New bus terminal for GO customers rises to new heights

See the progress being made on the Union Station Bus Terminal.

Feb 21, 2019

The new, state of the art Union Station Bus Terminal is set to bring an improved customer experience, safety and connections to Union Station and the surrounding area.

For a city used to seeing iconic Canadian buildings as its skyline, this one is starting to stand out.

Where was once a busy parking lot across from Scotiabank Arena, will soon be the home to CIBC SQUARE, comprised of two towers at 81 and 141 Bay Street, with 81 Bay Street housing the new Union Station Bus Terminal.

An artist's rendering shows the two, glass CIBC SQUARE towers against other Toronto towers.

Set against the skyline – In a newly released rendering, how CIBC SQUARE will change the face of Toronto. (© 2017 DBOX: a branding & creative agency)

The two towers will be connected at the fourth-floor level thanks to an elevated park perched overtop the rails, covering the railway shed. Throughout the year, the park is expected to host a wide variety of programs and events. Think of it as a mini Central Park in downtown Toronto.

The construction – which is well underway and gaining a following among those who live and work downtown – is a joint project between Metrolinx, Ivanhoé Cambridge and Hines.


Rising – A current look at the construction underway for the new Union Station Bus Terminal scheduled to open in 2020. (Photo by Matt Llewellyn)

The steel skeleton of the building is already taking shape and the south tower is now halfway to the top. Once complete, the east side of the tower will house the new bus terminal which will provide better links to the Gardiner Expressway, Lakeshore Boulevard, and other existing transit channels.


In the middle of the busy city, the site, including the new Union Station Bus Terminal, takes shape. (Photo by Jason Lee)

“The New Union Station Bus Terminal will provide an indoor weather-protected waiting area for our GO Bus customers, with an enclosed walkway to Union Station” said Jason Lee, a project manager at Metrolinx.

“This will be a major improvement over current conditions, and ultimately improve the overall GO customer experience.”


What will be – A newly released rendering of the finished project. (© 2017 DBOX: a branding & creative agency)

The terminal will have improved access to Toronto’s Union Station, TTC, VIA Rail and UP Express. It will also have 14 bus bays – that’s twice as large as the current station.

It’s an important project when you consider GO Transit currently runs on average 485 bus trips every weekday out of the current Union Station Bus Terminal, transporting around 13,600 daily weekday riders.


Where it will live – A look at the footprint of the massive downtown Toronto project. The building under construction is 81 Bay Street, which will be connected to 141 Bay Street using elevated green space. (© 2017 DBOX: a branding & creative agency)

Right now, contractors are undertaking continuous welding operations on the west side of the tower and working overnights to ensure they get critical work done to meet their 2020 deadline.

Bus services at the current Union Station Bus Terminal will continue as is until the new station is ready to move people. In a city used to hosting iconic names, the terminal is shaping up to be a big deal.

by Nitish Bissonauth Metrolinx bilingual editorial content advisor