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City councillor wants compensation for small businesses impacted by Eglinton Crosstown LRT

Last Updated Feb 26, 2020 at 6:06 am EDT

Lane closures in effect on Bathurst Street at Eglinton Avenue due to the Crosstown LRT construction. CITYNEWS

City council will meet on Wednesday, a day earlier than planned, in the event outside workers walk off the job Thursday.

Today’s agenda includes a member motion by Coun. Mike Colle, which calls on council to request an emergency meeting with the province and Metrolinx to come up with a plan to help small businesses impacted by the Eglinton Crosstown LRT.

One of the options suggested is a compensation plan to help small businesses keep their doors open for the next two years.

Last week it was announced that the opening of the new transit line would be delayed until some time in 2022.

The area has been a headache for residents and businesses in the area since construction began in 2011.

In the years that followed, there were lane restrictions, pedestrian tunnel closures, crosswalk closures and turn restrictions — the intersection configuration changing with each new phase of construction.

In November, Metrolinx launched a marketing campaign called “Experience Eglinton,” which promoted local businesses in the area.

Another member motion to be debated in council today also has a small business focus.

Coun. Brad Bradford would like to see the city do more to help strengthen local businesses and retail main streets through a vacant storefront tax.

He’s calling for staff to come back with a report by the end of the year to see if that would be feasible.