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'Our business is built for this area:' Construction along Highway 417 will mean the end for five local businesses

The provincial government will be buying properties along the Queensway to make way for planned bridge replacements.

At the city of Ottawa's transportation committee meeting Wednesday, Ministry of Transportation officials from the Ontario government presented their plan for highway bridge replacements in four areas along Highway 417.

There are five rigid frame structures that need replacement. The bridges at Metcalfe Street, Elgin Street and Main Street will require a three-day weekend closure as workers swap in a new bridge.

To allow construction to proceed, officials with the MTO are looking to buy five properties that could be used as construction sites and staging areas.

The MTO says it will need the Greek on Wheels at 3 Main St., Cyco's at 5 Main St. and the Royal Oak Pub at 221 Echo Park Drive for the Rideau Canal bridge construction. The MTO adds that the Organic Salon at 58 Main St. and Gordon and McGovern Construction at 60 Main St. will be bought and used as a staging area.

Cyco's has been providing bike and ice skate rental services at that location since 1996, and Gord Martin has been the owner for 20 years. He tells 1310 NEWS this was never in the plans.

"It's the kind of thing where you're in a situation where a long term business plan is in place and that didn't include being torn down." said Martin.

He adds that it's frustrating because their location is ideal.

"Our business is built for this area," said Martin. "We're also dedicated to the canal for skates and stuff like that, our whole business is around that."

Lucas Nault is the owner of the Organic Salon and lives in the apartment right behind the building. He says it will be difficult to stick around after construction starts.

"I love this area a lot and I'd like to stay in this area, but with all the new developments happening down the street, the pricing may be out of reach."

He explains that it's frustrating for small business owners because they won't be able to enjoy the spoils.

"I just got this business two years ago and invested over $20,000 into the building to put it up to standard.....although the landlords of the property will get compensation; I will lose that money."

Construction is scheduled to begin in 2024-2025.


About the Author: Chris Kurys

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