Union Station Revitalization | ?m | ?s | City of Toronto | NORR

Richard White

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The last two photos above are actually of the EAST (Bay) moat. I saw the orange tarp there earlier last week but on Friday it had been removed to show fresh concrete - see post above. If it was covered up again yesterday it is presumably to allow this concrete to cure without getting too exposed over the holiday. As noted above, this appears to be the 'base layer' of concrete as there were (are) pipes sticking up about 6 inches.

This will likely open up in the late spring to early summer. Judging by the exterior shots of the east moat there is still much work to do before it is safe for the public to be around. I can only hazard a guess but unless they are building a makeshift passage through the old bay concourse I doubt they are going to open any portion of it in the near future.

If they were smart they would finish the moat and leave the rest until it is all complete.
 

DSC

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This will likely open up in the late spring to early summer. Judging by the exterior shots of the east moat there is still much work to do before it is safe for the public to be around. I can only hazard a guess but unless they are building a makeshift passage through the old bay concourse I doubt they are going to open any portion of it in the near future.

If they were smart they would finish the moat and leave the rest until it is all complete.
Your timing sounds about right to me but they clearly need to open the western half of the Bay moat so that people can get from TTC to Union itself before they close the eastern section The east half of the Bay moat then needs to be excavated - I assume the excavation below Union will all be done so doing only exterior should not take too long. In addition, they somehow need to fix the Union Station masonry above west side of bay moat and it would obviously be easiest to do this before they open it. It is a very complicated process!

While on moats - what is below the Front Street sidewalk on the western (York) moat side? This area is open and they seem to be making quite good progress on tidying up the west moat itself - as shown on photos above they have now installed all (?) the drainage pipes and seem to be almost ready to pour concrete on that whole side.
 

Richard White

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While on moats - what is below the Front Street sidewalk on the western (York) moat side? This area is open and they seem to be making quite good progress on tidying up the west moat itself - as shown on photos above they have now installed all (?) the drainage pipes and seem to be almost ready to pour concrete on that whole side.

I know previously it was used by Hertz and contractors to tuck their vehicles out of the way prior to the York Concourse. Unless they cut an opening in it to connect to the Royal York I do not think it will be anything more than a covered space. Those pipes you see in the picture are likely for drainage.
 

DonValleyRainbow

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I know previously it was used by Hertz and contractors to tuck their vehicles out of the way prior to the York Concourse. Unless they cut an opening in it to connect to the Royal York I do not think it will be anything more than a covered space. Those pipes you see in the picture are likely for drainage.

IIRC there was additional food and retail supposed to go in here?
 

Richard White

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IIRC there was additional food and retail supposed to go in here?

Now that you mention it that does sound correct. I wonder if they will actually do that though given the obvious issues. I wonder how many people (if any) will leave the station to go eat and shop in the moat.

I mean realistically why would people do that when they can eat and shop INSIDE the station.
 

mdrejhon

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Yes, the moat will be indoors-ized.

With less York-side PATH connections, York moat retail might give an excuse for commuters to walk east-west via the moat from TTC to York comcourse. It appears to be one of the many express east-west pedestrian routes being introduced with the Union Revitalization.

Not saying it is a good/bad idea, but I see the rationale... it might be the first coffee-grab they walk by from TTC to York concourse, since they can now walk all the way to York concourse entrances directly without entering the classic station building. It would be grab-n-go stuff that has a market there.
 

Richard White

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Yes, the moat will be indoors-ized.

With less York-side PATH connections, York moat retail might give an excuse for commuters to walk east-west via the moat from TTC to York comcourse. It appears to be one of the many express east-west pedestrian routes being introduced with the Union Revitalization.

Not saying it is a good/bad idea, but I see the rationale... it might be the first coffee-grab they walk by from TTC to York concourse, since they can now walk all the way to York concourse entrances directly without entering the classic station building. It would be grab-n-go stuff that has a market there.

Grab and go was the idea of the Skywalk as well. The thinking then was that people would stop and shop walking through the Skywalk on the way to the Skydome. While I do recall a pizza place and convenience store there I do not recall ever going there or seeing anyone in there. All I can say is that it is in an awkward corner of the station that would work well with Metrolinx staff but I am not quite sure how well it will work AFTER the Bay Concourse is reopened as the station has for decades been centred around Bay Street.
 

mdrejhon

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It's true the jury is still out on this.
The Skywalk wasn't a frequet transit connection, but this will be -- it's Canada's busiest railway station that will become 2-3x busier in the coming years with all-day 2-way service coming to several routes, and 15-minute electrified service. Obviously, if that is rolled back by the next provincial government, I'll definitely have to err on the side of not-being-viable.

I think Union revitalization completion pretty much politically nudges even Conservatives (at least eventually) towards 15-minute electrified service into an almost certain eventuality on at least four GO routes (or two through-routes) -- whether 2024 or 2035. Otherwise, Union will be extremely overcapacity for quite a long time to come.

Even York concourse today, is fairly quiet offpeak, owing to current lack of offpeak train service. Now imagine that spread across Bay and York. That would even make the Union shopping a difficult sell without VIA HFR and 15-min GO RER, especially with missing York-side connections needed to help serve the massive downtown lunch market.

So, yes, I see the problem for York moat viability.

But, assuming 15-minute electrified service happens, and at least one York-side PATH connection complete to the rest of the PATH system, the York moat shops become viable, especially since the York moat will be the brightest indoors space that's out-of-the-way of the TTC madness (Bay moat) -- the bright dry indoors moat space is a draw itself as part of the Union mall. Lovely artwork, attractive decor (maybe Parisian cafe, complete with ironwork/iron fence, greenhouse-league high end planters, lovely smell of rolls, against a north wall -- well illuminated and "a reasonable pedestrian flow" ambience (not too heavy, not too quiet) -- BAM, the right mix -- yes, people will go to this cafe once in a while and relax for lunch under the skylight.

It may be no Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (google it), but with a nice classic floor, a few planters, good climate control, and a good bakery aroma -- that would be enough to draw people here as the only super-skylighty place (sorta like a themed area) at Toronto Union, and a kind of a refuge from incredible TTC / Bay Concourse madness.

So, yes, it could go either way. A retail mess worse than Skywalk, or a resounding success.
 
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raptor

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Noticed a large red crawler lift parked inside the great hall this morning. Wonder if they'll be using it to clean up the ceiling, instead of scaffolding? They could also be using it to replace the lighting fixtures?
 

Richard White

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Noticed a large red crawler lift parked inside the great hall this morning. Wonder if they'll be using it to clean up the ceiling, instead of scaffolding? They could also be using it to replace the lighting fixtures?

From a safety standpoint I am not sure if they can use a boom lift to clean the ceiling. There is no doubt some sort of regulation regarding fall arrest, working at heights etc that prevent it.

It is likely that they will put up scaffolding to prevent any injuries or ministry of labour calls.
 

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