On Tuesday Toronto Mayor John Tory reopened the revitalized Bay Concourse marking the completion of the Union Station Revitalization Project (USRP) which started more than a decade ago.
The $824 million Union Station Revitalization Project involved more than tripling 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 and the restoration and preservation of heritage elements throughout the 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. In addition to providing more space, it offers services and amenities similar to the York Concourse for GO customers, including more PRESTO and ticket vending machines and more departure boards. 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.
“After years of extensive work on this difficult project, the Union Station revitalization is now complete, and the last piece of the revitalization – the Bay Concourse – is opening to the public today,” Toronto Mayor John Tory said in a statement.
“Union Station is now ready to more completely welcome people back to downtown Toronto and back to work as we move ahead with the reopening. Thank you to residents and commuters for their patience as we pushed through this renovation of the largest commuter hub in Canada that is itself more than a century old. Now, Union Station is a place where residents, commuters and tourists can choose to hang out, shop, dine and experience unique art and culture installations and performances all while having access to an extensive transit system that stretches across Toronto and beyond our city,” the statement said.
Minor updates and cosmetic work will continue until the end of July 2021. This minor work will not impact customers and patrons visiting Union Station. The final cost for the project, which started in 2010, was $824 million — an increase from the original budget of $640 million.
Union Station, which first opened to the public in 1927, features Beaux-Art style architecture and is a federally designated National Historic Site protected under a Heritage Easement Agreement.