It's shaping up to be a messy summer at the intersection of Queen and Leslie Streets. The construction of the Leslie Barns, the new streetcar facility on Lakeshore Boulevard that will house the TTC's much-trumpeted superlong streetcars, means that tracks have to be laid to connect the Queen streetcar line to the new site. The Queen/Leslie corner was shut down at the end of May, with Queen streetcar routes diverting nearly a kilometre north to Gerrard Street as far west as Broadview Avenue. According to the TTC, this phase of the road work should be complete by June 21, but local residents and businesses are keeping their expectations low and their fingers crossed. Gio "The Nose" Rana, whose namesake restaurant's front door sits directly in front of the main intersection, says he's worried; business already dropped off by around 25% during the project's first phase, earlier this year; "... but what can you do? We just hope it'll be okay. It's just track work," he sighs, "so maybe they'll be on time ..." Across Leslie at bakery It's The Icing On The Cake, owner Lynda Paul is even less confident, although she says neighbours and the Leslieville BIA have been very supportive (as has the TTC). Other neighbourhood businesses have seen significant drops in traffic, and the owner of at least one—Pentimento Gallery—has felt he's had no choice other than to close permanently.
Curbed Toronto will follow up with Lynda Paul and Gio Rana later in the season to find out what the road work's impact has been on their bottom line.
Is the nonstop road work around town making you squirrely? Sound off in the comments.
· Leslieville BIA taking proactive approach to TTC issues [Inside Toronto]
· About the Leslie Barns project [TTC]
· Leslieville businesses feel the pinch of TTC construction [blogTO]
· Leslieville archives [Curbed Toronto]