Image shows the singers.

Metrolinx carollers bring holiday cheer to Toronto’s Union Station

It’s a familiar site: customers rushing through Union Station’s York and Bay Concourses in the morning to catch a GO train or head to work. The only noise typically heard are boarding announcements, light chatter, and heels clicking. But today (Dec. 15), a different type of sound filled the air.

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening?

If you happened to be in York Concourse during rush hour this morning (Dec. 15), you likely couldn’t help but hear holiday favourites belted out by Metrolinx carollers.

Since 2012, Metrolinx staff from departments across the board have gotten together to bring holiday cheer in the form of well-known Christmas tunes to Union Station during the month of December.

And in these trying times, stopping to hear a simple song or two might be enough for people to hit pause on their troubles and enjoy the moment.

Image shows the singers.
COVID measures interrupted past carolling events, but the Metrolinx singers and musicians are back at Union Station. (Anne Marie Aikins photo)

“People are looking for the cheer and happiness in these interesting times,” said Brent Madore, Project Coordinator, GO Expansion Early Works, Capital Projects Group, and carolling co-organizer. “We’re bringing cheer and joy to customers running through Union Station.”

The carolling initiative was inspired by Metrolinx staff participation in a ‘Canada Sings’ competition, and the group wanted to find a way to continue performing.

Image shows Phil leading the carollers.
Metrolinx President and CEO, Phil Verster, jumps in to conduct the carollers during a song. (Anne Marie Aikins photo)

The last time Metrolinx carollers serenaded crowds was in 2019, as the pandemic silenced the music last year.

“People looked forward to us performing, and would stop and stay for one to two songs,” Madore recalled of past performances. “Some would sing along, some were moved to tears. It’s such a special interaction between us and customers.”

Image shows a collection box.
The singing helps raise funds for the United Way. (Anne Marie Aikins photo)

The Metrolinx carollers are also collecting funds for the United Way of Greater Toronto, with a fundraising goal of $5,000.  

Story by Fannie Sunshine, Metrolinx media relations advisor

*Editor’s Note – the story was updated to reflect the cancellation of the second carolling event planned for next week, due to COVID-19 precautions.