After many years of planning, consultation and construction, the TTC will open a second platform at Union Station on the 1 Yonge - University - Spadina line this Monday, August 18.
The second platform significantly changes the way passengers navigate the subway station. New signs will indicate which platform serves the University - Spadina branch of the line northbound to Downsview Station and which serves the Yonge branch of the line northbound to Finch Station. The signs will direct you to the proper staircase for boarding your train. Customer-service staff will be on hand Monday to direct you to your train.
The new design of the subway station provides easier access to the PATH, the (mostly underground) system of walkways through Toronto’s downtown and financial districts. Starting Monday, you can access the subway station from the PATH, using the west by-pass or the reopened east by-pass through Brookfield Place.
The TTC will host a “Meet the Manager” event at Union Station Monday from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. to celebrate the opening of the new second platform, help passengers and answer questions about the project. Opening the platform marks the next milestone in a project to increase capacity, improve accessibility and ease passenger circulation at “Canada’s busiest transit hub”.
Union Station — not just the subway station, but the train station above — is the busiest passenger transportation facility in Canada, serving about 250,000 passengers each day. By adding a second subway platform and expanding the concourse to include a single TTC fare-paid area and pedestrian by-pass routes, the TTC will reduce overcrowding and improve how passenger circulate through the subway station.
The TTC officially launched the second-platform project in June 2004, with a public presentation in Royal Bank Plaza. Early work to move sewer lines to accommodate the upcoming construction took place from March 2006 until April 2008. Construction on the subway station has been underway since February 2011.
The TTC has maintained service along the subway line throughout this construction schedule, except for several weekends, when it has shut down parts of the line to allow crews to work on this major project without interruption from trains. The latest weekend subway closure, between St. Andrew and Union Stations, occurs this Saturday, August 16 and Sunday, August 17.
The total cost of the Union Station second-platform and concourse-improvements project is $137.5 million. The Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario and the City of Toronto through its agency, WATERFRONToronto, fully funded the project.
Even though the TTC is opening the second platform, that doesn’t mean the end of construction. Work continues on finalizing the project until at least spring 2015.
Two other major projects are also underway at Union Station:
- a project by Metrolinx to upgrade the GO Transit passenger areas and the train shed; and
- a project by the City of Toronto to improve the Union Station building. One component of the City’s project includes extending the PATH from the northwest corner of the station under York Street to Wellington Street.