Metrolinx Pape construction meets with varied opinions from area businesses and residents 

Businesses and residents fear hassle for scheduled Pape Ontario subway line extension construction

KFC closedown at 891 Pape Ave, Toronto, Ontario.
Metrolinx KFC closedown for Pape extension Ontario line subway construction at 891 Pape Ave, Toronto, Ontario. (Shaleena Singh/ Toronto Observer) 

Some residents and employees of businesses in the Pape Village area have mixed feelings about the Metrolinx Ontario Line construction along Pape Avenue.

The Pape Tunnel and Underground Stations project aims to provide two “twin tunnels” underneath Pape Avenue between the Gerrard Street portal and Don Valley bridge, and create two of 15 new subway stations in Toronto.

The recent closure of a popular KFC location gave residents a taste of the construction to come.

Closed KFC sign notice at Pape Avenue and Sammon Avenue directing customers to visit the nearest KFC location at 1364 Queen Street East.
Closed KFC sign notice at Pape Avenue and Sammon Avenue redirecting customers to the nearest location. (Shaleena Singh/ Toronto Observer)

One East York resident and business employee said having another station at Pape is unnecessary.

“Were going to have too much noise from everything from the construction. It is what it is and there is nothing we can do about it,” said Dina Char, an East York resident for the past 10 years who works at Freedom Mobile on Pape Avenue.

She said there are four buses to choose from for line two subway riders to take to Pape station and said that another station at Pape is unecessary.

“We don’t really need the [new subway] station, because all these old family businesses we had for the past years have already shut down,” she said.

Char said the East York community is a small neighbourhood, and the construction would not really help the situation for many people in the area.

“Even today since morning, we have no water in the neighbourhood and are testing the water for the upcoming Metrolinx Ontario line Pape subway line extension. I think we are going to have some problems,” she adds. 

She said Pape Village did not recieve a notice about the water shutdown in the neighbourhood.

History, progress and farewell to KFC

The initial Metrolinx project business case for Pape’s extension Ontario line construction was released in July 2019. The Ontario line Pape subway project underway for Pape Village is under the construction agreement contract called the Pape Tunnel and Underground Stations.

This construction agreement contract was offically signed on January 2024.  

Councillor Paula Fletcher’s website highlights that Metrolinx “will soon begin the next phase of Ontario Line construction that “will impact the Pape Danforth, Pape and Sammon areas.

According to a recent BlogTo story, the KFC at 891 Pape Ave. was “forced to close” after being expropriated by Metrolinx to make way for the Ontario line subway extension project on Pape.

The Pape KFC location opened almost 40 years ago during the late 1980s. and made headlines in 2021 after a customer created a GoFundMe page in support of an employee after working there “since 1975.” 

Char also said other stores north on Pape Avenue at Gowan Avenue like Shoppers Drug Mart and two other businesses are permanently closed due to the Pape extension subway line project.  

Futuristic image of the new Pape subway station in the east of Pape.
Futuristic rendered image of the new Pape subway station in the east of Pape. (Courtesy Metrolinx 2024)

Pros and cons of construction

One resident who works at Zoomy’s Juicery, south of Cosburn Avenue on Pape, said the KFC closedown is an aspect for the community to look forward to in the future once the Ontario Line Pape extension is finished.

“The good, being in 10 years or 20 years, they are going to build a subway and put the ventilation there.”

The resident said Metrolinx’s Pape construction will impact businesses during the phases of the Pape extension construction.

“It will affect the foot traffic of businesses, but at the same time, it might be replaced by all people who are working,” said the resident, who did not want his name used. “The workers might come in, and in ten years or whenever the construction is done, there is going to be increased consumer foot traffic.” 

The Metrolinx website and the Ontario Infrastructure website news release on the Ontario Line Pape subway extension construction does not state a date of completion for the project.

The resident said the annoyance is the disruption of business and the hard commute for people who visit these businesses. 

“The road closures will make people avoid the area because they would have to detour around. Nobody wants to drive around this construction.”

Future Cosburn Metrolinx Station north of Pape.
Rendered image of the new Cosburn subway station north of Pape. (Courtesy Metrolinx 2024)

Two new stations in the neighbourhood

According to the Metrolinx website, the future Ontario subway Line Pape extension project will give Line Two subway riders another way to get to downtown faster, which will reduce crowding and traffic during rush hour to 22 per cent at Bloor – Yonge station.  

The future Pape Ontario Line subway extension includes building two new stations along Pape, one of which will include another Pape station and a subway entrance pointing to “the north side of Danforth Avenue,” and facing east of Pape Avenue.

The future Cosburn station and entrance will be located “northwest of the corner of Pape Avenue and Cosburn Avenue.”

About this article

Posted: Mar 6 2024 3:00 pm
Filed under: Business Homes and Real Estate Lifestyle News Roads & Transit