Windows into Toronto neighbourhoods – New local social enterprise helps Eglinton businesses shine

Metrolinx will be working with Building Up, a local not-for-profit social enterprise, to help spruce up Eglinton businesses during Eglinton Crosstown light rail transit (LRT) project construction.

From dust to debris, there is no doubt construction is messy, in and out of the construction site.

The Eglinton Crosstown LRT project will bring about many benefits to transit riders once complete. Until then, Metrolinx has continued to work with local businesses and communities to support them until opening day.

One of the ways Metrolinx is giving support to businesses is through procuring social enterprises such as Building Up – which runs pre-apprenticeship trades training – for help with window cleaning.

Starting as early as April 6, Building Up will be offering free window washing to local businesses within a 200-metre radius of the station sites along the Eglinton corridor. The services will be offered every three weeks and take place from April 2021 until early next year.

Window washers work on Eglinton Ave washing windows of street front businesses
Eglinton Avenue businesses can sign up to register their business by emailing Building Up at jules@buildingup.ca. (Building Up photo)

Based on successful, non-profit social enterprise models across the country, Building Up was developed in Toronto to improve the city’s environmental efficiency, affordable housing stock, and most of all – to create a real pathway for individuals experiencing barriers to enter apprenticeships and careers in the trades.

“Any contract that provides good training and employment opportunities for our participants is a project that helps Building Up achieve our mission,” says Adam Zweig, Enterprise Manager at Building Up.

“Combining that goal with a service that positively impacts our community is truly a win-win.”

Building Up window washing schedule will be based on a three-week rotation. Eglinton Avenue businesses can sign up to register their business by emailing Building Up at jules@buildingup.ca.

On top of this, Metrolinx is reiterating its commitment to supporting businesses and communities during the LRT construction. The province provided an additional $3 million to fund marketing and promotion of businesses impacted by LRT construction along Eglinton Avenue. This new funding has the potential to provide:

  • A direct funding contribution to the City of Toronto’s Black Business and Professionals Council Advisory Body, designated to support the applicable business community impacted by the construction along Eglinton Avenue
  • Additional funds to support BIA marketing initiatives
  • An increase to the direct, one-to-one individual business supports offered to help with the development of marketing and promotional ideas and help augment businesses in the eastern portion of the line where there is no BIA representation.
  • A direct funding contribution to the City of Toronto’s Economic Development department toward the expansion of the City’s existing business support programs.

Metrolinx will continue to work with businesses and communities as construction shifts closer towards completion. To learn more about Building Up, or their pre-apprenticeship program, to  visit https://www.buildingup.ca/.

Story by Erika D’Urbano, Metrolinx community engagement senior advisor