Free parking and public awareness campaigns are just some of the measures being offered by Toronto city officials to mitigate the negative economic impact the Eglinton Crosstown LRT construction may have on businesses in the area.
“We must do this construction. We have to build transit in this city and I’m determined to build every line that we have on the books now as part of our network transit plan for the city,” Mayor John Tory told reporters during a press conference at Maria A. Shchuka library branch on Eglinton Avenue Friday morning.
“No matter what we do, no matter what steps I was here to announce today, there are people who are going to say, ‘It’s not enough.’ I understand that.”
Some businesses along the Eglinton Avenue corridor have complained that the construction will affect their bottom line as roads are ripped up and parking and pedestrian traffic are curtailed.
“I’m very optimistic that the transit being put in here, the multi-billion dollar transit investment, will lead to this becoming a mecca for people to come and establish small businesses, and for the ones that are already here to thrive,” Tory said.
WATCH: City of Toronto unveils discounts, initiatives to bring business back to Eglinton Avenue. Jamie Mauracher reports.
A $6 discount code will be available to motorists who use the Green P app for paid parking within 200 metres of Eglinton Avenue from Jane Street to Don Mills Road.
City officials said they will invest $100,000 to expand Digital Mainstreets, an online support program that helps businesses adopt digital technology. The money will also help to identify demographic trends to attract people to shop along Eglinton.
Metrolinx, the province’s regional transportation agency, is also offering support by launching advertising campaigns, funding event fees for BIA and community events and registration fees for restaurants during Winterlicious and Summerlicious during construction.
The completion date for the 19-kilometre Eglinton Crosstown LRT is set for the fall of 2021.
WATCH: Businesses dealing with Eglinton-Crosstown LRT construction fences