toronto PATH

The PATH will be almost unrecognizable when Toronto returns to work

As the pandemic wears on and downtown Toronto looks more like a ghosttown the PATH, which was once home to 1,200 restaurants, shops and services is looking a lot different. 

Many of the businesses have had to shutter their PATH locations and restaurants have been taken over by new ones. 

If you walk around in First Canadian Place, for example, there you might notice places like Naturally Yours and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, among others, will soon be replaced with a Mean Bao and Hazukido.

Unfortunately it's impossible to say how many businesses have closed or been replaced since March as the Financial District BIA (FDBIA) told blogTO they don't keep track of closures and re-openings. 

According to the city’s website, prior to the pandemic the PATH's had 3.7 million square feet of retail space and generated roughly $1.7 billion in sales. It also used to see 200,000 business day commuters, tourists and residents a day. 

However, COVID-19 restrictions have taken away 90% of those people and as a result businesses are struggling to survive

But the FDBIA is hopeful that in the new year things will pick up.  

"Despite the current lockdown, we’re confident the PATH will continue to be a vibrant and connected amenity once COVID-19 restrictions can safely be lifted," said  Grant Humes, the FDBIA executive director, in a statement to blogTO. 

"The reality is that many employees rely on office environments for growth and collaboration, and the return to office life in the Financial District will support businesses in the PATH. Companies continue to maintain the same high-quality office space and amenities that attracted workers to the area before COVID-19."

In the meantime, Humes told blogTO relief programs were essential to maintaining the PATH.  

"Small business relief programs offered through the Provincial and Federal governments will be critical for supporting retail and hospitality through this lockdown period." 

Lead photo by

Fareen Karim

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