Toronto councillor holds ‘Shop Eglinton Day’ to support businesses affected by LRT construction

A Toronto councillor is holding “Shop Eglinton Day” on Tuesday in support of small businesses who are feeling the effects of the province’s Crosstown LRT construction.

Coun. Josh Matlow is holding the event which begins at 11 a.m. with lunch at the Jerusalem Restaurant.

Matlow said he invited Ontario Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney to take part in the event, along with local residents, business owners and BIAs.

“Following lunch, we’ll go on a ‘shop and walk’ along Eglinton Avenue West to visit the small business owners impacted by the Province’s Crosstown LRT project and to help the Minister of Transportation learn about the support they need to survive the two year delay announced by Metrolinx,” said a press release.

The walk will go west along Eglinton Avenue, ending at Oakwood Avenue.

Multiple shops along Eglinton have said business has been impacted by the construction. In April 2018, the city announced it will offer free parking in the area.

Furthermore, in January 2019, Metrolinx announced it would be cancelling its proposal to close a section of Bathurst Street, just north of Eglinton due public backlash and a lack of community consultation. Metrolinx said at the time the closure would have sped up the construction process by three months.

Around that time, several automakers took out an ad in a Toronto paper to remind customers they are still open for business, despite the construction making it difficult for drivers to navigate the area.

Metrolinx announced in mid-February that the Eglinton Crosstown LRT will be delayed until “well into 2022.” It was originally scheduled to open in 2020 then was postponed to 2021.

“Unfortunately, Crosslinx Transit Solutions (CTS) has faced a number of challenges since the start of the project, including starting nine months later than planned after contract award in July 2015, were slow to finalize the designs with some design work packages, and although CTS has significantly improved its production rate since the 2018 agreement, it has achieved only 84 per cent of its target, meaning the project will be delayed,” Metrolinx said at the time.

The Eglinton Crosstown LRT is a midtown connection between the west and east ends of Toronto. Starting from Mount Dennis to Kennedy, its slated to have 25 stations along the dedicated route, some stations will be above ground and others underground.

With files from Gabby Rodrigues

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