The City of Toronto-led revitalization of Union Station is finally complete.
Construction on the project was supposed to wrap in 2015 and cost taxpayers over $800 million.
The project entailed significant work including:
- Gross floor area at Union Station has increased approximately 14 per cent – approximately 76,400 square metres (822,000 square feet) pre-revitalization vs approximately 87,000 square metres (936,000 square feet) post-revitalization
- More than triple the capacity of GO Concourses with the completion of the York Concourse and the revitalized Bay Concourse
- An addition of approximately 14,900 square metres 160,000 square feet of new retail space, which includes the new retail level under the concourses, Union Food Court, Fresh Market (coming in 2022), and an overall enhanced retail experience
- A revitalized VIA Concourse and Panorama Lounge
- The Front Street, York Street and Bay Street glass moat covers
- Expanded PATH access. Previously, PATH access was only through the TTC. Now, Union Station’s Bay Concourse connects to the PATH through the Bay retail area
- Two new bike parking stations
The question remains whether or not transit riders will flock to the hub in a post-pandemic world. Mayor John Tory says it is going to take time and funding will probably be necessary for the next couple of years.
“I’ve had conversations with the deputy prime minister and the premier about the fact that the ridership on the TTC is unlikely to return to normal levels, or previous levels we experienced before the pandemic for a while yet,” said Tory.
“Looking ahead into 2022, and probably 2023, it is likely that some continued assistance will be required.”
The TTC has lost significant revenue over the pandemic and there remain concerns that ridership will never recover as more people work from home.