G20 conversations: under the stationby Pras Rajagopalan
Tuesday, Jun. 15, 2010
In the second instalment of our series G20 conversations, I speak to Naomi Ikonomou, who runs a dry cleaning business at Union Station with her husband. Union Station management has told her and other tenants that they can expect to be open the week leading up to the June 26-27 summit, but will have to close that weekend. But Ikonomou says she expects she will lose some business.
The following transcript is a condensed and abridged version of my interview with her:
How will your business be affected the week of the G20?
We don't know yet. We cannot [do] delivery. That's going to be affected first. The Via trains are not stopping at the station. So probably some of the customers coming by Via train, probably they won't be using them, so probably we're going to lose them.
Also, people who work in the banks around the area. They already said to us they're going to try to work from the house.
Which dates will you be closed during that week?
We'll try not to close, because we are just Monday to Friday. So the summit is, as you know, is going on the weekend. But I already heard the station from Front Street, they are closed too. So we hope we don't have to close the store.
Have they told you if they're closing this part of the PATH network?
They said that so far, they don't have any plans to close the path....Only they said around Friday night [June 25] they [will] start to close Front Street.
How do you think the G20 will affect your bottom line?
Actually, I don't know who is going to benefit from the G20. But our citizens in Toronto, I bet everybody is against it - to have a meeting place in the town. Probably outside the town, they are not going to fuss so much.
How is your commute affected? Where are you coming in from?
If the subway is OK, I'm OK too, because I take the subway home [to east Toronto].
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When the opportunity came to cover the impact of the G20 summit on everyday life in Toronto, he jumped at the chance.