Skip to main content

It seems patio season has been saved for Inglewood businesses facing water-main woes

This year, the city needs to replace a water main under 9th Avenue S.E. in the community of Inglewood.

It has known since 2017 the work was required but still hasn't set a firm start date.

That caused concern among businesses hoping to open on-street patios this spring and summer.

Once the construction starts, they will have to remove the patios.

They say without a plan for when construction would begin, opening the patios at all was a crap shoot.

"I already hired more staff and they are on training and obviously, they don't train for free," said Veronica Amaya, owner of Canela Vegan Bakery, who is planning for a patio opening later this month.

"They depend on the wage and it's a little bit unfair for my staff to reduce hours, and also for the business. It's a loss of income. I still have to pay taxes. I still have to pay for all expenses to have an open business."

Veronica Amaya owns Canela, a vegan bakery and cafe.

Across the street, Norley's Authentic Colombian Street Food plans to open up a patio as well but is in limbo without a construction timeline.

"I just want someone to give me a date," said Norley's co-owner, Brian Powrie, on Monday morning.

"Tell me if it's next week. I'm fine with that and then I know. Tell me it's going to be Sept. 1, I'm fine with that."

Brian Powrie, co-owner of Norley's Authentic Colombian Street Food cafe.

Rebecca O'Brien, CEO of the Inglewood Business Improvement Area (BIA), said on Monday morning she tried for more than a month to get an answer.

"I've sent multiple emails asking for information and requested multiple times that the city hit the street and let the businesses know that this will be happening in May," O'Brien said.

"And there's been crickets."

Rebecca O'Brien, executive director of the the Inglewood Business Improvement Area.

Even the area's city councillor couldn’t get a firm answer.

"My office heard about it through the businesses, who reached out to us and were like, what the heck's going on?" said Ward 9 Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra.

"And we were like, we don't know."

CTV reached out to the city at 10:30 a.m. Monday and was told, like the BIA, that the work is tentatively set for later this month with no firm start date.

That clearly wasn't going to satisfy the businesses on 9th Avenue S.E.

Some already have their patios on site and ready to bring out to the street next week.

Then, just before 3 p.m., the city said it now has a new plan.

There is still no firm start date, but the water-main repairs have been moved back until at least late September, well past both patio and festival season.

No reason was given for the change in timing.

Canela, a vegan bakery and cafe.