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

Bay Street law is currently three days minimum for most large firms, at least four for students/lawyers and management and I'm hearing rumours of four-five day weeks for clerks and assistants.
Our Bay street consulting is 2-3 days suggested in-office, but also not fully policed. Other restriction is we have ~30 hoteling spots for a team of 60+, so we're never going to get back to full in-office, and having just renewed our ~10 floor lease, we're not taking any more space.
 
We were already hoteling before the pandemic with slightly fewer desks than people, but the ratio is way off now. I'm sure we'll be releasing space as leases end.
 
Our Bay street consulting is 2-3 days suggested in-office, but also not fully policed. Other restriction is we have ~30 hoteling spots for a team of 60+, so we're never going to get back to full in-office, and having just renewed our ~10 floor lease, we're not taking any more space.
I'm at a bank that is US-owned but has an ~80 person office here downtown. We are now at three days in the office minimum, however they were explicit in that "you only need to swipe once per day to prove you were here," meaning they are not monitoring you do the old 8:30 to 5:00 routine on those three days, and there's a general consensus that if you come in by 8:30 you can leave around 2:00 so long as you go back online and check in when you get home.

For now, they are sticking with fixed desks and no hoteling, though my understanding is the current office lease ends December 31 this year, so if they want to make a major change I assume it would have to be done soon as I would guess six-months is a standard notice to both move out and to move in to a new space.

Either way, there is chatter in this era of layoffs (we've had only one so far, though it was someone in a significant and well paid position) that management keeps a closer eye than publicly stated about who comes in more than the bare-minimum office time and who doesn't. And bonus season is coming up in a few weeks... we shall see if there's a correlation.
 
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Here’s a bit of a tangent I want to go on about Unions historical spaces, and how I don’t think they’re good.


So I found these photos of what New York’s main train station would look like today if they never demolished it, I think it provides good inspiration for what Union’s historical areas should look like, because right now they aren’t in the best shape: View attachment 533188View attachment 533189

The first photo is what the Sir John A McDonald Plaza outside of Union should really look like, right now it’s just a completely empty square that has events a few weeks out of a year, and during the rest of the year it’s cold and uninviting, nobody wants to spend time there.
View attachment 533190
In the art for NYC’s station there’s seating, plants, venders, etc, and it looks like a welcoming space.
The original concept art for the plaza in front of Union included a small amount of seating, which would have made the space look a bit more welcoming, but even that was dropped and never happened. View attachment 533191


The second photo is what our Great Hall should look like, the current Great Hall is honestly an embarrassment, the lighting is way too orange and dim, there’s a ugly half-abandoned 1980’s tourist booth in the middle of the space with a departure board that’s broken more often than not, a big white wall that’s supposed to be a restaurant one day, and abandoned ticket booths that VIA still owns. This area isn’t welcoming at all and doesn’t feature any sort of greenery or vendors/restaurants. In the NYC concept art photo there’s plants, a lot of light, and restaurants/businesses, making it a welcoming space people want to spend time in. View attachment 533192
In the original Union Station Revitalisation Plans they intended to improve the lighting in the Great Hall with new chandeliers, this is apparently still happening so there’s that. The original centrepiece clock was also supposed to be replicated, replacing the ugly 1980’s booth and departure screen, but there’s no sign of this happening anymore.
View attachment 533193View attachment 533194View attachment 533195

And one last little rant, they never added seating to this part of the station like they originally intended to, it makes it seem like they don’t want people to enjoy these public spaces, as if they’re only intended to be passed through quickly:
View attachment 533197


A few pages back I had the same gripe, and what brought me to this page again is, I was just watching a walking tour of Toronto on Youtube. The person hits all the tourist spots in Toronto and Union Station being one of them. I still really love Union Station, but for the love of God why can we not get that screen fixed at info booth in the Centre of Great Hall? he thing has been broken now for at least 2 years for God sake. There's also a few not working over the ticket booths but not as polarizing the one in the middle since they're off to the side. White dry wall running along such a beautiful building and landmark.... Seriously??? I don't even know how long that's been there. I feel like 10 years at least. I understand reno's take time, but I mean when they take quarter of century, it almost defeats the purpose.
 
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Sorry if this has been asked before, but can we not do better then drywall in The Great Hall?? That's been there for God knows how many years....

Are they just going to keep it like that???


@ Willybru21 from last year....lol. I also grip about the screen in great hall somewhere but to lazy to find the post....lol.
 
From latest CRE to Budget Committee.

"Hostile Vehicle Migration" indeed! I am not sure if this is actual $$ or hopes and prayers. What a carry-on, how the hell can this cost $24 MILLION!!@

1705939699311.png
 
From latest CRE to Budget Committee.

"Hostile Vehicle Migration" indeed! I am not sure if this is actual $$ or hopes and prayers. What a carry-on, how the hell can this cost $24 MILLION!!@

View attachment 534559

'Hostile Vehicle Mitigation' Seriously?

Also 24.5M for Bollards? What kind of padding is in that scope?
 
'Hostile Vehicle Mitigation' Seriously?

Also 24.5M for Bollards? What kind of padding is in that scope?
You have to have a world architectural competition for the design of the bollards!

Seriously though, my best guess is that there isn't sufficient space under that plaza to anchor regular bollards to be strong enough to stop large vehicles. Isn't most of the plaza along Front Street really a giant bridge over the subway station and other walkways? I imagine to be effective these need to be deeply anchored as even small cars seem to be able to bash through the regular sidewalk bollards and they want to stop large trucks from being able to get through. So in other words, they're going to need to tear up the whole plaza all over again to build some kind of foundations or support columns for them!
 
Just put a couple hundred bucks worth of paint on the jersey barriers and be done with it.

That would be a rather unattractive solution. I have an alternative money saver, how about we just remove the Jersey barriers and replace them with nothing at all?

Lets be clear, 99.9% of all sidewalk in this city will have no added protection from 'hostile vehicles'; and the one and only intentional 'mass' attack we've had was nowhere near Union Station nor particularly tied to any transit station or landmark on Yonge in North York City Centre.

There's no particular logic to this, I get that its a crowded spot for pedestrians, but so is Bay north of Front, so is Front immediately to the west etc etc. How about we just admit this was a misplaced idea, an over reaction, load the barriers on the back of a truck and move along?
 
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That would be a rather unattractive solution. I have an alternative money saver, how about we just remove the Jersey barriers and replace them with nothing at all?

Lets be clear, 99.9% of all sidewalk in this city will have no added protection from 'hostile vehicles'; and the one and only intentional 'mass' attack we've had was nowhere near Union Station nor particularly tied to any transit station or landmark on Yonge in North York City Centre.

There's no particular logic to this, I get that its a crowded spot for pedestrians, but so is Bay north of Front, so is Front immediate to the west etc etc. How about we just admit this was a misplaced idea, an over reaction, load the barriers on the back of a truck and move along?
I agree, remove them.
Are you positive you’re not trying to run for mayor? Can you imagine if they remove them now after all our complaining.
 
I think that's right. You have substantial crowding in many areas around the city, not only around events (sports, concerts, fireworks, the Ex, etc) but also on a daily basis (the waterfront and island ferry docks, all the way up Bay St, Yonge/Dundas, etc.). No special protection is provided for most.

At most, they should cart away the ugly concrete and put up some small, normal bollards that are inobtrusive and provide some protection against accidental incursion by careless drivers. Those should be considered for all public gathering places.
 

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