eglinton crosstown

Businesses impacted by Eglinton construction will finally get some relief

Small businesses that have been struggling in the midst of the ongoing construction of the Line 5 Eglinton Crosstown LRT have finally had their plight recognized by the province.

The storefronts along Eglinton Avenue, led by the York-Eglinton BIA, have cited significantly lower foot traffic since work on the new transit line began debilitating the area years ago. And, now that the timeline for the transportation project has been delayed, they're not sure how they'll be able to keep operating under the circumstances.

Fortunately for local businesses owners, Ontario Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney yesterday offered up an additional $3 million to assist those who have been impacted.

As Mulroney notes in her statement on the matter, Metrolinx and Crosslinx Transit Solutions have already provided $6.6 million worth of services to help merchants along the thoroughfare in the form of promotional campaigns, cleaning blitzes, parking discounts and the promise of future community programming.

She and Mayor John Tory recognize, though, that more funding is needed while work continues on the 25-stop east-west line for another two years.

Though residents are thankful for the new funds from the province and call it a "step in the right direction," some worry it may not be enough to keep all of those who have been affected afloat.

Local city councillors are among those continuing to advocate for stores along the Eglinton strip, demanding more direct compensation.

Everyone who's traveled along Eglinton recently can attest to what a mess it has been for pedestrians and vehicles alike, and those in the area have grown pretty sick of it.

Metrolinx representative Anne Marie Aikins told the CBC last month that the regional transportation authority feels merchants' key complaints, like congestion and business access, were things that already existed in the area and have simply "been exacerbated now that construction is underway."

She also added that "You cannot build massive projects through urbanized areas without causing pain."

Though there is no way to quantify the benefit that the community will see from the project once it's finished, hopefully it will be enough for Eglinton businesses to make up for lost time — and that they are able to get by until then.

Lead photo by

Randy McDonald


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