Customer walkthrough guide – how to find your way around Toronto’s new Union Station Bus Terminal

Finding your way is one of the more challenging parts of taking public transit, or even navigating a major city like Toronto. Even veteran transit riders find changing routines and habits to be daunting. Starting in early December, GO bus customers are going to find themselves starting and ending their journey at a new Union Station Bus Terminal. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Metrolinx News is here to help, so let us take you by the hand and show you the way.

Move over CN Tower, there’s a shiny new landmark in town.

If you haven’t heard the news already, GO Transit customers are getting a brand new bus terminal in the heart of downtown Toronto.  

The new Union Station Bus Terminal (USBT) is located just down street from the existing terminal on the north-east corner of Bay Street and Lake Shore Boulevard, as part of the larger connected CIBC SQUARE development (81 Bay Street).

The state of the art bus hub is set to open its doors on December 5, 2020.  

Interior of the new bus terminal with departure gates and benches and screens
The new Union Station Bus Terminal opens on December 5, 2020 – this walkthrough guide will help show you the way there. (Roy Mak photo)

The new USBT has two levels with a total of 14 bus bays – twice as many as the current station. It’s completely indoors and will connect to the city’s PATH network, allowing GO and UP Express customers to quickly and seamlessly move between bus and rail, as well as around parts of downtown Toronto.

The old bus terminal will close its doors at the end of the service day on December 4th, after more than 17 years of GO bus service.

Now that you’ve got all of the important information, you’re probably wondering, ‘how do I get to the new bus terminal?’ Now that’s a very good question – one that is hopefully answered by this walkthrough guide.  We’ve also created a handy walkthrough video to help show you the way.

Finding Your Route to the new USBT

From the old Union Station Bus Terminal on Bay Street just south of Front Street

A view of the old bus terminal looking west towards Bay Street. (Roy Mak photo)
  • Starting Dec. 5, you won’t be able to access the old bus terminal as it will be fenced off for decommissioning work.
The view from the old Union Station Bus Terminal on the east side of Bay Street looking south
The view from the old Union Station Bus Terminal on the east side of Bay Street looking south. (Nitish Bissonauth photo)
  • The quickest way to get to the new bus terminal is by heading south along Bay Street, along the sidewalk on the east side of the street.
  • You’ll notice the Bay East Teamway is closed for construction, but the outdoor sidewalk is still available. Walk along the sidewalk under the bridge and the doors to the new terminal are just on the other side of the underpass.

From Bay Street West & Scotiabank Arena

The view from the west side of Union Station on Bay Street looking south.
The view from the west side of Union Station on Bay Street looking south. (Nitish Bissonauth photo)
  • If you’re heading to catch a GO bus at the new terminal from the west side of Bay Street, the quickest is way is to head south along Bay, through the Bay West Teamway and then go into the Scotiabank Arena Galleria doors on the right.
The view from the Bay West Teamway looking south towards Lake Shore Blvd. (Nitish Bissonauth photo)
  • Once you’re inside, you’ll see two big escalators – take the escalator up and then cross the new pedestrian bridge.
The view from the top of the escalators, looking down into the Scotiabank Galleria. (Scott Money photo)
  • This will take you right into the second level of the new USBT
The view from the new pedestrian bridge along Bay Street looking into the 2nd level of the new bus terminal, you’re almost there. (Nitish Bissonauth photo)

From Union Station

Inside the GO York Concourse, looking towards the customer service desk
Inside the GO York Concourse, looking towards the customer service desk. (Nitish Bissonauth photo)
  • If you’re transferring to/from a GO or UP Express train and need to catch a GO bus there are two main ways to do it.
  • You can get to the new bus terminal from the outside by using the directions above, or you can take the indoor route.
  • To stay inside, start in the GO York Concourse and follow the signs for the Union Station Bus Terminal and Scotiabank Arena.
  • Head towards the large customer service desk, pass the Booster Juice and go up the ramp towards GO platforms 24-27.
Heading through the doors in the York Concourse towards Scotiabank Arena and GO platforms 24-27.
Heading through the doors in the York Concourse towards Scotiabank Arena and GO platforms 24-27. (Nitish Bissonauth photo)
  • Then follow the signs to Scotiabank Arena, which will take you down a ramp and through a set of doors into the Scotiabank Galleria.
Keep following the signs for GO Bus and Scotiabank Arena, you’re getting close. (Nitish Bissonauth photo)
Heading down the ramp towards Scotiabank Arena and the new USBT
Heading down the ramp towards Scotiabank Arena and the new USBT. (Nitish Bissonauth photo)
One last set of doors will get you in the Scotiabank Galleria
One last set of doors will get you in the Scotiabank Galleria, head to the far end and take the escalators up. (Nitish Bissonauth photo)
  • Head to the far west end of the Scotiabank Galleria where you’ll see a set of escalators – take the escalators up and ten cross the new pedestrian bridge.
  • This will take you right into the new USBT.

From Lake Shore

The Lake Shore entrance into the new USBT
The Lake Shore entrance into the new USBT will look a little more polished on opening day. (Nitish Bissonauth photo)
  • You can also access the new Union Station Bus Terminal from of Lake Shore Boulevard.
  • There are south facing doors along Lake Shore, just east of Bay Street. This offers convenient access to people that live south of Lake Shore, or people transferring from the Toronto Island Ferries. 

As the new Union Station Bus Terminal is poised to open its doors this weekend (Dec. 5), it will become the city’s newest transit landmark.

Sure it doesn’t offer a rotating restaurant or death-defying walks on the edge, but it does connect people to places all over the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has made life harder, ideally this guide will make things a bit easier for GO customers in the coming weeks.

If you still need help finding your way, please contact GO Transit customer service.

Story by Scott Money, Metrolinx media relations senior advisor and Nitish Bissonauth, Metrolinx bilingual spokesperson, media relations and issues specialist.