[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he endless construction, noise, and dirt surrounding the Etobicoke area has brought frustration to people in the community, including Guelph-Humber students and local businesses. 

Traffic on Highway 27, between Finch Avenue and Humber College Boulevard, is congested due to the Finch West light-rail transit (LTR) project by Metrolinx. 

Lanes have been reduced even as traffic is increasing, with lockdown restrictions slowly beginning to be lifted.

Local stores in the area are worried about their businesses and the effects the construction has on their bottom line. 

Staff at stores in the Humber 27 Plaza say they have seen a decrease in sales and walk-in traffic over the past year. They say the traffic on the road is steering away patrons from their plaza and directing them to shop in other areas. 

BSW Beauty Supply in the Humber 27 Plaza has already seen a reflection of this in the past year. “There has been a major impact since last summer when we compare it to other locations”, said Jerry, store manager. “We’ve lost over 20 per cent in sales this past year all because of the traffic.”

Jerry says most Beauty Supply customers travel from Mississauga and commute using highways and major roads. “They say it takes longer to get to our store. They always complain when they arrive or even over the phone when they’re stuck in traffic.”

In the same plaza, the Permanent Drug Store has been similarly affected by the construction. “Business has slowed down drastically. It started off because of COVID-19, but things have been even slower now because of the construction,” says the clerk who worked at the pharmacy. 

“What can I do? We have to just wait and hope our customers and patients will return in the near future,” the clerk continued.

The pharmacy has even gone to the extent to start a medication delivery service, aimed toward their elderly patients who have trouble commuting in congested areas. 

Humber and Guelph-Humber students are experiencing troubles on their way to school as well. 

Emmanuel Chaudry, a fourth-year Guelph-Humber student said, “It takes me 45 minutes to get to school instead of the usual 20. It’s always backed up on Hwy. 27 so I try to find other faster routes.”

Another student said it takes them much longer now to arrive at school, “I drive every day, I live in Woodbridge and the traffic from Finch to Humber is the longest out of my commute because of the single lanes.”

The 18 stop, 11 kilometre transit system is expected to be completed by 2023. Metrolinx says it will provide rapid transit to other neighborhoods, as well as connect communities together and support the growth in the northwest Toronto area. 

Metrolinx has posted a construction notice in July 2020 stating how they will transform the transit in this area. They are making an underground terminal stop at Humber College, which will connect with GO Transit, Miway, Viva, and Züm.