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Union Station's Bay concourse won't be completed in time for Pan Am, officials say

A major part of the renovations at Union Station, a project run by the City of Toronto, the TTC and Metrolinx, won’t be completed in time for the 2015 Pan Am Games, CityNews has learned.

Documents obtained under a Freedom of Information request include a timeline and early construction plans that clearly called for the Bay Street concourse to be done by July 2015 when the multi-sport event begins in Toronto.

But a year long delay in building Union Station’s York concourse means the Bay Street concourse won’t be completed until 2016.

“That may have been a very early estimate, but we aren’t expecting it now to be open in time for Pan Am,” said Anne Marie Aikens, spokeswoman for the province’s transportation agency Metrolinx.

The city, meanwhile, maintains the project is still on time and budget.

“The Bay concourse is scheduled for turn-over to Metrolinx year-end 2016 – to be clear, it was never intended nor scheduled to be completed for the Pan Am Games,” the city said in a statement.

The FOI documents also reveal a strained relationship between the city and project manager Carillion Canada, which wasn’t available for comment.

In one memo dated May 2013, the city’s manager of construction writes they are “clearly disappointed” and “frustrated” with the lack of a working construction schedule from Carillion.

Other documents highlight the city’s concerns over Carillion’s billing practices on “self-performed works” as well as work that was not done to the original shop drawings and had to be done again.

TTC chair Maria Augimeri said Union Station is the oldest station and hasn’t been renovated since the early 50s when it made its debut.

“So it was a nightmare to try to co-ordinate the construction in and around it.”

And to top it all off Union’s heritage building status has added a slew of surprises to an already complex project. So Augimeri isn’t surprised the timeline is off.

“As you can imagine, many things have come up. So I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s late. I don’t get surprised of these things. Of course it’s late,” she said.

Click below to view some of the memos between the city and project manager Carillion Canada.

Union Station Revitalization project