Re: Should more stores be open in Toronto on holidays?, April 17
When I was young, I worked for a year as an usher at Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh, Pa., a venue for symphonies, operas and ballets. The Commonwealth had passed a special law to allow alcoholic beverages at Heinz Hall during Sunday matinees, which would otherwise have been forbidden under so-called “Sunday blue laws.”
When I moved to Toronto, friends told me Eaton’s used to draw curtains on its display windows on Sundays. I’m guessing it was to minimize distractions on what has been called the Lord’s Day or the Christian Sabbath.
Given that employment law provides for additional compensation for those who work on holidays, I was surprised to learn of Toronto’s goofy bylaws dictating who can be open on certain holidays without facing fines. I thought government as nanny and busy-body was something in the rear-view mirror. It is long past time to scrap this ridiculous restriction on free enterprise and equity.
I think not. If the contractors plan to use the same tunnelling technique that is being used on the Eglinton LRT, they will probably have to close the central part of the Queen streetcar line for the five to 10 years it will take to build the relief line.
On Eglinton, large holes had to be dug to move utility pipes and cables, headwalls had to be built across the street for each station and emergency exit, holes had to be dug to allow the extraction of the tunnel boring machines and now major intersections are being completely dug up to build stations.
Also, I expect that except for rush hour, there will not be a lot of traffic on the relief line, at least until it is extended north up Don Mills Road.
Tory will be asking the provincial and federal governments to make major contributions to our expanded transit system. Neither government should provide large amounts of money without the city providing a realistic cost-benefit analysis.
P.A. Reid, Toronto