Toronto confused and upset as King streetcar diverted for TIFF
Is the off-chance of seeing Nicole Kidman grab a coffee worth seriously inconveniencing 80,000 commuters who use Toronto's busiest surface transit route every day?
For the many thousands of tourists who flock to Toronto for TIFF each year, yes, of course it is — and The City of Toronto is on their side.
Otherwise, why would they keep allowing the festival to close off a major chunk of King Street for Hollywood's finest (and the proles who love them) to come and do their thing?
When @jen_keesmaat becomes Mayor of Toronto, can she please prioritize the needs of 80,000+ daily riders of the 504 streetcar and NOT reroute transit around @TIFF_NET . It's a great cultural opportunity for Torontonians & visitors, but it shouldn't come at the expense of locals.— xoxo, jolene (@joleneraejepsen) September 6, 2018
Downtown residents certainly want to know, as evidenced by our annual tweets of rage on the first day of "festival street."
It should also be noted that this TIFF diversion isn't the TTC's fault. Toronto's transit commission hates it just as much as the rest of us.
It’s time for #TIFF to put on its big boy pants & realize they can’t block a major commuting corridor for 10 days every September.— (((B. Traven))) (@btravennt) September 6, 2018
There are North South streets nearby that could be used for their outdoor activities.#topoli @bradTTC @metromorning @JoshMatlow
The most recent figures available show from TIFF shows that the festival generated an annual economic impact of $189 million for Toronto as of 2013.
That's great – truly! But it likely doesn't factor in the more-recent impact of everybody being late for work due to unexpected streetcar diversions...
Or overcrowding caused by the loss of a major transit line for four days...
First day of @TIFF_NET road closures and as usual #TTC #Streetcar routes are ridiculous slammed. Our 501 Queen has passed 5 stoops FULL of people - we’ve been full since Humber Loop! This is ridiculous @JohnTory #TOpoli #ONpoli Stop closing #Transit routes! #TIFF— Steve Ulrich (@steveulrich_TO) September 6, 2018
Some people are taking their anger out on film festival sponsors.
Others are calling on TIFF directly to ask for a resolution to the problem — some of them a bit sarcastically.
I don’t have a gif that accurately conveys how I feel as I sit on a diverted streetcar trying to get to work. Is there really no compromise with @TTCnotices? Maybe keep King open for rush hour? I’m going to make a short film about this and enter it into next year’s festival.— John (@emis_j) September 6, 2018
At least the TTC is now formally recognizing how much the people of Toronto are impacted by this annual TIFF-related road closure.
Riders who are inconvenienced by the route interruption are reportedly being handed vouchers to go and see a free, regular-priced movie at the TIFF Bell Lightbox year-round (or until December 31, 2018, at least, when the vouchers will expire.)
King Streetcar riders miffed at TIFF forcing rerouting can go see a free movie. Riders being handed this voucher. King closed to cars/streetcars from east of Spadina to University Ave for next four days. All back to normal by 5am Monday. pic.twitter.com/c7NwzJ4FNT— carl hanstke (@carl680) September 6, 2018
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