If you are a regular user of Union Subway Station, you will see some big changes tomorrow as the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) will open the long-awaited second subway platform after three years of construction.
Currently riders share one platform for trains that head both north on the Yonge line and on the University line. With the new platform, each line will now have its own dedicated waiting area.
“This essentially doubles the capacity … of the subway station,” said Brad Ross, Executive Director of Corporate Communications for the TTC. Ross noted that the subway station was built in 1954 and that it is the third busiest station within the system. The existing platform is the narrowest in width compared to other TTC stations.
The new platform, which will serve Yonge line riders, is much brighter and modern compared to the current platform. It features white and grey tiles, wider stairs, escalators and an elevator.As a part of the concourse improvements, there will be new entrances into the underground PATH system.Also, there will soon be restored access to the 509 and 510 streetcar loop. It is expected that the loop will open in October.
With the addition of the new platform, the older platform will become the dedicated platform for the University line. It will be gradually refurbished, along with the upper concourse, to have the same modern finishes.According to Malcolm MacKay, Project Manager with the TTC, crews will rehabilitate the old platform in four stages with no service disruption. Construction at the subway station will be fully completed by Spring, 2015.
The TTC will also be installing a 500-foot glass art wall to block off the southern side of the University line platform. Stuart Reid won an international public art competition for his piece, “Zones of Immersion,” in 2012.
According to Ross, the project is still within the $137.5 million budget. The second platform and station concourse improvements were funded by Waterfront Toronto with contributions from all three levels of government.