Today Council approved plans to make the City the head lessee of all current and future retail spaces in Union Station, including spaces in a new lower concourse. With funding from the federal and provincial governments already secured, the Council’s approval was the “last major milestone” needed for the $640 million project, which is set to begin in 2010 and is scheduled to be finished by 2015.
Aside from creating a lower retail concourse, the reccommended approach to revitalize the station includes significant improvements and additions to the public spaces inside the station. These new pedestrian and transit spaces will be made possible through dedicated levels [ PDF ]; one designed for GO and VIA Transit users, the other specifically tailored to retail. The City of Toronto website states that project aims include better pedestrian access to the Great Hall, heritage restoration, floor and stair refurbishment, reconstruction of the entrance plaza on Front Street, better utilization of the East and West wings and improved way-finding and signage among other changes.