By Sean Delaney
On April 11th representatives from the Emery Village BIA, Dukes Heights BIA, the City of Toronto, Metrolinx, Councillor Perruzza’s office along with local freight carriers, who’s rapid transportation flow of goods is of paramount necessity, met at the Julius Banquet Hall for a Stakeholders Workshop. The City is developing the Finch West Goods Movement Transportation study to consider Finch West LRT related changes, as well as recommend other opportunities to provide for safe, efficient, and effective transportation of freight in the area. The Emery Village BIA has been spending considerable time and effort over the years to make sure that their stakeholder businesses have effective representation with all levels of government. To date, many of those recommendations have been tabled and are now part of the proposed future infrastructure improvements for the area. The end goal is to maintain the viability and advantages for businesses in the BIA and protect jobs.
The Stakeholder Workshop is part of a larger two year study that arose from extensive consultations with Metrolinx, the City and other stakeholders regarding issues and opportunities due to the new LRT construction and implementation. The study’s objectives are twofold. It is to provide recommendations on near term actionable items to our current road networks and to produce a Transportation Master Plan for the area and its environs. The study area, which includes the Emery Village BIA and Duke Heights BIA encompasses two of Toronto’s largest employment zones, has recently received special planning designation from the provincial government. Among the many attendees, 21 representatives from some of the BIA’s largest freight services and carriers contributed their time and local expertise toward a valuable wish list for the study consultants at Wood PLC to consider for their report. Many of their recommendations revolved around safety, stating they felt it was an important shared value that they had with the community. The group also looked at other transportation issues in the area considered “quick fix” items that could be implemented on a shorter timeline, such as simple repairs to curbs and sidewalks. The general state of road repairs was also discussed.
City staff from Transportation and Infrastructure planning is coordinating the study, while the transportation consultants from Wood PLC is responsible for the research and study report. Both parties were pleased with the turnout and participation level from business members who stayed for the entire morning session. Staff from the BIA’s along with the local councillor, Anthony Peruzza expressed their gratitude for the interest and ideas from those who attended. There are more than 6,000 businesses in both BIA’S that line the 400 Hwy. A slowdown in getting goods to market could prove very costly for all concerned. The study represents an important and proactive step in protecting the commerce and the jobs they entail. If local businesses would like to have their say and voice their concerns, please feel free call the Emery Village BIA at (416) 744-7242 and ask for Al. For more information about the study please visit: toronto.ca/FinchWestGoodsMovement