If you haven’t had occasion to visit Toronto Union station lately you might be in for a pleasant surprise. This week politicians make the reopening of the revitalized Bay Concourse at Union Station, marking the completion of the Union Station Revitalization Project.
Hamilton Architect John M. Lyle was one of several architects involved in the design of the Beaux Arts complex. In 1975, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada cited its design as being of “national architectural significance as one of the finest examples of Beaux-Arts railway station design in Canada.” Not only is the station the Greater Toronto Area’s (GTA) transit nucleus, it is also a cherished community space and a budding retail hub featuring a diverse mix of vendors. Visitors can also enjoy unique programming throughout the year, including an annual summer market, and many art and culture installations and performances, making Union Station an experience unlike any other.
The $824 million Union Station Revitalization Project includes:
- more than triple the original size of GO Concourse space for commuters
- an addition of approximately 14,900 square metres (160,000 square feet) of new retail space
- a new food court under the York Concourse
- a revitalized VIA Concourse and Panorama Lounge
- installation of the Front Street, York Street and Bay Street glass moat covers
- expanded PATH access
- two new bike parking stations
- restored and preserved heritage elements throughout the station
Throughout the reconstruction, Union Station continued to operate as Canada’s busiest transportation hub, serving more than 300,000 visitors per day pre-pandemic.
Minor updates and cosmetic work will continue until the end of July 2021, at which point the project will conclude. This minor work will not impact customers and patrons visiting Union Station.
At approximately 5,600 square metres (more than 60,000 square feet), the new and transformed Bay Concourse is more than 50 per cent larger compared to the original. Further, it provides additional access to all platforms, making travel on GO trains even more convenient, safe and comfortable.
The Bay Concourse connects to the Bay retail area, which offers more than 3,300 square metres (36,000 square feet) of additional retail space, and seamlessly connects to the TTC, the Union Food Court and the future Fresh Market. Osmington, the head lessee at Union Station, will open the remaining retail units in the station on a rolling basis throughout 2022, including the Fresh Market and TD Bank retail branch.