Years of restoration work have rejuvenated Union Station's Beaux-Arts exterior, meticulously cleaning away generations of city grime and restoring the grand railway station's Front Street facade to its former glory. (The eastern third is still to be cleaned.) This bright, fresh looking exterior is now complemented by the restored heritage clock, and a newly-repaved Front Street with a widened and more seamless public plaza all done in high quality materials which better suits the early-20th century aesthetic of Union Station and the Royal York Hotel to the north.

Union Station, Front Street Foods, Pan Am Games, Toronto, Union SummerFront Street Foods in front of Union Station, image by Camil Rosiak

With the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games festivities starting, the station's Front Street facade has been adorned with banners, and the new public plaza in front of the station is already coming alive with activity thanks to a new program called Union Summer. The program, which celebrates local food vendors in the plaza, kicked off earlier this week with Front Street Foods, a food market presented by Toronto Market Company featuring live music and plenty to eat.

Union Station, Front Street Foods, Pan Am Games, Toronto, Union SummerFront Street Foods in front of Union Station, image by Camil Rosiak

Front Street Foods will offer a wide range of fresh foods, and will highlight some of the city's best chefs, restaurants and other goodies from Monday to Friday from 7 AM to 9 PM, Saturday from 11 AM to 9 PM and Sunday from 11 AM to 6:30 PM.

Union Station, Front Street Foods, Pan Am Games, Toronto, Union SummerFront Street Foods in front of Union Station, image by Camil Rosiak

Deputy Mayor and Ward 28 Councillor Pam McConnell has expressed her enthusiasm for the events being programmed for the plaza, a very visible step forward for a project many are impatient to see completed. “This is a preview of what can be expected from Union Station when the revitalization is complete. With this summer program, the station will be on its way to becoming a community gathering place that is a destination for culture, entertainment and dining experiences.”

Union Station, Front Street Foods, Pan Am Games, Toronto, Union SummerLive performance in front of Union Station, image by Camil Rosiak

Other events will be animating Union Station plaza this Summer as part of the program, including a Wednesday Farmers’ Market, which has been relocated from Nathan Phillips Square, and a public TIFF movie night screening of the film Hugo on July 23.

Union Station, Front Street Foods, Pan Am Games, Toronto, Union SummerFresh produce during the Wednesday Farmer's Market, image by Camil Rosiak

Additional information about the Union Station Revitalization can be found in the project's dataBase file, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment in the space provided at the bottom of this page.