Garden centre protests road closure during peak season
A small business owner on Queen Street East is worried that city-scheduled maintenance will prevent customers from accessing the store during its busiest season of the year.
It's spring planting season at East End Garden Centre at 1395 Queen Street East, a family-owned business that has been in operation for 30 years.
But this spring, the city has also chosen to rip up the stretch of road between Coxwell and Greenwood to repair streetcar tracks and water pipes.
The detour sign will go right in front of the garden centre, preventing customers from driving in. The repairs will also disrupt traffic at varying levels from next week until the end of the summer.
"If people can't get in here, and there's no place for them to park, they're going to go somewhere else. You would, so would I," said owner Theresa Tate.
The owners are extra worried because, unlike other big box stores in the area, East End Garden Centre sells only plants and garden equipment and it relies on its spring sales to survive.
They've asked the city for permission to add their own sign, but were told it would cause too much congestion.
Other business in the area, including a pizza shop and a butcher shop that is new to the neighbourhood, are also expressing concern about the closure and road work.
Local coucillor Mary-Margaret McMahon said she understands the concerns, but said the work needs to get done.
"We need to fix, it's part of living in the city, it's maintaining your infrastructure. It's the nature of transit, of using water. It has to be done," McMahon said.
McMahon said the majority of the work is scheduled for later in the summer.
But, even loyal customers say they may find it difficult to shop for flowers and other gardening supplies during the road closure.
"You need the car," said one customer who was shopping on Tuesday. "I can't imagine. Every time I come here, I come home with trays of stuff, I can't take it home in the street car. I'd have to be able to bring a car here."
With files from CTV Toronto's Austin Delaney