Yonge-Sheppard station entrance remains closed as delays continue
Frustrations rise among local residents over entrance that was first supposed to re-open in early 2015.
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Years after it closed for construction, the tunnel entrance to the Yonge-Sheppard subway station facing Poyntz Ave. still hasn’t re-opened.
The West Lansing Homeowners Association, a non-profit that represents homeowners living near the station, wrote about the delays on its website last summer, tracking the posted signs which listed the entrance’s repeatedly evolving opening dates.
“The issue, as I understand it, is a delay in the developer receiving permit approval from the city that would allow the entrance to open,” wrote TTC spokesperson Stuart Green in an email. He said the entrance closed in June 2014, and that signs went up saying it would re-open in early 2015.
Green said a backwards “Yonge-Sheppard” sign was placed at the entrance intentionally, with plans for it to be flipped once the pathway had re-opened. The sign has since been flipped, though the entrance remains closed
Bazis is the developer behind the Emerald Park condos at the corner of Yonge St. and Sheppard Ave. in North York. When asked about the delays, spokesperson Veronika Belovich called the pedestrian tunnel, “a gratuitous gift to the community” and “a very tedious construction task” in an email. In response to questions about the timing, Belovich wrote that “the entrance was always to be open in the fall of 2016.” She said construction could not begin until the city had started “road widening” in the area.
Belovich said the work was done by “TTC approved” contractors and is complete, but under inspection by the city and the TTC for safety purposes. In an email sent last week, she said the tunnel is slated to open in February of this year.
The City of Toronto’s building department is making sure the project adheres to the province’s building code, explained Diane Damiano, the director and deputy chief building official.
“A number of deficiencies” was found and addressed over the course of a number of months, Damiano said. She said the most recent inspection was done on Dec. 29, 2016 and that at the time, the “life safety systems” were not ready to be inspected.
Damiano said another inspection will be required and successfully passed before the entrance can open.
John Filion, city councillor for Toronto’s Ward 23, which includes the area surrounding the intersection of Yonge St. and Sheppard Ave., said the Poyntz Ave. entrance was supposed to open by the fall of 2014.
He said the entrance’s opening hinges on its passing of city inspections. Filion said there’s nothing he can do to speed up the entrance’s opening — “if there was anything I could do I would have done it,” he said.
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