sinkhole toronto

Massive sinkhole opens up in Toronto and it's putting the hurt on local businesses

Ongoing construction in one Toronto neighbourhood is having devastating impacts on neighbouring businesses, and it doesn't look like the work will wrap up anytime soon. 

Headbangers Hair Salon is just one of several businesses located on the busy strip along Dundas between Brock and Sheridan Avenue, and owner Allison Ruzicka says the construction is resulting in a heavy loss of revenue. 

sinkhole toronto

Allison Ruzicka of Headbangers salon standing in front of construction on Dundas West.

"Construction has been going on for two weeks, and they told us that it was going to be done on Nov. 21, and then they extended it to Dec. 31, and now Jan. 31," Ruzicka told blogTO. 

What started out as emergency work on pipes along Dundas transformed into a larger issue when contractors discovered a sinkhole beneath the streetcar tracks. 

Although sidewalks are still open to foot traffic, prohibited streetcar, bus, and vehicular access is making it difficult for customers to reach key businesses, including Ruzicka's hair salon. 

"A lot of our business have been hurt financially because they literally had caution tape around all of our businesses, and they weren't letting my clients through," she said. 

During the phone call with Ruzicka, loud construction could be heard blasting in the background, which is something the business owner says her clients have to hear all day. 

"It definitely made my life a little bit of a living hell," she said. "I can't hear my clients, it gets super loud out there."

sinkhole toronto

The sinkhole has completely shut down the street.

Ruzicka told blogTO she's seen a reduction in clients over the past two and half weeks, and so have many of the other businesses along Dundas. 

"We had a meeting yesterday, and everyone is extremely frustrated, everyone's pissed," she said. "Everyone's really concerned that people are not going to be coming through during the holidays."

Although the substantial signage and road work is causing many pedestrians to turn away from the lively street, Ruzicka wants people to know that her business, along with all the others, are very much open and ready to welcome customers. 

sinkhole toronto

The current state of Dundas West.

And while the date of the construction completion still remains tentative, the hair salon owner believes this ordeal will definitely drag on. 

"They said that if all goes well, that would be the date that everything would be finished. But we all know with the city, that's going to take a lot longer," she said. 

For a list of the businesses affected by the current road closure, check out Little Portugal BIA's list

Lead photo by

Fareen Karim

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