Businesses expect to take a hit
Toronto's glitzy entertainment district a ghost town? That’s the eerieimage painted by a Pittsburgh cafe owner who saw his city’s downtowncore shut down during the G20 summit last year.
Toronto's glitzy entertainment district a ghost town? That’s the eerie image painted by a Pittsburgh cafe owner who saw his city’s downtown core shut down during the G20 summit last year.
Some 1,800 businesses in Toronto’s entertainment district are located in and around a security gate at the site of the G20 summit.
Area business owners are concerned about lost revenues from vacated corporate offices and condos, and from a lack of tourists and theatre goers, says Janice Solomon, executive director of the Toronto Entertainment District Business Improvement Area.
Some of the restaurants that line King Street West are offering special promotions to tell locals and an expected 30,000 visitors it’s “business as usual.”
Fred Luk, owner of Fred’s Not Here and Red Tomato, has no idea whether summit visitors will venture out of their hotels to restaurants outside the security zone. He’s preparing for a 50 per cent drop in revenues. In 1988, when the G7 Summit came to Toronto, he recalls a 20 per cent decrease in sales.