king street pilot restaurants toronto

Another King St. restaurant blames closure on pilot project

The future of the King Street Pilot is still up in the air, but a restaurant on King West says it's not sticking around to see whether the transit project stays or goes. 

Maki My Way—which has been offering build-your-own sushi on King Street's restaurant row for the last four years—is officially making its way out of the business, joining a growing list of establishments who folded this year.

Owner Robert Garabedian has said publicly that the King Street Pilot is one of the reasons he's not renewing his lease, coupled with the increase in minimum wage to $14 from $11.5o early last year. 

He's not the first business owner on this strip across from TIFF Lightbox to point a finger at the transit project, which limits car traffic and parking on King St. between Jarvis and Bathurst. 

Businesses like Pearl King have closed in recent months, citing both a "depression" in the market as well as "changes on King Street" for folding. 

Longtime Italian restaurant Kit Kat literally pointed a finger (the middle one) at the King Street Pilot, blaming the streetcar initiative for his decline in business since it launched last November.

Other nearby businesses like Porchetta & Co. and The Office Pub have been equally vocal about hating the Pilot, despite government attempts to placate them with expanded and free customer parking.

Regardless of whether these restaurants like or not, it looks like the one-year project will be extending until at least the end of 2018.

Lead photo by

Ernest Chiu


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