pape station

An entire block in Toronto is now vacant after all businesses shut down

At least a dozen long-standing businesses located on one block in Toronto have been expropriated by Metrolinx to make way for a future transit line, effectively transforming the once lively stretch into a barren sea full of closing and final sale notices. 

Akropolis Pastries, Home Hardware, Eton House, and Tibet Shoppe, are just some of the neighbourhood staples that have been forced to close to make way for the future 15.6-kilometre rapid Ontario Line. 

Affected businesses are located on the north side of Danforth Avenue between Pape and Eaton Avenues, where the Ontario Line's Pape Station entrance will be. 

Back in June, news of the Pape/Danforth Home Hardware's impending closure began to circulate in community Facebook groups, and the store's owner, Malcolm Firkser, confirmed to blogTO that the business received an expropriation letter from Metrolinx to vacate the premises by Aug. 14. 

pape station

At least a dozen businesses along the block have been forced to close following an expropriation notice from Metrolinx. Photo: blogTO.

Adjacent businesses were also affected, including De-Dal's Clothing Centre, which revealed that the store would be shutting down after 45 years due to expropriation by Metrolinx. 

Tibet Shoppe, located at 700 Danforth Ave., was forced to put on a massive clearance sale at its physical shop and move its operations online following the expropriation notice. The store closed its doors after 30 years in the neighbourhood on Aug. 28. 

Just down the street, the marquee above the Eton House reveals that the popular hangout spot was forced to close its doors on Aug. 20 after 28 years of events and parties. 

pape station

The Eton House officially closed its doors on Aug. 20. Photo: blogTO.

Akropolis Pastries also announced that it would be shutting its doors on Aug. 28 following 44 years in business. The Greek bakery's president, Bill Gekas, told the Star that the businesses received an official expropriation notice in the winter of 2022. 

Gekas revealed that the offer from Metrolinx — which had previously promised to compensate affected businesses accordingly — was below market value, leading him to make plans to take the company to court

The bakery's president also criticized the transit agency for taking away affordable housing from affected tenants without providing them with a suitable replacement. 

The future rapid transit line is set to run from the Exhibition Place, through downtown, to the Ontario Science Centre. Metrolinx says the line will include 15 stations and 40 travel connections to the TTC's Line 1 and Line 2, certain GO Train rail lines, and the long-overdue Eglinton Crosstown LRT

According to city documents, the project is planned for completion in 2031.

Despite Metrolinx's promise to relieve the neighbourhood of congested travel experiences and ease accessibility to the rest of the city, residents continue to mourn the loss of the vital businesses that once called the now-vacant block home. 

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