As the Pan Am Games are rapidly approaching in Toronto, Union Station is about to get a massive facelift,
Union station has been under construction since 2010 and there has been a lot of work to restore the historic and the busiest transit hub.
“The most significant change, of course, is the addition of the new second platform, which opened in the summer of 2014,” TTC spokesperson Jessica Martin says. “The station has moved from a centre platform configuration to a side platform configuration, effectively doubling capacity.”
The new concourse is also to feature wider staircases, new elevators and escalators, a new art wall, a wider pedestrian bypass to the city’s PATH network, and improved signage and new finishes, Martin says.
The second concourse is being added because Union Station used to have a single platform that was crowded to the point of being dangerous, she said.
The budget for the second concourse and improvement project is $137.5 million.
Upcoming closures for the Union station project are on from Jan. 31 to Feb. 1, from Feb. 14 to 15, and Feb. 28 to March 1.
Metrolinx’s Union-Pearson Express will also make its debut in Spring 2015.
The air-link train service is to go from Union station to Pearson Airport in 25 minutes.
Metrolinx spokesperson Mark Ostler says the UP Express will help relieve gridlock in the GTHA by carrying 5,000 passengers a day between the airport and downtown.
“The objective is to provide more access points along each platform that lead to different parts of the surrounding neighbourhood,” Ostler says. “In the morning, for example, we can get you moving faster from the platform and away from the station in the direction of your choice.”