Scarborough auto dealer says Eglinton Crosstown LRT construction hurting business
Darted with black and orange pylons and brimming with construction crews, Eglinton Avenue has gone from a well-travelled artery to one many have chosen to avoid.
Construction on the Crosstown LRT has been going on for years. Shops along the western part of the corridor have been vocal about its effect on business.
For those that exist along the Golden Mile in Scarborough, they took their message to the papers. Several automakers took out an ad in a Toronto newspaper to remind the public that they are open for business.
Donway Ford has been there for nearly six decades.
According to president Paul Lenneard, traffic on the showroom floor is down by half. He said the sales on both new and used vehicles have declined by between 15 and 20 per cent.
“In the long run, it will probably be better, but it’s not a two month, three month, six month [process]. It’s several years. So you have to make it through several years in order to see the benefit,” he told Global News.
“I talk to my friends, I talk to people, ‘Oh, you know we don’t go to Eglinton. We take a side step because it’s too bumpy. It’s too backed up, it’s too congested over there … It’s not good for business.'”
One of the issues dealerships would like to see addressed is small signage. The signs indicate where the entrance is. However, Lenneard said the entrance changes multiple times a day. That has led to confusion for customers.
“From hour to hour, it would change. Or even then, one [entrance] was completely blocked and the other one would be partially blocked because they would have a large truck parked there, or a backhoe digging out something.”
Metrolinx said the project is on course for completion in 2021. Twenty-five stations and stops will run east to west across the city with the installation of the highly anticipated line.
Spokesperson Amanda Ferguson said the Experience Eglinton campaign was launched to promote the concept of shopping local.
“Even before the shovels hit the ground … we worked alongside the city, local politicians, and the BIAs to make sure that anyone who wanted to spend money at those businesses knew that they still existed through signage,” said Ferguson.
Last year, free parking was also introduced as an incentive for consumers to offset the negative economic impact.
As of Thursday afternoon, a representative from Donway Ford confirmed they will be meeting with area councillors to discuss a path forward.
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