Toronto councillor to help businesses affected by construction near the Eglinton Crosstown

Click to play video: 'Eglinton Avenue businesses worried construction will destroy livelihoods' Eglinton Avenue businesses worried construction will destroy livelihoods
A section of Eglinton Avenue east of Avenue Road is expected to be fenced off for work on the Crosstown Line. Local businesses say it will kill their bottom line. Christina Stevens reports – Jun 27, 2016

A Toronto city Councillor is hoping to provide some social and economic help to businesses in his constituency that are being impacted by the construction of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT.

Last week, council approved a motion from Eglinton-Lawrence Councillor Josh Colle to direct the city manager to identify opportunities which might help affected businesses offset losses related to the transit development.

“Every business, property owner and resident is thrilled that the transit that’s long overdue is coming, but construction is tough.” Colle told AM640’s John Oakley Show, “I’m asking the city, Metrolinx and the constructor to look at some tools or tactics that haven’t been tried out yet, to help out these businesses.”

LISTEN: Eglinton-Lawrence Councillor Josh Colle talks to AM 640’s John Oakley Show

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Some of the offers the initiative suggests are limited free parking, subsidized registrations to restaurants on Eglinton during Winterlicious or Summerlicious events, integrating restaurants with Uber Eats or Just Eat, adding Nuit Blanche exhibits and offering a “business continuity fund” from the City, Metrolinx, and Crosslinx which would provide “forgivable” loans to qualifying establishments.

READ MORE: Eglinton Crosstown tunnel boring machines to begin departure this week

Colle says the loan is something that’s been offered in some U.S. cities to aid businesses that have been financially affected by the “eye of the storm” in a given construction project.

“The idea is that if you are still in business when the construction is done, you don’t have to pay it back.”

Feasibility studies for the so-called “Eglinton is Open for Business” concept are expected to be brought in front of council in early November.

The completion date for the 19-kilometre Eglinton Crosstown LRT is set for the fall of 2021.

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