TD in Weston is closing, moving to Crossroads

I was recently amazed when I visited a bank teller to take out cash. There were—forgive me here—little old ladies with passbooks in clear vinyl envelopes asking the tellers in salty, sunny, Mediterranean languages about their balances.

I hadn’t seen a passbook in three decades, and I was amazed that people still use them. I was amazed the bank still prints them. And, if I’m honest, I was also infuriated: my god, the line was slow. Do you people not know about apps?

But my fury at the waiting in line will be nothing compared to my anger at not having a lineup at all.

The TD Bank at 1979 Weston Road will close and move to the Crossroads Plaza by this time next year, according to residents. (TD has not yet returned my calls.) This is the latest in a series of closures that are turning downtown Weston into a banking desert: the RBC and TD banks on Jane have closed, as did the Scotiabank at Weston and Lawrence. In two years, we will have gone from six branches (and four banks) to two. Only RBC on and BMO, both on Weston Road, remain.

While the big banks have been moving on, money-lenders and high-fee cheque-cashing businesses have been moving in. There are at least 10 payday loan or cheque-cashing places in Weston. Something is wrong with a community when there are more usurers than ice-cream shops.

I’m not usually the sort of guy who says that the government should meddle in business, but in this case, I think they should. Banks are not meeting their social obligations, and the government has a strong moral reason to regulate minimum levels of service—and the muscle to do so.

Being banked is a critical part of being a citizen; even the government pays by cheque and prefers direct deposit. (You can’t collect Ontario Works, for instance, in cash.) Allowing banks to close forces people into the hands of cheque-cashers, who charge about $3, +3% of the value of the cheque: a whopping $33 on a $1000 payday.

Worse, the people who will pay are those least able to: the poor, less-literate, and less mobile. Being gouged by MoneyMart makes a lot more sense when you’re faced with a 90-minute walk or a $6.50 fare and a snowy hour waiting for buses.

And then there are the knock-on, long-term effects. To open an RESP, get financial advice, or save in a TFSA, you need to have a branch. None of it can be done online. Pulling out banks means pushing people to the financial margins, and that will make our community poorer in the long run. You need to be close to a banker to pull ahead.

Of course some of us—those with cars, $100 cellphone plans, and the wherewithal to direct-deposit our infrequent cheques by photograph—we will all be fine. After all, I didn’t know people still use passbooks because I hadn’t stood in line for years.

But you can’t both curse a bank’s Friday lineup and say we don’t need it.

Author: Adam Norman

I am raising my two children in Weston.

6 thoughts on “TD in Weston is closing, moving to Crossroads”

  1. Saddens me that the TD is closing. The Scotia bank at Weston rd and Lawrence still remains vacant . The Weston rd strip certainly looks sad. And I assume the TD branch after it closes will sit vacant for some time as well. A real pity.

    1. You have a resident group a BIA, three levels of government….yet no one can fix weston Rd…i think they are turning Weston Rd into a dump on purpose….this way may more low income buildings can be built since no one cares about Weston Rd…..I guess the John St building that is suppose to bring large groups of artists to shop on Weston Rd didn’t impress TD Bank (lol). Oh by the way BMO is on the way out as well.

      1. Why is it rthat you always seem to find fault with everyone from the govt reps all the way down to the BIA but we never hear how YOU will be taking action? Or is it easier to sit at your computer, caste aspersions without actually trying to make a difference? When you have the perfect answers, let us all know. Better yet, run for office. Put your money where your mouth is.

  2. If it happens, it will be the third time my accounts at TD move. In 1992 my banking was at TD at Church and weston Rd. Lovely staff and friendly manager. They closed and moved my accounts to Jane St. ( this was before the merger with Canada Trust). When that branch closed, they moved my accounts to Weston Rd. Now apparently they will move again.
    Weston is a desert. Sigh.

  3. Banks cannot argue they don’t have a community responsibility. They make record profits, and they store our money. Adding a distance that requires a bus ride for seniors, new immigrants, and anyone without a car or the means to spend bus fares and time, is unconsciable.

    Is there a regulation, some pressure we can exert, somewhere? Weston is a neighbourhood. We need neighbourhood banking, and we’re about to have 30 storeys of new residents.

    WTF?

  4. Here’s the reply I received from customer relations about the branch closing:

    Hi Roy,

    Thank you for taking the time to write to us.

    While I cannot confirm the official plans on behalf of your branch, I can confirm that if you choose to open an account at a branch that may be closing in the future, your accounts will always be safely and seamlessly transferred to the new location.

    Please let us know if you have any more questions or if we can help you book a branch appointment, please reply with the best location and time.

    Alternatively, please feel free to contact us at 1-866-222-3456 (24/7) collect 416-983-5393.

    I hope this provides clarity. Do reply back if you have additional questions.

    Take care and all the best!

    Clarity – clear as mud!

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