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.

Local businesses team up to create Gerrard East Market’s beach-themed patio in parking lot

August 28, 2020 By Amanda Gibb, Beach Metro News

The Gerrard East Market is a new beach-themed patio offering food and drinks from many local businesses in the area.

The collaborative effort to open a patio was achieved by local businesses Poor Romeo, Dive Shop (formerly Hotel Delilah), Vatican Gift Shop, PYMBO Investments, and soon-to-open businesses Two Cats Cannabis, and a wine bar called Gardel

Mayor John Tory announces $1.7 million in property tax relief for 45 live music venues impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic

Today, City of Toronto Mayor John Tory announced that 45 live music venues will receive a combined $1.7 million in property tax relief to support Toronto's live music industry and address the unprecedented challenges that are threatening live music venues across the city.

Mayor Tory made the announcement at The Cameron House, one of the 45 live music venues that will receive this urgently needed target relief program. The Mayor was joined by Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson (Ward 21 Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic Development and Culture committee, Night Economy Ambassador and member of the Toronto Music Advisory Committee as well as Councillor Joe Cressy (Ward 10 Spadina-Fort York) and Chair of the Toronto Music Advisory Committee.

City of Toronto further expands Digital Main Street program to help local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic

Today, Mayor John Tory announced another expansion of the Digital Main Street program, as two new funding partners have joined the program and additional initiatives have been launched that will focus on helping businesses in Toronto and across Ontario embrace technology in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today both Intuit Quickbooks and Facebook Canada are also joining Digital Main Street as funding partners. Their support will help Digital Main Street expand their small business support programs that are dedicated to providing one-on-one support to main street businesses looking to digitally transform their operations.

New zoning order allows local restaurants to use more available space for outdoor dining in Toronto

The City of Toronto, at the direction of City Council, requested and has now received a new Ministerial Zoning Order (MZO) from the Province of Ontario that will help ease zoning restrictions on outdoor patios while allowing for expanded patios on private property, including parking areas.

As part of Toronto’s CaféTO program, which expands sidewalk patios and flankages (additional frontage when a business is on a corner lot) and allows for installation of curb lane patios, Council requested that staff submit an appeal to the province for an MZO specific to Toronto to quickly allow for modest increases to the maximum size of outdoor patios, remove restrictions that could prevent an outdoor patio located in front of buildings, and provide particular consideration for non-residential properties with dedicated surface parking in front of the building (subject to necessary parking requirements).

Toronto City Council approves CaféTO plan to safely increase and quickly expand outdoor dining space for local restaurants and bars

June 29, 2020

The City of Toronto announced today that the CaféTO report, which directs the City to take quick action and make way for additional safe outdoor dining spaces for local restaurants and bars, was unanimously approved with amendments by Toronto City Council. It’s expected the first CaféTO locations will be in place on July 1.

CaféTO will ensure that accessibility and safety are not compromised while making it easier for many restaurant and bar owners to open patios, expand them and access additional space for physical distancing, in accordance with public health guidelines.

East Toronto businesses welcome rent relief, ban on commercial evictions but more support still needed

June 22, 2020 By Ali Raza, Beach Metro News

Local small business owners have some rent relief following weeks of uncertainty as Toronto councillors pushed the provincial and federal governments to act.

Commercial tenants facing difficulties with rent have some breathing room now after the province announced a moratorium on commercial evictions on June 8 – but only until Aug. 31. Meanwhile, the federal government’s Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) has its own issues, councillors said.

Toronto Public Health provides expanded guidance to help prepare more businesses and locations for a safe reopening

Toronto Public Health has expanded the number of guidance documents available to help local businesses and community organizations to prepare for safe reopening when the city receives provincial approval for Stage 2 reopening. These documents will provide guidance on adjusting operations to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

There are 13,588 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 86 cases since yesterday. There are 284 people hospitalized, with 75 in ICU. In total 11,397 people have recovered from COVID-19, an increase of 202 cases since yesterday. To date, there have been 998 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform at https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-latest-city-of-toronto-news/covid-19-status-of-cases-in-toronto/.

City of Toronto opens registration for CaféTO plan to safely increase outdoor dining space for local restaurants and bars

Today, Mayor John Tory announced that the City of Toronto is opening online registration for CaféTO.

A City staff report on CaféTO, scheduled for consideration at Executive Committee on June 22, proposes the City take quick action to make way for additional safe outdoor dining spaces for local restaurants and bars. A simple online registration form and guidebook for the proposed program is now available at http://www.toronto.ca/cafeTO.

Statement on Province's Commercial Eviction Ban

Since April 1st, Main Street businesses in Toronto have been strongly urging the provincial and federal governments for commercial rent relief and a ban on commercial evictions. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, small businesses in Toronto-Danforth, across Toronto and across Ontario have been asking for help.

Six weeks ago on April 24th the federal government announced the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small business, however the portal to apply did not open until May 25th. Small businesses were left on their own to pay rent for May and June with no relief or protection.

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