This city project that I was blogging about as early as 2009 has always been a bit difficult for me to imagine. I mean, I knew that the areas beneath the station (where the daily commuter crunch happens), were going to be gutted and something new was going to go in, but I recently discovered some new images showing what it’s really going to look like in the end. (Yes, I did borrow these from blogTO.)
The best one is probably the basic cross-section showing how the ground beneath the trains is being transformed:
Basically, they’re splitting the lower mezzanine into two levels from the existing one.
I’m not sure how this is going to connect to the TTC and PATH, but presumably (see below), this is being done to accommodate more foot traffic, so hopefully they won’t try to jam double the people into the same entrances and exists.
The builders, NORR Architects, also provided some artist’s renderings of the upgraded station:
Based on the illustration above, it seems like there’s a lot of wasted vertical space. This is where my doubt (above) comes from.
Don’t get me wrong, aesthetically it’s nicer, but the fact that this is being done in a limited space beneath the trains make me wonder how efficient this will actually be. But I’m staying optimistic.
The one thing we can definitely look forward to is seeing a newly scrubbed exterior on the station, and new moat roofs over the lower-level outdoor pedestrian areas (where all the smokers hang out):
I don’t take GO, or the TTC for that matter, nearly as much as I used to. However, even when I was commuting daily (and this was many years ago), the crush was sometimes unbearable and the station just seemed horribly dated. The decor would probably have been pretty cool in the 70s, but with the wear of age and constant traffic, it was just starting to look rundown.
Personally, I look forward to seeing the newly reno’ed station — it’s an indelible slice of Toronto, and worth an occasional (but sensitive), upgrade or two.