Thursday, November 15, 2007

Finding Union at the Station

It's always brought a pang of jealousy when I visit other cities who have managed to create transportation hubs that compell us to stay and soak up the energy of people on the move. Osaka, New York, Kyoto and Copenhagen all enjoy train stations that serve not only as destinations for travellers but also those who live in the city and just want to feel the buzz. Union Station in Toronto has never excited me. There is no decades old Oyster bar to entice me to its lower levels like Grand Central or soaring sky yard to explore as in Kyoto's Central Station, but at least now there is a vision. Mayor Miller wants to give Union Station a well-overdue facelift. I certainly hope this doesn't just culminate in some updated retail spaces, reminiscent of the bland shops in our underground shopping mall, just to generate more city revenue. Whatever changes are made should dazzle tourists and Torontonians alike. Open up the space. Lift those weary travellers out of their tunnel vision. Sweep away the dingy and haphazard and make its history shine once more. Most of of all I'd love to see the city revive some of the grandeur of the station's origins on Front Street when it was the Grand Trunk Railway.


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