Construction 'almost finished'

[attach]4795[/attach]The construction along Bloor Street West is entering its final phase, much to the delight of local businesses.

The short-term roadwork in Bloor West Village has caused a few headaches among shop owners, but unlike the roadwork on Roncesvalles Avenue the minor facelift in Bloor West Village is on schedule.

“We’re almost finished,” said Tom Dodds, the senior project engineer with the city of Toronto. “There’s been no major delays or complaints from residents.”

Yet that didn’t stop the construction from slowing down business for many stores on the strip.

Business was definitely affected at clothing boutique Tzatz said sales associate Meike Figura.

“We had a couple of days were there’s been no sales,” she said, adding that many of the store’s customers hail from Etobicoke and the construction prevented them from parking nearby.

But Dodds said the sidewalks were in poor condition and required work.

“The holes were tripping hazards,” he said.

Owner of Say Tea, Krystyna Lawrence, was also starting to worry about the puddles forming on the pavement as a result of the holes. She said she’s pleased with the changes despite its negative affect on sales.

“Sales were down, but it’s a necessary evil,” she said. “You have to wait it out and business will pick up again.”

While many businesses suffered from the maintenance work, many were also pleased with the cosmetic changes.

“It’s a nice little facelift for Bloor West,” said Domenico Filice, the manager of JC Salons.

The drilling and paving also inconvenienced many of his clients.

“It affected the punctuality of our appointments,” he said. “Clients were arriving late because there were less parking spaces.”

At one point, his customers had to enter through the fire escape due to roadwork at the front entrance of the salon, he said. He was also worried about the safety of his female clients, especially when they would step out in sandals and heels.

“The ladies getting the pedicures were wearing open-toed shoes in rocky terrain,” he said.

Construction is scheduled for completion by late September, but there’s the possibility of a minor delay due to the upcoming Ukrainian festival.

“Due to the Ukrainian festival … we’re moving off schedule for a few days,” said Dodds.

But he’s confident the delay won’t exceed more than a few days.

In addition, he said the revitalization is part of a larger project.

“We’ll be continuing where we left off from Clendenan Avenue to Keele Street (next spring),” he said.

Next year the city will also start construction west of Jane Street near South Kingsway to the Humber River, he said. The construction is currently on hold because of a condo development.