st lawrenece north market

Toronto's never-ending major construction project is driving neighbours bonkers

A seemingly never-ending ambitious construction project in the downtown-adjacent area is a nightmare and migraine for residents living near it.

The North St. Lawrence Market redevelopment is in its third year of actual construction and currently in the final phase of a three-tiered construction project - but it isn't sitting well with some neighbours.

Beginnings of this project can be traced back to 2010 when then city mayor at the time, David Miller, announced the winning design of the market. 

By 2015, the temporary North Market on The Esplanade was designed, constructed and opened in July

Phase two was completed after a lengthy archaeological assessment that found evidence on previous buildings dating from the mid 1800s to early 1900s.

That assessment was completed in 2017 when the city confirmed the entire project was two-years behind. At the time, the city projected it would be completely finished by 2020.

Well, now, 2022 is almost over and yet the market is still not complete.

And nearby neighbours are getting fed up.

The project is sandwiched between two condo and apartment-like buildings, and with daily construction from 7 a.m. - 5 p.m., it's no wonder this project is becoming more of a headache than an icon.

Stroll on by any given date and your ears will be met with an orchestra of drilling, smashing and idling truck engines.

Drive by and you won't be pressed to spot multiple vehicles and construction workers milling around the place.

"The drilling is endless," said one local resident Edward Karek, while promising he isn't a "grouchy, old man" complaining.

"I recall this project started in 2010 and of course the [archelogical] dig took a huge chunk of time. It's been in the works for 12 years now, like come on, what’s going on here?"

One thing that Karek finds strange is that the city has yet to communicate with residents on when the project will be completed or sent notices about noise.

"The people who live directly adjacent to the site, I can't imagine what the quality of their home life is," he said. 

In fact, when I was speaking with Karek on the phone about the situation, I could hear the drilling in the background, which he says runs like clockwork.

If you happen to be in any St. Lawrence neighbourhood groups, you'll know that Karek is not the lone complainer, with many sharing the same thoughts.

Of course, lots of residents agree the market will be a great architectural addition and are looking forward to when it is ready to be enjoyed, which the city website lists as the end of 2023.

The end is insight folks, stay strong! 

Lead photo by

Sabrina Gamrot

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