Yorkville renovation is aptly overpriced

Yorkville renovation is aptly overpriced

Mink Mile: an abandoned bike looks on as costs run over (Image: Trevor Haldenby, Torontolife.com Flickr pool)

One of downtown Toronto’s biggest revitalization projects is behind schedule and over budget. The Bloor Street Transformation Project (BSTP) is supposed to add flower pots, trees and granite sidewalks to the Mink Mile—Bloor, between Yonge and Avenue—giving Yorkville shoppers the chance to see what it would be like to walk on their own countertops. The only problem is that for the $24 million already spent, the project has done little more than snarl traffic at one of the city’s busiest intersections.

The Globe and Mail writes:

The cost of beautifying the Mink Mile has ballooned to nearly $24.2-million from $19.7-million, largely because of work Toronto Hydro and others decided to undertake while the street was torn up.

It’s been known for some time that Bloor Street’s revitalization—which area councillor Kyle Rae has derided as “St. Clair, Part Two”—is behind schedule and over budget.

But a report to next week’s meeting of the public works committee lays out for the first time just how expensive the project has become, and why.

The BSTP is now expected to be done by the end of 2010, but comparisons to the St. Clair redevelopment have to sting a little bit. Can we expect Transit City supporters to start using this as an example of how anything can go wrong in this city? Somehow, the rallying cry “Sure, we messed up streetcars, but in this city we manage to mess up sidewalks” doesn’t really inspire.

• Makeover of the ‘Mink Mile’ to cost $4.5-million more than planned [Globe and Mail]
• Bloor St. facelift $4.5M over budget [Toronto Star]