The Union Station Revitalization Project (USRP), the City of Toronto’s multi-year revitalization of Union Station, concluded in July 2021. Union Station, one of Toronto’s most iconic buildings, and one of the busiest commuter hubs in North America, was restored and revitalized to better serve the more than 300,000 visitors that pass through the station every day.
Union Station is now enhanced as a landmark destination of the highest design quality. It is a place where commuters and tourists can choose to hang out, admire grand architecture, shop at best-in-class retail and dine at a wide selection of food establishments. Visitors can also enjoy unique programming throughout the year, making Union Station an experience unlike any other.
The project entailed significant work. Overall key features resulting from the USRP are:
The USRP is an $824 million initiative supported by investments of $465.3 million from the City of Toronto, $139.5 million from the Government of Canada, $191.8 million from the Government of Ontario and $24.9 million from VIA Rail.
This retail area will have a seamless connection to the Union Food Court below the York Concourse on the west side of the station and provides a new access to the TTC subway on the east side of the station.
The Bay retail area is structurally complete, allowing for retail tenants to begin their fit-up. Osmington, Union Station’s head lessee and retail developer, will open the remaining retail units on a rolling basis throughout 2022.
Significant restoration has been completed in the Great Hall to preserve and maintain the original heritage of the station. This restoration includes masonry work to clean and revitalize the original Zumbro stone and the limestone exterior.
The Travellers’ Aid Society of Toronto booth, originally located in the centre of the hall, will be refurbished and relocated to provide easier access for tourists and visitors. Location and date of relocation to be determined.
Glass covers have been installed over the station’s pedestrian moats, which run along the Front Street, York Street and Bay Street sides of the building. The covers consist of steel beams and glass, which create a giant skylight around the perimeter of the station.
The covered moats create a completely enclosed space providing enhanced pedestrian circulation through the station, protection from inclement weather, and an improved experience for pedestrians entering and exiting the station or transferring to the TTC subway.
The excavation or “dig down” was one of the initial and most significant stages of the revitalization as it helped to create an additional level under the station to support the expanding growth in ridership.
This stage involved digging several metres below Union Station’s existing floor level to create space for two new transit concourses and a new, lower-level pedestrian retail concourse.
The underground excavation stretched east to west from Bay Street to York Street and north to south from Front Street to the Scotiabank Arena. A large section took place immediately below the tracks while the trains continued to operate above ground.
This stage involved the replacement of 447 concrete columns, 185 of which directly support the train tracks.
Column replacement on this scale is unique. This complex procedure has been employed only in special cases throughout the world and seldom on structures this size that remain fully operational throughout construction.
Nearly 45 truckloads — between 600 and 900 tonnes — of excavated material were removed from the construction site nightly. The excavators and support equipment used were the same kind as those used in underground mining operations.
Opened in 2015, the new 62,000 square-foot space provides improved commuter amenities and easy connections to the train platforms, TTC transit (subway) and Toronto’s underground PATH system. The concourse is home to Metrolinx service counters, Lost & Found, Corporate Security and retail and food vendors; including the new Union Food Court located in the lower retail level.
Visit Toronto Union for information about retail opportunities, events and programming.
The new Bay Concourse opened to the public in July 2021 and offers services and amenities similar to the York Concourse to GO customers. The Bay Concourse connects to the Bay retail area below the concourse, which will include a fresh market with options to buy fresh produce, prepared foods and grab-and-go offerings; additional retail space; and connect to the Union Food Court, the TTC and to Toronto’s PATH system.
The bike stations consists of two secure bicycle parking rooms on the east side of York Street — a newly built facility just south of Front Street, and a smaller room just north of 25 York Street (at Bremner Blvd.).
The York & Front facility features 160 bike racks, a washroom, a change room and a shower with complimentary towels, and an office where staff can register new members and renew bike station parking plans.
The smaller facility features at York & Bremner has 80 bike racks, washrooms and change rooms.
Bicycle tools and air pumps are available at both locations for members to perform minor repairs.
The Union Food Court was the first area to open as part of the newly constructed lower retail level, and offers 10 food retailers, a seating capacity for more than 600 people, and 25,000 square feet of space at the station.
Check out the list of food vendors and retailers.
For more information about the future vision and construction updates at the station please visit: