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No bus stop for Variety Village

by Don Peat
City Hall Bureau

The bus still won’t stop outside Variety Village.

TTC commissioners voted to extend the hours of a shuttle from Main St. station to the Scarborough facility for disabled children but pushed off any possibility of a bus stop going outside the building for at least another six months.

Local councillor Gary Crawford told the TTC board that the current shuttle isn’t really “doing anything” and anything other than a bus stop will not meet the needs of those using the site.

Crawford pointed out the bus stops walking distance from Variety Village - highlighted by TTC staff - don’t help.

“All those drop off points are wonderful if you can walk,” he said.

On Tuesday, TTC chairman Karen Stintz was optimistic that negotiations between TTC chief general manager Gary Webster and Variety Village CEO John Willson seem to have brokered a “conclusion” to the issue.

Webster told the TTC Wednesday he and Variety Village had agreed to put up posters at both the Main St. station and Variety Village to better advertise the shuttle and extend its hours.

Last month, Sun columnist Mike Strobel called on the TTC to put a bus stop in front of the Scarborough facility for disabled children. He noted the bus stop at the rear of the building, on Danforth Ave. near Birchmount Rd., requires a trek up a “menace” of a path that “is muddy and strewn with rocks and concrete.”

In a Nov. 21 letter to Willson, Webster stated the TTC changes established routes “only if a proposed new routing would provide a benefit to a larger number of customers than the disbenefit (sic) it imposes on other customers.”

But Webster added the TTC would analyze the impact of changing the 69 Warden South bus route from its regular route on Birchmount Rd. to loop around to Birchmount Park Collegiate and Variety Village.