This week's Throwback Thursday takes us back almost two decades, way back to 2002, to compare changing views facing east from Bay Street between Front and Lake Shore in Downtown Toronto. A view captured in July, 2002 showed construction underway for the Union Station Bus Terminal, occupying a stretch just south of the Dominion Public Building between Bay and Yonge streets. This site was previously occupied by a passenger depot, then a CP Express & Transport building, before the bus terminal was built to relieve Front Street congestion, moving on-street GO bus pick-ups and drop-offs to a dedicated site.

Construction of the Union Station Bus Terminal in 2002, facing east from Bay Street, image by Edward Skira

A follow-up view from 2016, a bit wider one to capture recent builds—and with the GO terminal long complete—shows both the recent additions of the L Tower and Backstage on The Esplanade, rising to 58 and 36 storeys respectively. 

East view from Bay Street south of Front, October 2016, image by Jack Landau

Now in 2021, more changes are evident again. The GO Buses have moved to the new Union Station Bus Terminal in the base of the 49-storey CIBC SQUARE South Tower, just out of view to the right of this photo, freeing up the old terminal site for redevelopment. Demolition of the 2002-built terminal wrapped up earlier this year, with shoring rigs now prepping the 50-storey CIBC SQUARE North Tower's future footprint for excavation. Meanwhile, a steel structure extends over the rail corridor and into the right edge of the photo, where an elevated park will connect the two CIBC SQUARE phases. In the background, the East Bayfront skyline now includes the recently built Monde and the Lighthouse Towers at Daniels Waterfront.

East view from Bay Street south of Front, April, 2021, image by Forum contributor skycandy

We will return next week with another look at the changing face of Toronto. In the meantime, you can submit your own Throwback Thursday comparisons in our dedicated Forum thread for your chance to be featured in next week's edition.

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