The rebuilding of TTC's Union subway station has restricted traffic on Front Street for a few years now as the street has been ripped up to facilitate the rebuilding of the underground infrastructure. The street was also ripped up to allow a new pedestrian tunnel to be built for a new Northwest PATH extension to better connect an improved Union Station with more skyscrapers in Toronto's core.

With work on Union subway station moving into its later stages, the stretch of Front Street which runs between York and Yonge Streets is now being upgraded to improve both its functionality and its aesthetics. One of the main features of the revitalized Front Street will be coordinated paving patterns that enhance the area’s distinction as a major gateway to Toronto. Now the first major section of terra-cotta pigmented concrete paving was spotted by Forum contributor MetroMan on August 6th at the York Street end of the site.

Union Station revitalization, Front Street, TorontoNew terra-cotta hued concrete road surface on Front Street at York, image by MetroMan

In the time since, more paving has been installed, the bulk of which is now hidden under an obscuring tarp.

Union Station revitalization, Front Street, TorontoNew paving on Front Street at York, image by Jack Landau

Despite that, a small edge of the pigmented concrete was visible this morning peeking out from beneath the plastic, teasing any construction geeks who took the time to notice.

Union Station revitalization, Front Street, TorontoPigmented concrete paving on Front Street, image by Jack Landau

Halfway to Bay Street, construction equipment and materials have been cleared from Front Street in preparation for the installation of road surfaces.

Union Station revitalization, Front Street, TorontoFront Street awaiting paving between Bay and York, image by Jack Landau

A Toronto planning document from 2011 reveals the concept for patterned paving, depicted in the diagram below as a two-toned design. We have yet to confirm that this will be accomplished with different tones of pigmented concrete and/or if granite may be used as well, but we will be keeping an eye on the road paving process for updates.

Union Station revitalization, Front Street, TorontoDiagram of the revitalized Front Street

New concrete pavers have also arrived on site, and sidewalk installation is now under way.

Union Station revitalization, Front Street, TorontoSidewalk pavers in front of Union Station, image by Jack Landau

Along with expansion of the subway station itself, construction activity on Front Street has involved extensive below-grade service infrastructure work, including hydro conduits, gas lines, sewers, and water mains. There is much more at play here than a simple repaving of the road and sidewalks.

Union Station revitalization, Front Street, TorontoDiagram of below grade infrastructure on Front Street between York and Bay

We will return to Union Station in the near future to provide updates on the progression of Front Street's resurfacing. In the meantime, additional information and renderings of the Union Station Revitalization and Union Subway Station second platform expansion and the can be found in our project dataBase files, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum threads, or leave a comment in the space provided at the bottom of this page.