Bolstering Bloor West Village: The Role Of A Business Improvement Association

City Living, Junction/High Park/Bloor West/Swansea, Swansea / High Park / Bloor West Village

When Stage 2 of Toronto’s reopening came to pass, some were slow to dip their toes back in the water, while others couldn’t wait to re-enter boutiques or sip a beer on a restaurant patio. As of today, 65% of Torontonians have been fully vaccinated.

Now, as we enter Stage 3 Torontonians are more boldy wading back into public spaces, reastaurants, hair salons, gyms – you name it! And after being forced to shutter their establishments for a year and a half due to the COVID-19 pandemic, small business owners in particular are celebrating, desperate for this reprieve! (Here’s a worthwhile read by the CBC about small business owners in Bloor West Village, part of their Serving Up Change series: It Takes A Village To Raise Up A Restaurant.)

 


*Photo courtesy of BlogTO, with thanks!

 

If you have a preferred pet store, a favourite fishmonger, or if a cafe that is your ‘one and only’, now is the time to show them support. BIAs all over the city are coming up with new initiatives to bolster business and increase neighbourhood tourism to ensure the fabric of their neighbourhoods is adequately preserved. 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?

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 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 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 (Stay tuned for upcoming events/festivals as we enter Stage 3)

• 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 membership as a unified voice

 

 


* Photos courtesy of the fab Bloor West Village BIA Instagram account!

 

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.

 

 


* Photos courtesy of the fab Bloor West Village BIA Instagram account!

 

What new initiatives is the BIA introducing now that we’re getting closer to being collectively vaccinated? 

Our focus continues to be on supporting our local businesses which are the heartbeat of our communities. They bring great products to our shopping areas, create jobs for our friends and neighbours and they sponsor our kids’ sports teams. Many small businesses are struggling to recover from the pandemic. Now more than ever, small businesses need our support.  When you can, please shop local.  Many businesses have pivoted their service offerings online and continue to offer curbside pick-up and can help provide delivery options.

As Ontario has just moved into Step Three, the additional restrictions put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19 are being relaxed. The City is updating the COVID-19: Guidelines for Businesses & Community Organizations to help businesses operate safely. Under these guidelines, once we are in post-pandemic environment, we will be returning to a robust event calendar! Stay-tuned for more details. 

 

 


* Photos courtesy of the fab Bloor West Village BIA Instagram account!

 

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.

 

Our lives extend far beyond your four walls, and into the communities that surround you. It’s important to nurture those connections and take pride in the enclave you’ve chose to call ‘Home!’

 


 

Tucked into the sweet Swansea / Bloor West Village communities, this charming 1930s bungalow is tucked away in a bucolic alcove that offers leafy views and plenty of privacy! This charming 2-bed 1930s bungalow on its generous 34.5×120 foot lot offers tremendous opportunity and infinite possibilities! To name a few, it’s move-in ready, great for down-sizers, an excellent investment property, and a perfect plot for those who want to build up & out!

Check out our new listing: A Vintage Bungalow Perched On The Slopes Of Morningside Avenue, offered for sale at $999,900! Just east of South Kingsway where Morningside Avenue rises over the Waller Avenue ravine!

 

 

To book a private viewing, contact cynthia@urbaneer.com!

 


 

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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