Considering the number of people who have passed through Union Station, the edifice has held up well. But the almost century-old facility is showing its age: much of it is in disrepair — peeling paint, cracked, damaged floors, leaky roofs and tired-looking passenger concourses that evoke the 1970s — space is used inefficiently, and the facility no longer meets the needs of today’s commuters.
Almost a decade after the City of Toronto acquired Union Station, funds have been allocated to carry out major restorative work that will reshape the way people experience Union Station and make this crown jewel spectacular again.
The City of Toronto is leading the revitalization with three objectives: to improve the quality and capacity of pedestrian movement in and around the station; to restore heritage elements; and to transform Union Station into a major destination for shopping, dining and visiting.
Union Station's revitalization will result in many benefits to commuters, including bigger, brighter transit concourses, more exits and entrances to the station, new PATH connections, repair and rehabilitation of an aging facility, and the introduction of an exciting and revitalized retail presence.
Read about the "dig down," one of the initial and most significant stages of the revitalization, which is creating space for two new transit concourses and a new lower-level pedestian retail concourse.
Union Station's revitalization is a $640-million initiative supported by investments of $164 million from the Government of Canada, $172 million from the Government of Ontario, and $340 million from the City of Toronto.
Substantial project completion is expected in 2015, with final completion in 2016.
Key aspects of the revitalization
- Restoration and preservation of many of Union Station's heritage elements.
- Creation of a new pedestrian retail concourse below the station.
- Expansion of the GO concourses by threefold to accommodate the expected doubling of passengers at Union Station by 2030.
- Restoration of the VIA Rail concourse.
- Creation of a new PATH system connecting the northwest corner of Union Station to Wellington Street.
- Expansion and increase in the number of station entrances, including the addition of a new PATH connection and tunnel to Union Plaza, Air Canada Centre and Maple Leaf Square.
- Renovation of space in the west wing for Metrolinx's head office.
- Incorporation of advanced environmental designs, such as deep-lake water cooling, district heating and energy-efficient technology.