People trying to save Toronto businesses that could be forced to close after 30 years

Don Valley Auto Center, an auto shop that has been in business for over 30 years, struggles to stay alive during a Metrolinx construction project.

George Kirkos, the owner of the Don Valley Auto Center, suddenly received eviction notices from Metrolinx earlier this year alleging there are structural problems in the basement of his store.

The capacity of his shop has been greatly reduced, Kirkos states that he has been out of his shop several times since Metrolinx arrived.

When asked the exact details behind Metrolinx’s involvement with the auto shop, Kirkos claimed that Metrolinx had never approached him directly with an explanation and had been contacting him through property management giving him tips. of eviction

“33 years in business and now all of a sudden there’s trouble and they keep making up different stories all the time. [about what these issues are]Kirkos told blogTO.

“Every week it’s something different. They’re here pointing out my store, taking pictures of parking lots. I don’t know who they are. I don’t know what’s going on.”

Metrolinx is currently expanding transit and requires the area behind the auto shop parking lot to build the long-awaited Ontario Line subway.

The parking lot is expected to provide access to expand the rail corridor without impacting surrounding buildings, and will be used for activities such as construction staging and storage of equipment and materials.

Anne Marie Aikins, Metrolinx’s chief spokeswoman, stated in a response that Metrolinx “intends to maintain the [auto shop] in operation during construction and that will not require any tenant, [including Kirkos]to vacate the building.

After being informed of a leak in the auto shop, Metrolinx had to evacuate two affected units in the building, forcing Kirkos to scale back many of its operations and work in a significantly smaller area than it previously operated.

Although they say they are working closely with him to lower his rent and ensure he can operate his business safely, he is struggling to operate efficiently and is worried about the future of his store.

“I’ve been here 44 years. I don’t need this in the last years of my life,” Kirkos said.

“It’s sad the way they treat us. My clients have given me an incredible amount of support. [during this time]. They are really amazing.”

Meanwhile, the residents of the neighborhood have expressed their support for Kirkos. Nearby residents and customers of the store are urgently trying to raise awareness of their situation.

Don Valley Auto Center is at 388 Carlaw Avenue in Leslieville.

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