AFTER 10 years and $C 824m ($US 660m), Toronto’s Union Station Revitalisation Project (USRP) is complete, including the historic facility’s main passenger area, Bay Concourse, which was completely remodelled and expanded.

USRP included more than tripling the original size of the Go Transit concourse space for commuters; adding approximately 14,900m² of new retail space; a new food court under the York Concourse; a revitalised Via Rail concourse and panorama lounge; installation of Front Street, York Street and Bay Street glass moat covers; expanded access to the downtown core’s underground pedestrian corridor; two new bike parking stations; and restored and preserved heritage elements throughout the station.

At approximately 5600m², the new and transformed Bay Concourse is more than 50% larger compared with the original. In addition to providing more space, it offers services and amenities similar to the York Concourse for Go customers, including more Presto smartcard and ticket vending machines and more departure boards. Further, it provides expanded access to all Go platforms.

The Bay Concourse connects to the Bay retail area, which offers more than 3300m² of additional retail space, and seamlessly connects to the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) metro and light rail networks, the Union Food Court and the future Fresh Market. Osmington, lead lessee at Union Station, will open the remaining retail units in the station on a rolling basis throughout 2022.

Union Station, which opened to public in 1927, features Beaux-Art style architecture and is a federally designated National Historic Site protected under a Heritage Easement Agreement. The City of Toronto purchased Union Station in 2000 from the Toronto Terminals Railway Company and has since performed many upgrades. The USRP is a City of Toronto initiative supported by investments from the government of Canada, the government of Ontario and Via Rail.

“Union Station is now enhanced as a landmark destination of the highest design quality,” Metrolinx, which administers the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area (GTHA) transit network, said. “Not only is the station the [region’s] transit nucleus, it is also a cherished community space and a budding retail hub featuring a diverse mix of vendors.

“We know our customers have been waiting for this day, and we’re excited to announce the re-opening of Union Station’s Bay Concourse,” says Metrolinx CEO Mr Phil Verster. “The revitalised Bay Concourse will provide more connections and waiting space for Go customers, enhancing the experience inside Canada’s largest transit hub while supporting the future needs of our growing region.”

Union Station Enhancement Project
USEP will involve the construction of new Go Transit platforms.

With USRP complete, Metrolinx moves on to the Union Station Enhancement Project (USEP). To be completed in stages, it includes rebuilding the Go Transit and Via Rail platforms and associated improvements:

  • construction of new platforms with canopies and vertical access, such as stairs and elevators, and improved passenger communications systems
  • construction of two new tracks designed to allow for future passenger train speed up to 72km/h with associated signal works
  • construction of a new concourse area below the new platforms that will connect the York, Bay and Via concourses, Union Square, Scotiabank Galleria, and both York and Bay Streets, and
  • development of stormwater management system and other building systems.

Owners Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario selected ONTrack Alliance, consisting of the WSP Canada Kiewit & Alberici joint venture and Mass Electric Construction Canada to advance project design. ONTrack Alliance will soon enter a multi-party agreement with the owners to deliver enhancements that will increase Union Station’s capacity by 2025. USEP is part of the Go Expansion programme.