Toronto

King, Bathurst track work riles business owners

Business owners on the busy corner of Bathurst and King Streets say work on the streetcar tracks is derailing their business.

TTC track replacement forces streetcar diversions at busy corner

Banknote bar and grill owner James Russo said track replacement work at the corner of King and Bathurst is cutting his business by 80 per cent. (CBC)

Business owners on the busy corner of Bathurst and King Streets say work on the streetcar tracks is derailing their business.

Work on the intersection began three days ago, closing the street to traffic in all directions and coating buildings in a layer of dust.

James Russo, who owns the Banknote pub on the southeast corner of the intersection, said the construction is making a deep cut into his bottom line.

"Business is down 80 per cent," he told CBC News.  "I can't get any deliveries here, no beer deliveries, no food deliveries. It's just a disaster. I have to lay off some staff now."

Russo said sidewalk patios are the bread and butter of the district in the summer months. But the dust and noise is driving customers away.

Gordon MacMillan is the man in charge of construction work in Toronto. He says crews are working as fast as they can to complete the $1.2-million dollar project.

"We've squeezed in this project between the Indy and Caribana," he said. "We're trying to get the TTC tracks back up in service for the Caribana parade."

The track work is also affecting commuters, with a number of streetcars having to divert around the work area.

One commuter who works in the area described the intersection as a mess

"I have to take the streetcar from Bathurst and that's kind of annoying because traffic is insane right now."

The city hopes to have the work completed by the end of next week.

For businesses in the area, it can't come soon enough.

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