Toronto - Yesterday, Mayor David Miller launched the City of Toronto’s plan for Union Station’s revitalization and asked Toronto’s citizens and commuters for their thoughts on the proposal, which would increase commuter and retail space.

The Mayor and City staff unveiled key aspects of the proposal during an open house in Union Station’s Great Hall. The public is encouraged to visit the station, until 6:30 p.m. today to see the display, speak with staff and fill out a questionnaire with their ideas. The information and questionnaire are also available online for viewing and commenting.

“Today marks the start of Union Station’s revitalization,” said Mayor Miller. “We’ve developed a vision for the station that sees the City maintaining ownership of its crown jewel and bringing it back to its former glory. The station is part of Toronto’s heritage; it’s the City of Toronto’s responsibility to preserve that heritage and ensure it’s around for generations to come.”

The recommendation from City staff involves:

  • The City of Toronto directly managing the station in the same way that it operates other facilities such as Fort York, Old City Hall, and the St. Lawrence Market complex
  • Excavating the lower concourse to make it all one level from the GO Transit East Concourse to the West Concourse. This area will be dedicated to commuters transiting to and from trains and will improve pedestrian movement.
  • Increasing pedestrian use of the Great Hall and Front St. resulting from direct connection from the GO concourse areas
  • Building a level dedicated to retail that could focus on offering the “Best of Toronto” - locally-made items or Toronto-related services.
  • Improving connections to the TTC, PATH system and street network in the area
  • Undertaking $176.6 million in state of good repair work over the next 20 years

“The proposal the City has put forward is a viable plan,” said Derek Boles, Vice Chair of the Union Station Revitalization Public Advisory Group. “This proposal addresses the economic sustainability of the station, it ensures the station remains a functioning transportation hub and it recognizes the historical significance of the facility. The Union Station Revitalization Public Advisory Group looks forward to working with the City on the timing of this proposal.”

Staff reviewed other possibilities for revitalization including an office tower or a boutique hotel at the station. The Recommended Approach was chosen because it was the most economically viable option. With Council’s endorsement of the Recommended Approach, an implementation plan will be submitted in early 2008 for Council approval.

More information on the Union Station revitalization is available on the City’s website at www.toronto.ca/union_station. The public is encouraged to go online to view all of the information and fill out the questionnaire.