TORONTO: The City of Toronto has introduced support for local businesses on Eglinton Avenue to encourage more residents to visit during construction of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT. Mayor John Tory and Councillor Josh Colle (Ward15 Eglinton-Lawrence) made the announcement at the Maria A. Shchuka library branch on Eglinton Avenue West after visiting businesses along Eglinton Avenue.
“We are all looking forward to the completion of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT and the transit it will deliver to the city, but there are real impacts on local businesses and neighbourhoods while we build transit,” said Mayor Tory. “I believe these supports will help residents and businesses during construction.”
To support local businesses along Eglinton Avenue during construction, the City will introduce the following support:
• Toronto Parking Authority (TPA) will offer a $6 discount code to use on the Green P app for paid parking within 200 metres of Eglinton Avenue from Jane Street to Don Mills Road (the equivalent of approximately two hours of free parking in most spots in the area). The code will run for the duration of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT construction period. To access the discount, users must initiate a parking session through the TPA app, click on session options, click on discount and enter Crosstown.
• As part of Clean Toronto Together, the City will launch a blitz along Eglinton Avenue to clean the corridor. City Council also approved $100,000 for immediate programs to assist impacted businesses along Eglinton Avenue. This funding will support the implementation of the following programs:
• Expanding Digital Mainstreets to support the growth of businesses by making the adoption of digital technologies easier.
• Economic scans for all Eglinton Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) to identify key demographic trends in Eglinton neighbourhoods, the factors that either deter or attract people from shopping along Eglinton and the development of strategies for the BIAs to build upon or address these factors.
In addition to these supports, the City has commissioned a study to develop recommendations for a City-run program to enable retail areas affected by construction projects to access supports to mitigate the negative economic impact. It is expected that a report on this study will be presented to a City committee in 2019.
“Bringing a project the size of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT to one of the busiest arteries in Toronto does have impacts on the people traveling along and through Eglinton Avenue as well as the local businesses located right along the corridor,” said Councillor Colle. “I am happy to see that the City is working together with Metrolinx to minimize the effects of this construction.”
Metrolinx has agreed to the following supports for local businesses:
• A targeted campaign from March to June to support the Oakwood community and celebrate its Caribbean culture.
• The summer 2018 Gallery City initiative will double business participation from last year to 100 participants, with 10 identified to date. A formal launch event will be held in June.
• Radio advertisements on 15 radio stations until the end of June to reinforce the Experience Eglinton campaign.