Public Wi-Fi coming to Queen West next spring

The Queen Street West Business Improvement Association is bringing Wi-Fi to the area in a bid to boost business.

Business Improvement Association wants to draw more people to area

Elana White, vice chair of the Queen West BIA, says public Wi-Fi will bring more people to the area. (Lisa Xing/CBC)

The Queen Street West Business Improvement Association is bringing free public Wi-Fi to the area in an effort to modernize and boost business. 

This move is part of a larger effort to refresh Queen West's image that includes more presence online. 

"We think it's a reboot to come into the modern era," said Elana White, vice chair of the Queen Street West BIA. 

Most businesses think it's a good idea, including long time area staple Steve's Music.

Kevin Parker, general manager of Steve's Music, says there's less foot traffic along Queen West. (Chris Langenzarde/CBC)

"Street traffic isn't what is was 10 or 15 years ago," said general manager Kevin Parker, who has worked there for 38 years. 

Parker, who started at the store when he was 18, attributes the drop in traffic, in part, to online shopping.

"Hopefully, [Wi-Fi] will get people down to the area [and] stay in the area longer." he said. 

The BIA also hopes the move will make it easier for tourists to navigate the area. 

"We're hoping it'll keep customers in the neighbourhood longer — shop in stores, eat in restaurants, catch music in clubs," said White. 

The service will be available next spring.

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