Small businesses are at the heart of our neighbourhoods. 

Vibrant retail main streets – like the Danforth and Queen Street – are at the heart of our safe, walkable and prosperous neighbourhoods. These local restaurants and shops are woven into our lives like old friends. Yet many of our local businesses are still feeling the crushing impacts of the pandemic.

Our local small businesses need support – remember to shop local!

Scroll down for the latest updates on my work fighting for small businesses.   

Resources for Business Owners 

Here are some key City of Toronto resources and supports for Toronto's business owners and operators: 

More information for businesses can be found online on the city's website.

Ward 14 Business Improvement Areas

A Business Improvement Area (BIA) is an association of commercial property owners and tenants within a defined area who work in partnership with the city to create thriving, competitive, and safe business areas that attract shoppers, diners, tourists, and new businesses. By working collectively as a BIA, local businesses have the organizational and funding capacity to be catalysts for civic improvement, enhancing the quality of life in their local neighbourhood and the city as a whole.

There are seven BIAs in Ward 14 Toronto-Danforth.

Learn more about BIAs on the city's webpage or by visiting the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas' website.

Broadview Danforth BIA

Contact: Susan Puff, Executive Director
Email: [email protected]
Website: thedanforth.ca
Phone: 416-423-4373

The Broadview Danforth BIA is comprised of more than 350 shops, restaurants and services along Danforth Ave from Broadview Ave to Hampton Ave, along Broadview Ave north to Pretoria Ave, and south to Dearborne Ave. The Broadview Danforth BIA works to promote and provide an exciting destination neighbourhood for delicious food, entertaining theatre, lively pubs and cafés, and distinctive shops and services.

Follow the Broadview Danforth BIA on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Danforth Mosaic BIA

Contact: [email protected]
Office: 1432 Danforth Ave

The Danforth Mosaic BIA (“The Danny”) stretches along Danforth Ave between Jones Ave and Westlake Ave. Celebrating a rich and diverse community, The Danforth Mosaic BIA boasts vast selection of family-owned restaurants, shops, and services from various parts of the world. With more than 500 shops and services, residents and visitors have a wide array of choices to make their visit to The Danforth Mosaic BIA memorable.

Follow the Danforth Mosaic BIA on Instagram and Facebook.

Gerrard India Bazaar BIA

Logo - Gerrard India Bazaar Business Improvement Area

Contact: Tasneem Bandukwala, Executive Director
Email: [email protected]
Website: gerrardindiabazaar.com
Phone: 416-465-8513
Office: 1426 Gerrard St. East 

Located on Gerrard Street between Coxwell and Greenwood, the Gerrard India Bazaar BIA is the largest marketing place of South Asian goods and services in North America. With over 100 shops and restaurants which represent regional diversities of South Asian culture, food, music and products, this slice of the Indian subcontinent offers a wide selection of services and products exhibited in an exotic display of sights, sounds, tastes and aromas.

Follow the Gerrard India Bazaar BIA on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

GreekTown on the Danforth BIA

Contact: Mary Fragedakis, Executive Director
Email:  [email protected]
Website: greektowntoronto.com
Phone:  416-469-5634
Office: 452A Danforth Ave

One of Toronto’s most vibrant and cosmopolitan neighbourhoods, Greektown is also one of the city’s best known Business Improvement Associations with over 400 members. Located along Danforth Ave between Hampton Ave and Dewhurst Blvd, the Greektown BIA’s clean and safe community offers something for everyone. Immerse yourself in the tantalizing culture of the Greektown BIA by visiting one of the many restaurants, lounges, cafes, or bakeries that feature traditional Greek cuisine, along with other fantastic multi-ethnic establishments in the area.

Follow the GreekTown on the Danforth BIA on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Leslieville BIA

Contact: Cathy Quinton, BIA Office & Project Manager
Email: [email protected]
Website: visitleslieville.ca

Located on Queen St E between Empire and Vancouver Avenues, the Leslieville BIA is a part of one of the city’s most socially connected and engaged neighbourhoods. With Leslieville having played a key role in the city’s rich history in the East End, the Leslieville BIA now offers a vibrant community for Toronto’s art and culture scene. With a wide selection of restaurants, shops, and services, the Leslieville BIA creates a fun, family-friendly, and trendy space for residents and visitors alike.

Follow the Leslieville BIA on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Pape Village BIA

Contact: Carolyn Wong, Coordinator
Email:
 [email protected]
Website: www.papevillage.ca

Established in 1986, the Pape Village BIA represents over 80 businesses along Pape from Mortimer to Gamble. Strolling along Pape Avenue you can find all your day to day needs including shopping, dining, grocery, health care, fashion, bakeries and financial institutions.

Follow Pape Village BIA on Facebook and Instagram.

Riverside BIA

Logo - Riverside BIA

Contact: Jennifer Lay, Executive Director
Email: [email protected]
Website: riverside-to.com 
Phone: 416-466-8167

Dubbed the SOHO of Toronto by the New York Post, Riverside has made a commitment to art and design, which is evident by the several murals decorating the neighbourhood, to the public art installations and annual signature event, the Riverdale Art Walk. Located along Queen St E, from the Don Valley Parkway to the east and Empire Ave to the west, the Riverside BIA is just minutes from the downtown core and easily accessible by streetcar. Encompassing a wide variety of shops, restaurants, and services, the Riverside BIA offers a trendy atmosphere for everyone to enjoy.

Follow Riverside BIA on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Mayor John Tory announces first registration window for expanded CaféTO program will open this Friday

Mayor John Tory announced today that the first registration window for the expanded CaféTO program will open this Friday, February 26 at 9 a.m. The first window will remain open for a full month, until Friday, March 26, and the second window will open immediately afterward.

Starting on Friday morning, local restaurant and bar operators interested in expanding their outdoor dining space into the curb lane and onto sidewalks can register online using a clear process. Pending public health orders, approved CaféTO curb lane locations from the first window would be installed as soon as mid-May – almost two months earlier than last year and in time for the May long weekend.

Toronto City Council approves bigger and better CaféTO program to help local restaurants

Toronto City Council today unanimously approved a bigger and better CaféTO program to help Toronto’s main street restaurants and bars during the City’s ongoing pandemic response.

The first wave of registration for the expanded CaféTO program will begin in late February and, pending public health orders, the first approved CaféTO curb lane closure locations for 2021 would be in installed as soon as May – almost two months earlier than last year.

City of Toronto report outlines plan for bigger and better CaféTO program in 2021 to help local restaurants

Today, Mayor John Tory endorsed a new City of Toronto report that recommends an expanded CaféTO program starting this spring to help Toronto’s main street restaurants and bars during the ongoing pandemic.

The report, which will be considered at the meeting of Executive Committee on Wednesday, January 27, includes details about the CaféTO – a quick-start pandemic response program launched last summer – and outlines key findings and outcomes along with recommendations on how to ensure the program is bigger and better this year.

GTA Local Business Districts Gain Support for Public Art!

TORONTONov. 10, 2020 /CNW/ - Presented with RBC Royal Bank, The STEPS Initiative is pleased to announce the winners of the I heART Main Street Art Challenge.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, STEPS supported GTA 11 Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) to develop 41 art installations in collaboration with 20 local artists. Ranging from sidewalk decals to storefront exhibits, installations fostered a sense of community during local economic recovery.

City of Toronto extends partnership with Ritual to launch Open For Business to support local businesses

Today, Mayor John Tory announced the City of Toronto is extending its partnership with Ritual to launch Open For Business – a collaboration with Ritual and DoorDash to help local businesses across Toronto increase their commission-free online sales.

Ritual ONE is typically accessed by restaurants, bars and food services, such as cafes, bakeries, butchers and grocers. However, this program is available to any Toronto business that wants to access commission-free pickup and delivery.

Plan to allow use of heaters to extend outdoor patio season at restaurants welcomed by local councillors

By Ali Raza, Beach Metro News

Restaurants in East Toronto and across the city can keep their patios open as the cold weather approaches.

The City of Toronto recently announced plans to allow restaurants, bars, and cafes to allow portable heaters in all outdoor patios.

It’s aimed at making outdoor dining appealing to customers in the colder weather and to help give business owners a chance to generate revenue in the face of economic challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

I heART Main Street Art Challenge

To support our city and the culture that brings our communities together, STEPS recently launched the "I heART Main Street Art Challenge."  STEPS is providing artists and Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) with the opportunity to increase feelings of trust and community through DIY art installations.

The 42 new artworks currently underway were brought to life in collaboration with 25 local creatives; many of whom identify as emerging or BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) artists who have been impacted by a loss of income as a result of the pandemic.

Patios, bike lanes and parklets: How COVID-19 may actually save Toronto’s main streets

August 29, 2020 By Tessa Kalinowski, YorkRegion.com The pandemic has broken Laura Sellors’s hungry heart. She loves the city’s food scene and has watched with dismay as the restaurant industry, an underpinning of main street life in Toronto, struggles under the COVID-19 closure and restricted openings. “The reality is there will be tons of

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