New retail space in the GO York Concourse gives transit customers more options
You didn’t have to be a foodie to appreciate the sudden opening on a crowded Monday morning.
Just a bleary-eyed commuter would do, as scores of downtown travelers and workers followed their noses – and the periodic barker yells coming from a young woman welcoming the hungry masses – to discover a whole new level of dining in downtown Toronto.
The Union Food Court, in the lower level of the GO York Concourse, opened for business on Monday. It now means more food choices for Canada’s busiest transit hub. Though during the first few early hours, as the levels above were busy with Go Transit travelers heading to work to start another week, it seemed to be largely about the java and a breakfast on the run.
With more than 250,000 people going through Union Station every day, it was no surprise that by 7:30am, a steady stream of hungry commuters were descending on the food court with a particular interest in Tim Hortons and McDonald’s full breakfast menus.
Hamilton commuter Paul Jones saw the blessing and a possible cost to the opening.
“Having a McDonald’s so close to work is great, but it may have some downsides on the wallet and waistband,” he said.
By noon, the court was in full session. That included a DJ spinning tunes from inside a giant coffee cup.
Nearby, IT project manager Steve Tozer used it – and the constant movement of fellow diners around him – as entertainment while he ate his meal. Though for Tozer, of Ajax, he was happy to tuck into the leftovers he brought from home.
“I made it. Brought it. Didn’t want it to go to waste,” he explained, but noted he was impressed – perhaps tempted – by all the food options in every direction.
“There’s a lot here,” he said between bites of leftover chicken and noodles out of a plastic container.
“I’ve not seen a pierogi place like that before,” he noted, pointing his fork toward Loaded Pierogi.
Customers aren’t the only ones welcoming the change. Metrolinx President & CEO Phil Verster is delighted about the new options for GO Customers.
“This food court is a fantastic addition to Union Station – Union Station is the biggest transportation hub in Canada, and it’s great to have more services available in a fantastic environment,” said Verster.
Food and coffee check off a lot of boxes but Union Station’s newest addition brings more than sustenance to the proverbial table. There is ample high top seating, charging stations, ATMs, and even a Toronto Public Library e-book kiosk.
Union Food Court delights the senses, satisfies cravings and as one Twitter user put it, it even has that “new escalator smell”.
During his next downtown meeting, it may even before enough to convince diner Tozer to leave the leftovers at home.
Story written by Scott Money, Advisor, Media, Social Media and Issues Management at Metrolinx. Main photo by photographer Spring Morris.
A bite or brew? Here are your new dining options, Toronto:
- Bangkok Buri
- Loaded Pierogi
- Paramount Fine Foods
- Pizza Pizza
- Shanghai 360
- Sushi Shop
- Tim Hortons