As your local Councillor and TTC Chair, I have advocated for transit improvements and investments for our community. Our efforts have been successful and have resulted in an historic transit investment on Eglinton Avenue and a station at Oakwood Avenue. The transformation of Eglinton is long overdue but has understandably been challenging for our local businesses and residents.
Photo: Another new mural in Fairbank Village on Eglinton
Despite construction challenges, Eglinton Avenue remains a vibrant community. With the new Crosstown line set to open in 2021, I believe it is critical that the businesses along Eglinton Avenue receive enhanced support over the next five years.
As part of my continued efforts to mitigate construction impacts, I moved a motion -- adopted by City Council -- with 24 recommendations, including:
- Increasing availability and improving access to parking along Eglinton Avenue
- Bringing more public art to Eglinton Avenue to improve the public realm
- Providing financial support to businesses during construction
- Installing temporary bus shelters where TTC stops have been impacted
- Creating a litter management plan to clean up Eglinton
- Introducing more events on Eglinton Avenue to draw shoppers and visitors
I am happy to report that my motion was approved and City staff are studying the recommendations and will be reporting back to City Council. The City and Metrolinx have established a working group to coordinate efforts to better mitigate construction impacts for businesses and residents during construction.
At the December 2017 City Council meeting, another motion I moved was adopted, directing staff to implement a discount code for Green P parking lots along the Eglinton LRT alignment, consistent with recent business support efforts on King Street and Bloor Street. The motion also asked for a report in the second quarter of 2018 on a construction mitigation program to support small businesses on retail main streets affected by major infrastructure projects.
The following initiatives are also aimed at supporting Eglinton:
- Conducting economic scans for the BIAs located within the Eglinton Crosstown LRT construction zone
- Expanding initiatives to assist businesses in embracing online solutions to grow their businesses
- Putting forward a proposal to install community Wi-Fi networks in the Eglinton BIA areas
- Supporting Toronto Police efforts to tackle crime and safety issues in the area, such as 13 Division's successful "Project Twitch" that resulted in many charges being laid and illegal substances being seized
Photos: New public art along Eglinton Avenue
I am pleased that City Council has supported my efforts to help Eglinton and I will continue to update you all on these measures to help support our local businesses and community.
City Councillor, Ward 15 Eglinton-Lawrence