The slow and bungled and probably unnecessary construction of dedicated trolley lanes is inching forward along St Clair West of Bathurst; but the months of severe traffic disruption and associated sidewalk unpleasantness - with many more to come - are taking a grave toll on the restaurants in the area.
Maria of Gianni Maria (St Clair W @ Arlington) was telling us of her and her colleagues' woes last night during a delicious dinner on their outdoor patio, the highlight of which was Gianni's unsurpassed Ravioli Piemontese. She said the only upside has been a small influx of neighbourhood visitors who, disinclined to take their cars out onto the mess of lanes and construction impedimentia, are venturing out on foot and discovering local eateries rather than going to their downtown haunts.
We found it relatively easy (around 7 pm) to scoot off the westbound track lane where there was a cut, and turn east into the municipal parking lot almost directly opposite GM. Maria also has a few parking spaces behind the restaurant available for clients on a first come first served basis - you can get directions and book your spot at 416-652-3982.
They, and their colleagues in the 'hood, deserve to stay alive - the construction was neither asked for by them nor are they receiving any compensation from the city or province for the prejudice to their livelihoods.
So the next time anyone's thinking of heading out to dinner, keep St Clair W (especially GM) in your thoughts.