Union Station is Canada's most important transportation hub, bringing VIA Rail, GO Transit, the TTC, and even Amtrak together at the doorstep to our city. The station serves over 200,000 passengers a day, making it even busier than Toronto Pearson International Airport. With the city growing in every direction around Union Station, the station is growing to keep up with the GTA's ever-increasing transportation needs. Several projects are under way in the blocks around Union Station to bring everything together, all to increase capacity, and totalling over $1.3 billion in infrastructure investment. The Station itself ($800M) and the train shed and atrium above ($250M), the subway station ($162M), a PATH network extension ($105M), the new Union Pearson Express terminal ($24M of $456M total budget for UP Express), and a new Front Street entrance to the city (approx $20M), all figure into the bigger picture.

The most disruptive of the projects has been the combination of the badly needed second platform for Union subway station and the Northwest PATH extension. The pair of projects has required the substantial closure of Front Street between York Street and Yonge, with only a couple of lanes remaining open across part of the stretch. As of mid-March, the TTC has now completed major concrete work on the subway station expansion, so in coming months while work continues underground, crews will be able to begin returning Front Street to normal. In this case it will mean using pavers instead of asphalt and creating a far more people-friendly space in front of the station.

Union Station construction along Front Street, image by Jack Landau

View of the TTC Concourse at Union Station, image by Jack Landau

Workers are striving to open the second platform late this Summer or in the Fall. By adding a second subway platform and expanding the concourse to include a single TTC fare-paid area and pedestrian by-pass routes, Union subway station circulation will become less confusing and will ease crowding. The new platform will be assigned for trains traveling northbound on Line 1 up Yonge Street, while the existing platform will be transformed to only allow travel on Line 1 in the direction of the University-Spadina arm.

Union Station TTC Platform, image by Jack Landau

The best known of the projects in the area is the Union Station Revitalization Project itself. The revitalization is an $800-million City initiative supported by investments of $164 million by the Government of Canada and $172 million by the Government of Ontario. It will revamp the station's interiors, add a new GO Train concourse on the York Street side, improve the existing Bay Street concourse, dig out the basement level to add a shopping mall and better PATH network connections, and finally will return the grand public spaces to their former glory. The York Street Concourse is targeted to open later this year. 

Separate from that project it one directly above, Metrolinx's $250 million alterations to the GO train shed. As trains continue to operate, the regional transit body is revitalizing the heritage 35,000 square metre train shed which shelter's the station's platforms, while replacing the central 5,000 square metres of it with a new glass atrium. Because the Bush train shed is considered a national heritage structure, Metrolinx worked with Parks Canada to come up with a restoration design, which will also include a huge green roof above. The glass atrium is expected to be completed this year, while the renovation as a whole will wrap up in 2016.

GO Concourse at Union Station, image by Jack Landau

GO Concourse at Union Station, image by Jack Landau

Glass Atrium on GO/VIA Concourse, image by Jack Landau

In the next upcoming year, we will be seeing a lot of progress and completion of many projects within Union Station. Keep up on the development by checking out our thread, linked below. For more renderings of the revitalization, you can click on the dataBase links. Let us know what you think, and leave comments in the space provided.

Related Companies:  AECOM, Carillion PLC, City of Toronto, EllisDon, entro, Entuitive, FGMDA, Hatch, IBI Group, Metrolinx, MMM Group Limited, Morrison Hershfield, NORR Architects, PARTISANS, Priestly Demolition Inc., RJC Engineers, Stephenson Engineering, Toronto Transit Commission, Waterfront Toronto, WSP, Zeidler Partnership Architects