Union Station is one of Backstage on the Esplanade’s biggest amenities, and Canada’s central hub for inter-city and national transit. At its widely recognized home at Front and Bay streets, Union Station was officially opened in 1927 by Edward, the Prince of Wales. Embarking on a journey from Toronto to Alberta, the first ticket ever issued cost Edward $71.20, which would cost around $1,000 today.
Since then, the station has vastly changed. Thousands of TTC and ViaRail customers ride into Union Station daily in addition to over 165,000 by GO train. It’s inevitable that Union Station will play a role in the development of Backstage on the Esplanade at Yonge Street.
Backstage will allow an underground PATH connection, consolidating the condo with Union, and even reaching out to St. Lawrence Market. The south side of Backstage is alongside the railway corridor, but residents will find it quieter than living on your average downtown street. Law require trains to enter at low speeds while residential units are built eighty feet above rail lines.
It only begins there. Union station is undergoing a $640-million revitalization project with expected completion by 2015.
What to expect from Union Station in the future
Union Station strives to be a beautiful entry point into the city for commuters and visitors. With strong levels of economic and urban growth, the city plans on accommodating the central core with the following improvements:
- GO Station concourse and glass atrium
- Increased number of exits and entrances
- Reduced commuter congestion
- Restoration of historical elements
- Rail links to Pearson International Airport
- Improved underground PATH connections and other weather-protected connections
- Improved public space
- Pedestrian priority zones at Front and Bay/York
Photo from thestar.com
A number of reports from the Master Plan in 2004, the District Study in 2005 and the Revitalization recommended approach in 2007 address significant issues for Union Station and provide as a blueprint for the future. Such issues include heritage conservation, efficient transit and urban design.
Are you moving to Backstage? For more, see our construction update on Backstage on the Esplanade.
Track to the future: Union Station's proximity to Backstage is quite prized.