Since the mid-August closure of the GO Transit Bay Concourse at Union Station, work has been proceeding behind the hoarding to transform and modernize the space as part of the transit hub’s revitalization. Following the design principles established in the newly-built York Concourse to the west, the enlarged and modernized Bay Concourse will feature improved platform access, ticket booths, seating areas, lighting, while a whole new retail level will be added as well. 

Union Station Revitalization, Toronto, Metrolinx, GODiagram showing location of Bay Concourse, image courtesy of Metrolinx

Behind closed doors, work on the Bay Concourse is essentially invisible to passersby, but thanks to UrbanToronto Forum contributor tnarduzzi, we now have images showing what's going on. Most of the concourse's interiors have now been demolished, leaving the space is practically unrecognizable. Some relic signage and finishes are still visible in certain areas though, including the former main north exit leading to the moat and subway beyond. 

Union Station Revitalization, Toronto, Metrolinx, GOLooking north towards the second set of doors to the Front Street Moat, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor tnarduzzi

Old staircases leading from the Concourse up to platform level are in the process of being removed. The image below reveals a space in transition, with a pair of stairs now unconnected from the floor below.

Union Station Revitalization, Toronto, Metrolinx, GOStaircase being demolished, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor tnarduzzi

To add in a floor in some parts and achieve higher ceilings in others without disrupting commuter traffic in the historic station above, crews are excavating the former concourse down a few metres in a complex operation that also involves the lengthening of existing support columns. 

Union Station Revitalization, Toronto, Metrolinx, GOFacing south at current site of excavation, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor tnarduzzi

Columns have been stabilized with steel bracing, installed temporarily to provide additional structural support.

Union Station Revitalization, Toronto, Metrolinx, GOTemporary steel bracing on support columns, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor tnarduzzi

Taking into account the confined nature of the site, crews have progressed quite far on the excavation. In the image below, the roughly textured lower sections of support columns are telltale signs of the original floor surface.

Union Station Revitalization, Toronto, Metrolinx, GOGO Bay Concourse excavation, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor tnarduzzi

As work continues below-grade, Union Station's iconic Great Hall is now undergoing renovation and restoration work. A large scaffold has been erected below the Great Hall's eastern archway to facilitate the restoration of the limestone.

Union Station Revitalization, Toronto, Metrolinx, GOInterior Great Hall restoration work, image by Craig White

Substantial completion of the Union Station Revitalization project is currently scheduled for the end of 2017. In the meantime, many more recent photos will give you a fuller idea of the extent of the work now underway. You can find them on this page of our dedicated Forum thread, or for more information on and renderings of the revitalization project, visit our dataBase file for it, linked below. You can also get involved in the aforementioned discussion in thread, or leave a comment at the bottom of this page.