Support for the Bay & Davenport Reconstruction Project
The City of Toronto will be reconstructing Bay Street between Bloor St. and Davenport Rd. One of the key benefits to pedestrians will be widening Bay Street's sidewalks. The City of Toronto has consulted with the community and local stakeholders including residents' associations and the Bloor-Yorkville Business Improvement Area. One of the top priorities identified by the community was an improved pedestrian realm, particularly wider, safer and more pleasant sidewalks. Since the consultations concluded, only one local interest has spoken out against the planned improvements, Pusateri's, a local grocery store. Pusateri's uses a city-owned lay-by for valet parking service for its customers. The Bay Street improvement project proposes to remove the lay-by because it cuts into sidewalk space. The constriction of pedestrian access is a critical concern: the lay-by is located at Bay Street and Yorkville Ave., just north of a busy entrance to the Bay subway station and the 'scramble' intersection at Bloor St. Pusateri's uses this city owned lay-by, which was installed ten years ago at the store's request, for its exclusive use. This sets a troubling precedent for the privatization of public space. We cannot accept Pusateri's claim that a Bay Street lay-by is indispensable for a gourmet food store's survival. There are alternatives that would continue to accommodate Pusateri's customers without disrupting pedestrian traffic. These include the relocation of the valet service to the building's own driveway off Yorkville Avenue; or directing motorist customers to the Green P parking facility, located just across the street from Pusatieri's on Yorkville Ave. We, the undersigned support the Bay Street improvements as proposed, including the removal of the lay-by at Bay Street and Yorkville Avenue.