Earlier today, Deputy Mayor Pam McConnell unveiled the newly restored Union Station plaza clock, heralding the historic timepiece as "not only a piece of infrastructure," but also an icon of the vibrant public life the new plaza aims to bring to the Downtown core. With an outdoor food market and free TIFF screenings headlining a series of public events this summer, the Union Station plaza is transforming from a utilitarian commuter nexusa place to merely pass throughto a place to be.

Union Station Revitalization, Toronto by MetrolinxPam McConnell (centre), unveils the new clock, image by Jack Landau

Unveiling the clock, Councilor McConnell stressed the painstaking restoration work needed to return a piece of Toronto history to its former grandeur. Centuries of paint were carefully stripped away to reveal intricate detailing along the clock's base, while the internal mechanisms were updated, with new technologies installed.

Union Station Revitalization, Toronto by MetrolinxThe restored clock, with intricate detailing seen at the base, image by Jack Landau

Situated in the middle of the new plaza—directly in front of Union Station's exquisitely restored facade—the clock stands as a prominent symbol of the city, as Toronto gets set to welcome scores of visitors for the upcoming Pan Am games.  To visitors emerging into the metropolis from Union Station, the clock's new face serves as the face of an entire city. 

Union Station Revitalization, Toronto by MetrolinxA closeup of the restored clock face, image by Jack Landau

For residents and visitors alike, the new plaza—where the clock stands as a shining centerpiece—aims to cultivate better city living, where a commuter hub can become a social and cultural hub as well.

We will keep you updated as the transformation of Union Station continues, for a fuller look at the plaza in front of the station, and continuing over the next couple of years as significant interior work is still underway. In the meantime, information about the upcoming urban market at Union Station plaza can be found here, while details about TIFF's July 23rd screening of Martin Scorcese's Hugo are available on the festival's site.