Return to Map
Return to previous page

Oakwood Station under construction, Eglinton Ave. W, November 9, 2022.

Construction on Eglinton Ave. West, Toronto, September 3, 2020.

Construction at Eglinton Ave. West subway station, Toronto, September 22, 2020.

  • Transit Troubles and Covid-19

    The impacts of a global pandemic

    In March 2020, Canada and the rest of the World was brought to a complete standstill with the emergence of COVID-19. As the economy and many parts of society shut down, Little Jamaica businesses had to further adapt to survive in an already precarious situation. Many Caribbean restaurants, which are important to the community, culture, and history of the community had to switch to delivery and take-out options to reach their customers. Despite those adjustments, the challenges of a global pandemic were felt strongly in Little Jamaica.

    Many business owners had to lay off staff, put in more hours a week themselves, and taken a significant cut in revenue. Although the Canadian government provided incentives to landlords in regards to rent relief during COVID-19, many landlords did not take advantage of them. With a good number of elders running the businesses in Little Jamaica, closing temporarily or permanently became common between 2020 and 2022. The effect of the empty storefronts on community morale has been significant and building back up is an ongoing project for residents and business owners alike.


    2 / 3  (use arrows at bottom right to navigate)
  • Transit Troubles and Covid-19

    Building back

    With the pandemic and its effects slowly fading away, Some businesses have successfully returned from temporarily closing while others are struggling to draw customers since they reopened. The community and City have dedicated resources towards recognizing Little Jamaica as a prime cultural heritage district in Toronto and are actively planning to revitalize the area.

    However with ongoing construction and major traffic congestion issues, it remains a difficult project to manage for business owners trying to make rent. Once the LRT is complete, the new system will hopefully move more people into the Little Jamaica neighborhood as residents and businesses rebuild their community. Organizations like the Black Business and Professionals Association have established an office or presence in the neighborhood as part of their focused effort to support Little Jamaica’s businesses through rent relief grants, business advice, training and festivals. 

    3 / 3  (use arrows at bottom right to navigate)
Next Slide Previous Slide
Next Slide Previous Slide

Stay informed.

Our What’s On newsletter, issued every month, highlights the latest in heritage news and events.