*Title image courtesy of NowPlayingToronto.com
Spring has indeed sprung! If you’ve been walking the streets of the city’s more lush village neighbourhoods – like west-end favourites High Park North, Bloor West Village, or Swansea – you’ve surely noticed big changes in the tree canopy overhead. Look at those beautiful budding branches! Don’t they make you hopeful that the long winter hibernation is finally behind us and many months of sunshine and outdoor recreation lie ahead?
So – how will you kick off your celebration of Spring? Maybe reconnect with a friend over a stroll in Rennie Park or High Park, dig into those long-dormant garden beds and start some yard clean-up, or host an inaugural backyard BBQ with your neighbours? In the spirit of budding trees and sprouting, may we recommend a renewed effort to support your local community? Bolstering local businesses helps a community bloom!
If you have a preferred pet store, a favourite fishmonger, a boutique of choice, or a cafe that is your ‘one and only’, the weather is perfect to hit the sidewalk and do your errands on foot! BWV has an excellent collection of businesses with an inspiring ‘village main street’-type feel.
Amazon may be easy-peasy, but why not show some support for your community and Shop Local!?
Did you know that most Toronto ‘hoods have active Business Improvement Associations toiling behind the scenes trying to ensure that our communities remain clean, ordered and prosperous? But Bloor West Village was Canada’s very first!!
We asked Urbaneer team member Cynthia to sit down with Angela, the Executive Director of the Bloor West Village BIA, to uncover more of what such an association is responsible for and how community members can get involved in improving their neighbourhoods!
* Photos below courtesy of the fab Bloor West Village BIA Instagram account!
Cynthia: Tell us about the role that our Neighborhood BIA plays in the community.
Angela: The Bloor West Village Business Improvement Association’s goal (in partnership with the City of Toronto) is to create a thriving, competitive, and safe business main street that attracts 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 our local neighbourhood and the City as a whole.
* Photos courtesy of the Bloor West Village Ukranian Festival!
What are just some of the initiatives that the Bloor West BIA has created?
The Bloor West Village BIA activities include such activities as:
• Street and sidewalk maintenance and capital improvements (think beautification including benches, flower planters, and garden parkettes
• Promotion of the BIA as a business community, tourist or shopping area (business directories, festivals, advertising)
• Hosting neighbourhood festivals and events like the Inside OUT Sidewalk Sale, Bloor West Street Fest, and the world’s largest Ukrainian Festival (Here’s our recent blog on how Cynthia took part in the Ukrainian Festival!!)
• Safety, security and crime prevention initiatives
• Graffiti and poster removal services respecting building facades visible from the street
• Strategic plans for business recruitment, market studies and capital improvements
• Advocate on behalf of the membership as a unified voice
What’s happening with the BWV Parkettes?
The parkettes that line Bloor West Village’s beautiful main street provide additional green space elements for the community – locals and visitors alike. Each beckons passersby to enjoy some respite and take a break from walking, shopping or meandering along Bloor Street West. Since 2019, we’ve been working on an initiative to refurbish these spaces:
– Bloor St W & Armadale (South East.)
– Bloor St W & Windermere (North East)
– Bloor St W & Willard Ave (South)
– BloorSt W & Durie (North West)
This refurbishment is a cost-share program between the City of Toronto and Bloor West Village BIA. It is a perfect example of how the City, BIA’s and local businesses contribute to the vision and beautification of a community.
It was initiated in the latter part of 2019, by the Bloor West Village BIA Board. A BIA volunteer committee made up of Alexandra Medarevic (Proprietor of Baka Gallery Cafe), Natalie Sydoruk (Agent of Keller Williams Realty), Bianca Charles (proprietor of Feet First Clinic), and Jurij Klufas (Kontact Television/Ukrainian Festival), and myself have been working on this with the city.
The parkettes will feature perennial gardens and incorporate design elements that reflect the natural history and identity of the neighbourhood. Moreover, shapes and materials in the design will subtly reference the area’s historical ecotypes – like the black oak savanna with tall black oaks and a low understory of grasses and wildflowers (lupines).
I am most looking forward to seeing the community enjoy the newly refreshed spaces. Many times I have walked along Bloor St West to catch special moments between friends and couples who meet in the village to share a coffee and a muffin together on a bench in a parkette. I also enjoy seeing our community using our parkettes to simply relax and watch the goings on in the neighbourhood. Witnessing these moments of enjoyment make our small village in a big city feel friendly, charming and quaint.
[If current timelines hold, Angela reports that all the parkettes should be completely refurbished sometime in 2024. The initial estimate of Summer 2023 was pushed back due to the pandemic.]
What suggestions would you offer a family relocating to the neighborhood who might not know much about the community or the Business Improvement Association? How might they get involved in supporting the neighbourhood?
• Shop Local! Visit Bloor West Village – you will be amazed at all we have to offer! We are home to over 400 shops, restaurants and service providers. Visit our website www.bloorwestvillagebia.com for more information.
• This is a very friendly community. Connect with your neighbours, introduce yourself and as questions! Don’t hesitate to contact us about how to get involved in local events and activities.
• My own personal experience in relocating our family of four from the West Coast (Vancouver) to Bloor West Village has given me a deep understanding of what’s involved and needed when relocating a family. I am always happy to share my journey, perspectives, information about schools and local family resources. Bloor West Village is a wonderful and welcoming neighbourhood community.[Take a peek at the reel below of last year’s activities in BWV, courtesy of @bloorwestvillagebia ]
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Our readers are passionate about homes, community amenities, and urban adventures. Do you have any specific message that you would like to share with our readers?
Bloor West Village offers an amazing lifestyle serving local residents with all their shopping needs right in the neighbourhood. The experience is as much about eating as shopping! A virtual smorgasbord of bakeries, delicatessens, cafes, and restaurants. Not only about shopping, Bloor West Village attracts visitors from all over the city for its proximity to High Park, the Lakeshore and beautiful tree-lined streets.
The Bloor West Village BIA will continue to promote and spread the word about the wonderful variety of offerings available through our local businesses. We have a dedicated Social Media Manager who is an expert at highlighting the dynamic variety of shops and services. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for the latest and greatest of Bloor West Village updates.
What does the BIA have planned in Bloor West Village this Spring/Summer?
Second – here are two events you can attend this month:
- April 21 – Cherry Blossom Bloom In High Park
- April 25th – BWV Easter Scavenger Hunt!
Third – we are currently recruiting LOCAL VENDORS & ARTISANS to participate in this year’s Bloor West StreetFest – July 15 2023.
Didn’t get away for Spring Break? In need of a staycation? We are currently promoting Day Trips in Bloor West Village, with themes like ‘Self-Care The Day Away’, ‘Family Adventure’, and ‘Foodie’s Delight’!
A huge thanks to Angela & the Bloor West Village BIA!
Our lives extend far beyond our four walls, and into the communities that surround us. It’s important to nurture those connections and take pride in the place you’ve chosen to call ‘Home!’
Wouldn’t it be lovely to have the leafy enclave of Swansea as your family’s community, with the awesomeness of Bloor West Village just a 3-minute walk away?
For the lucky new owners of this detached 4+1bed, 3.5bath family home on Durie Street in Swansea – NOW SOLD – it will be a reality!
We called it: A Handsome Executive Heart-Grabber In Sweet Swansea, and it was a pleasure to sell!
Contact Cynthia with questions: firstname.lastname@example.org!
Here’s an awesome listing we SOLD on Deforest Road in Swansea. This 3bed, 2bath, renovated semi-detached residence (with a finished lower level and semi-detached one-car garage) boasted countless modern upgrades and represented a tremendous opportunity!
We recently SOLD this 3bed 4bath townhome we called A Stylish Family-Friendly Townhouse In Desirable Swansea. It was an urban oasis!
We also SOLD this handsomely restored and renovated Stately Purpose-Built Duplex With Lower Level Suite, Steps To High Park !
Plus we SOLD this Sun-Soaked Swell Dwell In Swansea for $576k over asking!!
And this Vintage Bungalow Perched On The Slopes Of Morningside Avenue for $650k over asking!!
Did you enjoy this blog?
Here are some of our other posts featuring Bloor West Village & Swansea:
Now more than ever, it is essential to plan a well-researched, data-driven, tactical strategy if you are in the market for a new home. Especially in changing times, when the pandemic has prompted many to shift their focus and objectives. Have yours changed? Please know The Urbaneer team is here to help!
May we be of assistance to you, or someone you love?
The Urbaneer Team
Steven Fudge, Sales Representative
& The Innovative Urbaneer Team
Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage – (416) 322-8000
– we’re here to earn your trust, then your business –
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