Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Eglinton Light Rail could Spell Disaster for Toronto Businesses

Streetcar versus Subway, image mosaic by wobuilt.comImage Mosaic: "Streetcar versus Subway"
2012 @
Image Credits: Microsoft Office Clipart:
streetcar lane; transportation; subway

"Many Councillors are looking to disband my rapid transit plan in favour of a Light Rail Vehicle network that would put more tracks on the roads, create traffic chaos and result in years of needless, messy and inconvenient construction."
Mayor Rob Ford

…and what about about how it could devastate local businesses!?

The battle over light rail “rapid transit” versus subways is heating up in Toronto, Scarborough, and beyond. It’s time for the businesses and residents of St. Clair West to make their voices heard!

As a member of the business community on St. Clair West, an active member of the Corso Italia BIA, Wo-Built knows all too well the utter devastation the St. Clair Street car has had on the business community in the area.

Members of the BIA have accumulated real-time street-level pedestrian traffic data from before, during, and after completion of the ‘light rail rapid transit’ system along St. Clair West all the way to Keele Street. The numbers show significant decreases in walk-in business.

A sign in one shop reads: “closed, business too slow.”

With months of obstruction during the length construction of the line, people simply stopped coming to Corso Italia. And we have been struggling as a BIA to get them back. Streetcar or no streetcar, people are not getting the message that we are open for business. We have fallen off their radar.

We offer this as a cautionary notice to businesses and BIAs anywhere surface light rail is being proposed: learn from our experience. What might seem like a good idea is a terrible compromise.

The GTA is not just about getting people from the outskirts to the downtown core and back again during rush hour…its is countless local communities, neighborhoods, BIAs, etc. The lifeblood of Toronto is its local businesses serving local communities.

There is one more option. It is an outside-the-box option…an Attlas Project of incredible possibility and opportunity. What is it? Wo-Built, the Vision Builder, in association with Attlas invite the two sides of this fight to give us 30 minutes of their time to see and hear the 21st Century win-win-win solution to this problem!

Martina Ernst
Wo-Built Inc. - Innovative Design and Build

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