the TTC but physically separate from the rest of the station connects the main plaza north of the headhouse to a matching service road looping under the eastern bridge abutment.
The area within walking distance of the station is predominantly industrial, with few trip attractors aside from employment. However, the station is well-served by the 54 Lawrence East and 954 Lawrence East Express bus routes, which contribute heavily to the station's 2018 count of 8,000 daily weekday customers, and connect via a terminal within the fare paid area.
As with all Line 3 stations, Lawrence East features two side platforms, signed as "Southbound to Kennedy" and "Northbound to McCowan via Ellesmere" (these designations vary by station on Line 3). Both platforms sit at grade. An underpass within the paid zone connects the east (northbound) platform to the entrance and bus terminal on the west (southbound) side, with a staircase and an escalator at each end. Although the station is enclosed, the southbound platform includes a shelter at the south end to act as a windbreak, particularly in harsh winter weather. As Line 3 was built before the AODA came into force, Lawrence East was not built to be universally accessible; Line 3 is also expected to be replaced by an extension of Line 2, so the TTC has not retrofitted the station with elevators.
Lawrence East opened in 1985 and its design aesthetic, consistent with the rest of Line 3, is a product of its time. The platforms are enclosed by a flattened arch roof supported by steel bents. The flat portion of the roof, above the tracks, is solid, with the walls and curved upper corners composed of blue glazed glass and bare aluminum mullions. In terms of general appearance, Lawrence East is most similar to its neighbour to the north, Ellesmere, however the underpass between the platforms at Lawrence East is more spacious.