Over the better part of the last decade, the revitalization of Union Station has served to improve the efficiency, aesthetics, and overall experience of Toronto's central rail hub. While the lengthy reconstruction process has begun to bear benefits already, there is still much work left to do ahead of the station's targeted late-2018 substantial completion. 

Beyond the restored 1927 Beaux-Arts Indiana and Queenston limestone facade, Union's 27-metre tall Great Hall is now in the midst of having its Zumbro stone interior walls restored. Scaffolds are masked under vast protective tarpaulins, hiding the work platforms restoration crews use.

Union Station Revitalization, TorontoInside Union Station's Great Hall, image by Craig White

The former ticketing windows seen lining the north wall in the image above have now been all but boarded off, with a small amount of temporary black construction fencing remaining along the east end. Behind these boards, crews are will create a restaurant space that will look out across the Great Hall. 

Union Station Revitalization, TorontoInside Union Station's Great Hall, image by Craig White

South of the Great Hall, the VIA concourse is also in a state of transition. Sections of old tile have been removed and former ceiling materials have been stripped away. Temporary fluorescent lighting is in place, and metal framing is being installed for a new drop ceiling that will hide wiring conduits from view.

Union Station Revitalization, TorontoVia concourse in state of transition, image by Craig White

Portions of the concourse are now enclosed behind temporary hoarding, partitioning construction work from active commuter areas. The image below speaks to the complexities involved in managing a construction site in an active rail station, with a narrow walkway between closed-off areas connecting commuters to platform level access.

Union Station Revitalization, TorontoCommuter path to a platform from the Via concourse, image by Craig White

Just west of the Via Concourse, work continues on the recently-opened York GO Concourse. While the main level of the concourse has been completed for several months, currently motionless escalators lead down to a future food court still many months from completion. (No opening date has been announced yet for the mall and food service outlets on the lower level.)

Union Station Revitalization, TorontoEscalators down to future food court level at York Concourse, image by Craig White

Just north of the York GO Concourse, a peek behind the construction hoarding reveals a western portion of the Front Street Promenade. While the space remains in a raw state, this areas will eventually host full service restaurants, serving crowds of commuters and Financial District workers.

Union Station Revitalization, TorontoPeek behind the hoarding near the west end of the Front Street Promenade, image by Craig White

Back above grade, views of Union Station's Front Street moat help to put the interior work into perspective. Here, crews have demolished half of the wide staircase to the shuttered Bay Concourse, and re-graded the moat lower, to the same level as the TTC subway concourse. On the south side of the moat, new openings for doors have been cut into Union Station's facade, creating an accessible future connection between the subway and rail stations.

Union Station Revitalization, TorontoWork on the Front Street moat, image by Craig White

To maintain access between the two stations during construction, work is being conducted in stages. The remaining staircase between the subway and train station will remain open until a new concrete staircase at the far end of the image below opens. Once pedestrian traffic can be shifted to it, work will shift again, allowing further demolition and rebuilding of the old GO Bay Concourse. 

Union Station Revitalization, TorontoWork on the Front Street moat, image by Craig White

Additional information and renderings of the Union Station Revitalization can be found in our project 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.