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.
@TTChelps just got kicked off the king streetcar at spadina on account of tiff .. am i walking for the next week or what's the deal here
— Jamie Lincoln (@jamielincs__) September 7, 2017
“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.
Not when it's littered with advertisements and commercial promotions. Very different from the spirit of @OpenStreetsTO.
— Sean Marshall (@Sean_YYZ) September 10, 2017
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.
From Sept 7-10, service changes will be made to the 504/304 King & 514 Cherry routes for TIFF. Plan your trip at ttc.ca pic.twitter.com/yWIt3kJNL6
— TTC Customer Service (@TTChelps) September 7, 2017
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.
— Toronto Police OPS (@TPSOperations) September 7, 2017
“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.”
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.
35 min wait,finally caught 503 bus. Same deal at King & Yonge: crowds of people waiting for 504/514. Need bigger/clearer signage or person
— Connie Crosby (@conniecrosby) September 7, 2017
“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.
— Jesse Buchanan (@jessebuchananCA) September 7, 2017
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.