Almost exactly six years since the start of Toronto's Union Station revitalization, work continues on several remaining elements of the highly complex project. Since our last update on the project in February, more components have opened up within the 1927-built transit hub, while other areas are still waist-deep in structure work.
Commuters entering Union Station from the TTC station or at Front and Bay Streets will notice that the station's facades at that corner are covered up behind scaffold and wrap, in place to allow for the cleaning and restoration of the Indiana limestone facade (visible in the image above). The moat here is also the site of much construction activity, where the excavation of some of it will allow for a TTC station-level entry into a lowered Bay Concourse, itself under reconstruction inside the walls.
The image above reveals that the first two doorways have been cut into the building, extending the openings of an existing row of windows. A closer look at this area below, shows the new door cutouts' location in relation to the TTC side of the moat (the TTC's "UNION" sign can be seen through the hoarding), with the site of a new staircase leading from the lower moat to the main moat area visible at the back middle.
The formed-concrete box visible in the images above and below features a slight incline, bringing pedestrians up to a walkway that will bridge over the new Bay Concourse doors, and connecting the Front Street and Bay Street moats. As seen in renderings of the completed revitalization, the moat will eventually be sheltered under a skylight roof, making transfer between the TTC and Union Station's main structure easy even during inclement weather.
Stepping inside of the station's iconic Great Hall, major changes are now evident. The orange hoarding that previously separated the ticketing windows from the Hall's main space have largely been removed, revealing the space where the 70s era terrazzo kiosks have now been removed along the left side of the image. In their place, temporary seating fronts the old ticket wickets: a two-level restaurant with historically sensitive design details is expected to open here by 2018. The image below also shows a large scaffold occupying the east end of the hall, behind which workers are restoring the hall's detailed stonework. A similar scaffold is also in place at the west end, just behind the photographer.
To the west of the Great Hall, hoarding has been removed from the west wing VIA Rail waiting and future restaurant/retail area. This space's frosted skylight allows plenty of natural light in to reveal the beautifully restored stone walls. A restaurant is proposed open along the south side of this space, seen on the left side of the image below.
Further to the west, the Union Station terminal of the Union Pearson Express is now quite the busy space, a result of the much-publicised reduction in fares for the express train that connects Pearson Airport with Downtown Toronto. The image below reveals a mix of new arrivals from the airport and regular business commuters travelling into the city from the northwest.
Retail spaces continue to fill out in the recently-opened GO York Concourse. Following the 2015 opening of a McCafe location (offering 24-hour breakfast), new retailers including Starbucks and Booster Juice have set up shop. The most recent opening in the concourse is the INS newsstand, which will soon be joined by bakery chain The Bagel Stop, and a new location for the wildly popular Japanese cheesecake shop Uncle Tetsu's. Much more retail and restaurant space is to come in other parts of the station.
Substantial completion of the Union Station Revitalization project is currently scheduled by early 2018. In the meantime, you can follow along by visiting our Union Station thread. Otherwise, for more information on and renderings of the revitalization project, visit our dataBase file, linked below.
Want to share your thoughts about the project? Leave a comment at the bottom of this page, or join in the conversation in our associated Forum thread.
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