By Sean Delaney
Did you know that the Emery Business Improvement Area is one of Toronto’s largest employment zones, with more than 3,000 businesses and an estimated 30,000 employees?
The numbers increase dramatically when considering the related businesses and commercial activity generated. Emery’s businesses include a variety of enterprises large and small. Among the largest are numerous businesses in food and food processing - from bakeries to dairies, pasta to meat, beverages to frozen, they’re all here.
The areas’ business diversity is vast and deep. Other large industries include logistics (freight), automotive parts, parts manufacturing, metals, tool and die, recycling, auto services and retail.
The importance of promoting the vitality of the businesses - along with the jobs they generate - is at the core of the mission and daily activity at the Emery Village BIA. We continue to strive for improvements to the Business Improvement Area and create better conditions to attract others to relocate here.
Understanding what is important to our businesses enables us to bring appropriate infrastructure investments and capital improvements to the BIA. These improvements include streetscaping, beautification, lighting, security and safety. It enables the area to stay competitive while fostering business activity and encouraging development opportunities.
Transportation infrastructure is one of those critical areas that we know is a shared concern. Like elsewhere in the GTA, gridlock costs everyone in lost productivity and in the ability of our workforce to get to their jobs. One of the advantages of our location as an employment zone is the proximity and access to major Highways 400 and 401, and to the north of the BIA, Highway 407.
With a robust local economy both here in the BIA and the GTA, traffic pressure continues to rise. For the duration of the construction phase of the Finch West LRT, congestion will pose a major challenge. Eventually, once completed, the LRT will be part of the answer, moving commuters and workers - many whose jobs are here - faster and more efficiently through the Finch corridor. Most significantly it will reduce the heavy reliance on cars to get people to their jobs and help alleviate automobile traffic.
We know of many workplaces where parking is a challenge with employees taking up the available spots, leaving less space for customers and visitors.
As a direct result of our participation in discussions over the years with Metrolinx and City of Toronto officials, and at our urging, a Goods Movement Study was undertaken by the City of Toronto and supported by the Emery Village BIA and Duke Heights BIA. The two-year study, which is now underway, has a two-fold mandate to provide for recommendations on near term actionable items to our current road grid and to produce a Transportation Master Plan for our employment area and vicinity.
In the April edition of the Emery Village Voice, we reported on the first stakeholder meeting for the study. Local employers that rely on freight movement were invited to attend and provide input on changes they’d like to see happen, and help with recommendations for the consultants.
Later this year or early next, public consultation will be held by consultants, Wood PLC, and their partners at the City of Toronto’s transportation department to present their preliminary findings.
For more information about the study please visit: Toronto.ca/FinchWestGoodsMovement
If you are interested in more information on constructions news and project updates on the Finch West LRT, please visit: metrolinx.com/en/greaterregion/projects/finchwest-lrt.aspx
Or Visit in person at the community office located at:
2540 Finch Ave W, Toronto
Reach them by phone at: (416) 202-6500
The hours of operation are:
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tuesdays and Thursdays, by appointment.