'I can barely get here': City construction causes headache for local restaurant, 8 years and counting
The owners of Fresh & Sweet, on the corner of McIntyre Street and Victoria Avenue, have been dealing with construction around their business for eight years, and the city’s recent infrastructure and beautification project has stretched that headache out even longer.
“This time it is so extreme. It’s near impossible to get here, and I’ve have enough,” Beata Kowalski, co-owner of the restaurant said.
For years the business dealt with the Capital Point saga – which is right next door. When the city’s new construction project rolled out, Kowalski said she needed to speak out.
The project has closed sidewalks, shut down two lanes of traffic on Victoria Avenue and has limited pedestrian crossings around the restaurant.
“We were absolutely seeing the effects of lack of business,” Kowalski said. “You can’t get here – I can barely get here.”
She took to social media, and posted signs around the restaurant to remind the public that they are still open for business as usual.
“If you look at a business that is in constant need of people coming through its door – that’s devastating,” she said.
The city acknowledges that the $6 million project presents frustration for drivers, pedestrians and businesses.
“The project will create a more pedestrian-friendly downtown with new accessible and wider sidewalks, new boulevards, larger curbs and enhanced street lighting to better serve our community,” the city said in a written statement to CTV News.
Kowalski said she welcomes the improvements coming to the downtown area, she wishes it was rolling out in a different way.
The city said it notified residents and businesses along the construction route about the project before it started, but Kowalski said it was never made clear just how much it would affect the area.
The city said this phase of the project should be complete by mid-October.