TIFF Festival Street means TTC streetcars have to make way, again

Parts of King Street will be closed in order to accommodate the Toronto International Film Festival

There were mixed reviews from commuters on the TTC’s move to temporarliy ban streetcars on one of Toronto’s busiest streets, King Street, because of TIFF. Starting from Sept. 7 to Sept. 11, at 6:00 a.m., parts of King Street between Peter Street and University Avenue will be closed, in order to accommodate the 42nd annual Toronto International Film Festival.

https://twitter.com/Gladaman/status/904013860146991104

“I think it’s a wrong spot, it’s a completely wrong spot. King Street is a very busy street,” Mohamed Hussein said on Thursday.

Hussein lives at Dufferin Street and King Street. He said TIFF should be held at the Canadian National Exhibition or other conference centres where there is more space for the event. He estimates that it will take him an extra 20 minutes to arrive home.

Hussein added that the problem is because the streetcar will have to detour to Dundas Street and University Avenue, which is another heavy traffic area.

This is not the first year the TTC has diverted its streetcars to facilitate the annual TIFF Festival Street. There will be food trucks, bars and freebies from TIFF marketers, but most importantly, the pedestrian area will be for fans to spot celebrities walking in and out the theatres.

Stuart Green from TTC corporate communications said the 504 streetcar running on King Street carries approximately 65,000 customers a day. While he said it is the busiest surface route in Toronto, the disruption will be short-lived.

“The diversion is a short one and should add no more than 10 minutes to a typical trip for those taking the 504 or 514 streetcars,” Green said, in an email. “There is added service at rush hour on most TTC routes in the downtown core all year.”

https://twitter.com/JordanRenaud/status/905783042077323264

Alan D’Mallo was on his way to the Distillery district for a corporate team building event. He predicts it will only take another 15 minutes to arrive at his destination, because of the closure, but he said TTC should have more staff at intersections to help commuters during the disruption.

“In fact, we have to go to the website and check for all the details,” D’Mallo said.

TTC advised commuters to plan ahead and use alternative services like the 501 Queen or the 505 Dundas to travel through affected areas.

Some commuters didn’t even realize the closure. Omar Leheta said he usually walks home, which will take him about 25 minutes. He doesn’t mind the closure on King, since it’s a nice break to walk on the street.

“You can take Queen. It’s not that big of a deal, right?” Leheta said.