eglinton crosstown

Eglinton businesses will not be compensated for LRT construction

Storefront owners who have experienced a massive blow to foot traffic amid the ongoing Line 5 Eglinton Crosstown LRT construction are sadly out of luck when it comes to potential compensation for months of negative impact on their businesses.

Now that the long-time revamp of Eglinton Avenue has been delayed once again, those who own stores and restaurants along the thoroughfare are facing the prospect of another two years of the disruptive work — and are asking for some type of payment in return for the financial insecurity the construction has caused. 

Small, independent fixtures have been the most hard-hit, and some think that the City's promises of compensation by way of parking discounts, cleaning blitzes and investment into promotion are not enough.

Metrolinx, which is behind the 25-stop transportation project that has now been more than a decade in the works, said at one point that it would help by funding future community events in the affected neighbourhoods. It has also developed "Experience Eglinton," a promotional program to help support business in the area.

And this is apparently all the company will do, as it's recently told the CBC that it will not be compensating business owners on the strip regardless of how much money they have lost.

Anne Marie Aikins told the national news outlet that Metrolinx does not have the funds, and "does not compensate for lost business."

She added that many of the business owners' causes for concern already existed before construction began, and have simply "been exacerbated now that construction is underway," though Metrolinx acknowledges that the work has taken its toll on the area.

As is foreseeable with large-scale construction projects such as this one — especially on a main street like Eglinton — the work has been an absolute mess for pedestrians, vehicles and basically everyone in the general vicinity of the forthcoming LRT line.

Hopefully the relief of an additional, much-needed public transit line will be enough to make us all forget about how hard it was to complete.

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