fiendishlibrarian

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Just came back from a conference in Washington, and their Union Station is absolutely stunning. The shops and restaurants are well done and in good taste, and it's clear no expense was spared to restore the building to its prime condition. Clearly a model for us to follow (wasn't one of the old contenders for the Toronto contract the company that worked on the DC station?). And note that DC's Union Station is still a very active train station, with Amtrak (which I rode in from New York), MARC and Virginia Express trains using it, as well the Union Station subway stop on the Red Line. Just a gorgeous building.
 

CDL.TO

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wasn't one of the old contenders for the Toronto contract the company that worked on the DC station?

Yup. Remember the controversy over how questionable judging caused this experienced company to lose the contract to the inexperienced (Lastman-connected) Union-Pearson Group?
 

Jdot

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Actually, I dont mind it at all if the city undertakes the renovation of Union Station itself, even if it means going at it bit by bit. We may not see a dramatic overhaul of the entire property in a 2 - 3 year span, but there is nothing wrong with that. Taking 5 - 10 years may seem drawn out for us development-philes, but it may be the better way of fixing up the grand dame in a responsible way.
 

syn

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Just came back from a conference in Washington, and their Union Station is absolutely stunning. The shops and restaurants are well done and in good taste, and it's clear no expense was spared to restore the building to its prime condition. Clearly a model for us to follow (wasn't one of the old contenders for the Toronto contract the company that worked on the DC station?). And note that DC's Union Station is still a very active train station, with Amtrak (which I rode in from New York), MARC and Virginia Express trains using it, as well the Union Station subway stop on the Red Line. Just a gorgeous building.


What? No Dollar Stores? :p

I still find it hard to believe the city can't find someone to complete the renovation/upgrade for a short term (around 30 years) lease.
 

ShonTron

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The skylight refurbishment is actually quite nice, and is more than just ensuring that Union Station doesn't fall down.

I wouldn't mind a paired-down scheme, keep the upper Great Hall the way it is (but finish the refurbishments), and redevelop sections of the rest, like the old CN/CP offices, particuarly the abandoned west wing, or the lower level with retail, like an upscale-looking food court, like Halles de la Gare in Central Station.

The GO Concourse needs a redo. Very very badly.
 

Observer Walt

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Agreed, although what Shocker chooses to call "soul", I would call garishness or cheapo-tackiness. It's the lower concourse and the connections to the platforms that need serious upgrading. The Great Hall itself, IMO, is not bad at all the way it is. If it is felt that the Great Hall needs work, it could be done later.
 

wyliepoon

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My fantasy plan for Union Station would be to re-route all passenger circulation routes, for GO Train passengers, GO Bus and all intercity trains, through the Great Hall. It's unfortunate that the Great Hall looks so underused, especially compared to Grand Central Terminal in New York. It's also rather strange that it's the departing passengers on VIA who get to enjoy the Great Hall, while the arriving passengers who really deserve to be wowed by it exit the station through the dark basement level.
 

ShonTron

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My favourite is the lotto kiosk.

Dairy Queen in a pinch.

But since the GO Concourse is devoid of pippy-poos or doo-dads, I guess it gets US's seal of approval.
 

adma

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Harvey's is upstairs; Cinnabon's downstairs. Maybe that says something.

Come to think of it, in the Canadiana spirit of Harvey's, maybe if Cinnabon belongs downstairs, Beavertails belongs upstairs...
 

samsonyuen

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I'd like more, better retail. I agree with Wylie about the arrival for VIA passengers being less than underwhelming. GO Trains would be great through the Great Hall.
 

EnviroTO

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I agree with Wylie about the arrival for VIA passengers being less than underwhelming.

They probably do it for health reasons. You need to acclimatize the people... the underwhelming Arrivals area calms passengers before they step into the subway station area or Front and Bay and are overloaded with massive throngs of people. :)
 

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