Canada, Ontario and Toronto launch job-creating revitalization of Union
Station

TORONTO, June 4 /CNW Telbec/ - The governments of Canada and Ontario, and the City of Toronto today officially kicked off the start of construction to revitalize Union Station and strengthen its position as Canada's premier inter-regional and intermodal transportation hub.

"Here in Toronto and across the country, creating and protecting jobs and stimulating the Canadian economy are the top priorities of this government," said the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. "By investing in the revitalization of Union Station, our government is improving both an iconic Canadian landmark and facility that is used by millions of commuters every year. This project is another example of the Harper government's decisive action to create jobs and strengthen Canada's economy."

"Union Station is being transformed into a first-rate transportation facility that is modern, efficient and focused on the customer experience," said the Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Ontario's Transportation Minister. "Investing in public transit is a big part of our government's Open Ontario plan to strengthen our economy, and create more jobs and growth by being open to change and opportunities."

"Union Station is our country's busiest and most important transportation hub, and is a proud part of our history and our identity as Torontonians, Ontarians and Canadians," said His Worship, Toronto Mayor David Miller. "The City of Toronto continues to own, maintain and improve Union Station to support growth, prosperity and liveability through improved public transit. Torontonians should be proud to see the revitalization finally begin, which will enable Toronto's Union Station to rival some of the most renowned train stations in the world."

The revitalization of Union Station will improve the delivery of inter-regional and intermodal passenger services by:

    
    -   creating a threefold increase in the GO Transit concourse space owned
        by Metrolinx to accommodate the expected doubling of GO passengers at
        Union Station by 2030;
    -   restoring heritage aspects of the main building;
    -   allowing for the purchase and refurbishment of the west wing for the
        relocation of Metrolinx's head office;
    -   constructing a new northwest PATH connection that will join the
        northwest corner of Union Station to Wellington Street;
    -   enhancing pedestrian concourses to improve traffic flow; and
    -   enabling the city to create a new lower retail level below the
        station to increase capacity for retail services.
    

Work is expected to be complete in 2015.

The total cost for the revitalization of Union Station is approximately $640 million. The Government of Canada is contributing up to $164 million (up to a maximum of $133 million from the Building Canada Fund, $25 million from VIA Rail and $6 million from the Transit-Secure Fund) toward the project. The Government of Ontario is contributing up to $172 million to the revitalization, while the City of Toronto is contributing the remaining $304 million.

Canada's Economic Action Plan continues to be timely and effective. Investments in public infrastructure create jobs, and help our businesses and communities prosper now and into the future. The plan has protected Canadian jobs and stimulated economic activity by investing $12 billion in new infrastructure. The Government of Canada is reducing taxes, extending EI benefits for the unemployed and investing in thousands of infrastructure projects. The government is investing in science and technology, industries and communities, and is taking extraordinary actions to improve access to financing. Canada's Economic Action Plan is an investment in jobs and in our future prosperity. Learn how the Government of Canada is taking important steps to support economic growth at www.actionplan.gc.ca.

Read more about Open Ontario - the McGuinty government's five-year plan that includes investing $32 billion in infrastructure, and creating and sustaining over 300,000 jobs - at www.premier.gov.on.ca/openOntario.

Since acquiring Union Station in 2000, the City of Toronto has invested $50 million in the station, led its revitalization and will manage all construction with three objectives: to promote Union Station as a multimodal transportation hub; to preserve its heritage and character; and to revitalize the station as a premier transportation centre that will be a major destination in the city. For more information on the city's revitalization and for other Union Station Revitalization-related information, visit www.toronto.ca/union_station.

This news release may be made available in alternative formats for persons living with visual disabilities.

    
    BACKGROUNDER

                    REVITALIZING UNION STATION IN TORONTO
                    -------------------------------------
    

Infrastructure investment stimulates economic growth, creates jobs, supports stronger communities and enhances the overall prosperity of Ontarians.

The revitalization of Union Station in downtown Toronto is a federal and provincial priority investment.

Union Station is Canada's busiest rail passenger facility, handling as many as 65 million passengers annually, and this number is expected to grow substantially in future, along with expanded commuter rail and other services.

The initiative will result in a redeveloped station with enhanced pedestrian movement, both throughout and around it. Two new GO Transit concourses will be built, with one concourse providing enhanced access from the station's York Street side and the other from Bay Street. In 2012, the first new GO concourse on York Street will be created. The second GO concourse on Bay Street will be completed in 2014. Together, these projects will triple the concourse space from 39,000 square feet to 122,000 square feet, vastly improving pedestrian flow and accessibility to support an anticipated doubling of GO Transit passengers in the next 20 years.

Additional improvements in passenger flow include improved underground access from the station through a new underground PATH connection along York Street from Union Station to Wellington Street, new access to Toronto's waterfront, and enhanced access between the Toronto Transit Commission's subway station and Union Station itself.

Also included in the revitalization is a new deep-lake water cooling system, installation of photovoltaic panels, enhancements to the heritage components of the building, restoration of the upper three levels of the west wing and the creation of a new lower retail level intended to make Toronto's Union Station a destination for everyone to visit, shop, dine and experience the city.

SOURCE Government of Canada

For further information: For further information: James Kusie, Director of Issues Management and Parliamentary Affairs, Office of Canada's Transport Minister John Baird, Ottawa, (613) 991-0700; Derek Luk, Minister's Office, Ontario Ministry of Transportation, Toronto, (416) 327-1815; Stuart Green, Director of Communications (Acting), Office of Mayor David Miller, Toronto, (416) 338-7119; Media Relations, Transport Canada, Ottawa, (613) 993-0055; Bob Nichols, Ontario Ministry of Transportation, Toronto, (416) 327-1158; Cindy Bromley, Communications Manager, Finance and Administration, City of Toronto, (416) 392-4993


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