Toronto Union Station
Prepare to be wowed by Toronto Union Station, the thriving transit center that has been carrying commuters safely on their way for nearly 100 years in the heart of downtown Toronto. With enticing stores, irresistible restaurants, free entertainment, and the ability to connect to any place within Toronto — and Canada — you will find yourself stopping at Toronto Union Station multiple times during your stay in the city. And you’re guaranteed to have a different experience each time.
Located in the heart of Old Town Toronto on Front Street, about a 10-minute walk from the Waterfront of Lake Ontario, Toronto Union Station is easily accessible from any point in Toronto via the city’s subway, streetcar, bus, and pedestrian PATH networks.
For up-to-date information and details on Toronto Union Station, we recommend you visit their website. For information about other places of interest to explore nearby, keep scrolling to see what Destination Ontario recommends.
More about Toronto Union Station
Toronto Union Station is not only the premier transit center in Toronto, it is also the largest, busiest and most stunning train station in Canada. Servicing over 300,000 commuters and visitors daily, the station links people with all of Toronto, the nearby port city of Hamilton, the rest of Canada, and even the United States. Passengers can connect with Via Rail Canada, Amtrak, Go Transit Regional Trains, UP Express Train to Toronto Airport, Go Transit buses, Bike Share Toronto, the underground pedestrian PATH network, and Toronto’s subway and streetcars.
And Toronto Union Station is far more than just a transit hub. It also offers visitors a chance to just relax. You can escape the hustle of the commute — or the day — by enjoying the more than 100 shops and restaurants found within the station. The lower levels are a vibrant mall with a variety of exciting shops to browse with new retail space being added. And then sit back and savor the many culinary delights found in the food court showcasing the diversity of Toronto’s food scene. Or relish the multidisciplinary free events and performances that transform Toronto Union Station into an entertainment space.
Should you need information about what to do or see in Toronto, the Tourist Information Booth on the main level is there to help you. Public toilets are available on all levels ensuring your comfort while you indulge in the many offerings in the station. Note, though, that if you are planning on passing through Toronto for the day, Toronto Union Station is without luggage storage, and keep in mind that the station is not open 24/7. (So spending the night there is not an option.) However, directly across the station on Front Street is the Fairmont Royal York Hotel. A former railway hotel, the hotel can easily be reached from the station either at street level or via the pedestrian PATH system.
The layout of the Toronto Union Station is divided into different sections. Each provides customers with a different experience and facilities. They include:
- The Great Hall: ticket offices, Tourist Information Booth, bathrooms
- Front & York Street Promenade: retail shops, toilets
- York Concourse: GO Transit platforms, Lost & Found, PATH connections, toilets
- Bay Concourse: GO Transit platforms, fresh market, retail space
- Union Food Court: lower level eateries with seating for 600 people, toilets
A train station has stood on this spot since the mid 1800s. The current Toronto Union Station was designed by the Montreal architecture firm of G.A. Ross and R.H. MacDonald. Though construction began during World War I, the station officially did not open until 1927. The ribbon cutting ceremony was led by Prince Edward, Prince of Wales (future King Edward VIII). This National Historic Landmark was inspired by the Beaux-Arts style from Paris and everyone agrees that it is an absolute gem. Truly, one of the best examples of Beaux-Arts in all of Canada.
If you are entering the station from its main entrance on Front Street, the impressive colonnade wrapped around the exterior —- 22 columns in total —- will immediately grab your eye. But the real highlight of the original station is the lavish Great Hall. The two-story high hall, built from limestone with a magnificent marble tile floor and dramatic windows, is now the station’s ticket lobby. If you are going to be at Toronto Union Station, you cannot miss seeing the Great Hall. And you can get a taste of what the station would have looked like in 1927 when you stroll along the Front Street Promenade. Each retail shop retains the original store front from when the station opened.
Stunning in its historical architecture, Toronto Union Station also connects the past to the bright future of the city. Currently, the station is undergoing a multi million revitalization project due to be completed at the end of 2020. Keeping the rich history and origin design of the building, the project aims to modernize the station providing an enhanced experience for all visitors.
There isn’t one part of Toronto Union Station that hasn’t been improved during the project overseen by the City of Toronto and GO Transit. Stunning glass and steel covers now protect the pedestrian moats surrounding the station. Commuters can now comfortably transfer between the subway and the station regardless of the outside weather and temperature. With additional elevators and escalators, the station is even more fully accessible. And, of course, there is the addition of the new Bay Concourse making connections even more easier for commuters.