by Hannah MacLeod
On Wednesday, Sept. 7, BIA members met for breakfast at The Tusk with Darren Alexander of B.M. Ross to learn more about the impacts of next year’s downtown reconstruction, slated to begin in the spring of 2023.
The Queen Street Reconstruction will extend from Durham Market Square South to Durham Street.
B.M. Ross and Associates have completed the basement investigations and preliminary plans for the project. The project will include the replacement of buried assets associated with the water, wastewater and storm water network. On the surface there will be new sidewalks, curb and gutter, and asphalt paving. The work zone will include removals and upgrades from building face to building face.
Most of the stores and properties will be accessible through their front doors during the reconstruction but there will be days when businesses and residents can’t utilize their front door. Municipal staff and the BIA will work with businesses and downtown residents to keep disruptions to a minimal and look at other options, such as alleyways, rear parking and entrances to some buildings. More information will be shared about this work in the coming months.
One opportunity with the reconstruction project is the ability to make the downtown more accessible for all. The new street design will meet the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. As one example, through the pre-design work, B.M. Ross is looking at existing door elevations and exploring new street grading to make as many businesses accessible as possible.