2024 Winter Newsletter

POSTED ON January 17, 2024 BY Justine Smith

Toronto Downtown West Receives TABIA Awards for Community Safety & Innovation

The BIA’s efforts were recognized at the 2023 TABIA Award Nights on December 5, 2023. Mayor Olivia Chow and Maureen Sirois, President of TABIA, presented the BIA’s Director of Safety & Security, Mike Josifovic, with the Community Safety & Well-Being Award, as well as the Innovation Award for the ArtWalk Experience.

The Community Safety & Well-Being Award represents the BIA’s efforts to foster safety and well-being through community sessions, regular Safety & Security Group meetings and our partnership with the Toronto Police Service on implementing the Neighbourhood Community Officer Program in our area. The Innovation Award celebrated ArtWalk, an immersive augmented reality and audio experience launched in the Summer of 2023, showcasing over 70 outdoor public art pieces in downtown Toronto.

The BIA’s initiatives to ensure our community remains safe and thriving will continue to expand in 2024.

The Well is Now Open

The BIA extends a warm welcome to The Well, an innovative destination spanning 7 acres at Front St. West & Spadina Ave.

The Well is a mixture of retail, commercial and residential space, expected to draw 22,000 visitors daily. This joint venture between RioCan REIT and Allied Properties REIT features 320,000 sq. ft. of retail and food experiences, 1.2M sq. ft. of premium office space, and 1,700 residential suites.

Within this vibrant space is Arcadia Earth, a new multi-sensory experience that combines creative art installations with augmented reality, virtual reality, and projection mapping technology to showcase the beauty of our planet. Visitors can also indulge on the 38th floor of 8 Spadina Avenue at Aera, and enjoy this luxuriously appointed steakhouse, sushi counter, cocktail bar, and a rooftop terrace that offers breathtaking views of downtown Toronto.

Learn More.

2024 Member Sessions & Events

The BIA invites members and the community to participate in planned sessions and events for this year. Invitations with full details will be sent to members in advance. Plans are underway for the following 2024 sessions and events:


Lunch & Learn: De-Escalation Training


Lunch & Learn: Office Occupancy Winter Update

Black History Month Session


Lunch & Learn: Promotional Opportunities for BIA Members


Lunch & Learn: Ward 10 Community Updates

BIA Breakfast Social


Lunch & Learn: Save Stations & First Aid

Community Safety & Well-being Session


Lunch & Learn: John Street & Metrolinx Updates

BIA Summer Social


Lunch & Learn: Office Occupancy Summer Update


Lunch & Learn: Truth & Reconciliation: A Call to Action


2024 Annual General Meeting & Reception


Lunch & Learn: CaféTO Updates

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January Lunch & Learn: De-Escalation Training

The BIA invites members to attend a virtual lunch & learn. This session will focus on supportive communications and de-escalation strategies. There will be an opportunity to apply skills, perspectives and expertise based on everyday scenarios and experiences.

Who should attend: All BIA members, especially security, operations, property management, front line workers, tenants & employees

Date: Thursday, January 25, 2024

Time: 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM

If you would like to attend this virtual workshop, please RSVP to Hayley James by Wednesday, January 17, 2024.

Rebecca Higgins has worked in social services and community health for 20 years, specializing in mental health education for the last decade. Rebecca worked in mental health education at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) before becoming an independent mental health educator in 2018. Rebecca has a master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) and has lived and worked in Ireland, Honduras, and Brazil. 

Rebecca uses an empathy-based approach to teach verbal de-escalation skills to front line service providers who may find themselves faced with upset customers and distressed members of the public.

Interested in hosting your own de-escalation training workshop? Contact Rebecca.

BIA Members Donate to 129 Peter Street

A special thank you to our members the Residence Inn by Marriott, Rosemont Residences, TIFF, and My Dope Tee who have made generous donations to support the City’s Streets to Homes Assessment and Referral Centre at 129 Peter Street over the holiday season.

The BIA encourages business members to continue supporting the well-being of our community. Members interested in providing donations can contact Mike Josifovic.

Learn More.

Commercial Space Rehabilitation Grant Program Now Available

The City’s Commercial Space Rehabilitation Grant Program is available to all businesses directly impacted by the Ontario Line construction. This grant offers matching funding of 50% of the cost of interior improvements to commercial properties at street level and storefront owners. The deadline to submit applications is March 7 or when all grant funds are committed.

Learn More.

Upcoming Office Occupancy Lunch & Learn

This February, the BIA will be hosting a virtual lunch & learn presented by the Strategic Regional Research Alliance (SRRA) to share data on office occupancy trends in the Greater Toronto Region. This information session will provide valuable insights that can help members shape effective strategies. Learn how an understanding of regional growth challenges can play a pivotal role in informed policy innovation and infrastructure investment in maintaining the region’s global competitiveness.

The BIA will send more information about this lunch & learn in the coming weeks.

Art Installation Opportunity

There is an opportunity for BIA members to enhance their business with professional lighting. Digital Drapes is the crossover between light, motion, and architecture, utilizing urban spaces as innovative canvases brought to life by technology. The dynamic and unique use of light stands out against the traditional backdrop of the city, adding vibrancy and energy to spaces being activated.

These grids of programmable LEDs can be organized in many different layouts, and configured to fit various windows, capturing attention in both high-traffic areas and under-utilized spaces.

Opportunities for funding may be available in support of this installation.

Learn More.

Video & Photography Request

To showcase the diversity of our area, the BIA is requesting professional videos, b-roll footage and photography of businesses, to be included in future promotional material on our website and social media.

Contact Hayley.

City’s Circular Food Innovators Fund

The Circular Food Innovators Fund aims to support local small businesses (both for-profit and not-for-profit) in the delivery of projects that will make progress toward eliminating single-use and takeaway items in Toronto and achieving a more circular food system. 

The Fund offers grant funding starting at $5,000 and up to a maximum of $35,000 for eligible projects that implement or expand reuse systems by incorporating the use of reusable foodservice ware, such as reusable takeout containers, and investing in the systems that support their ongoing use.

The City will host two information sessions to review the program goals, eligibility criteria and important dates and answer questions about the Fund on January 25 and February 13. Register here. Applications are being accepted until February 27.

Learn More.

Interested in promoting your business? We’ve got an opportunity for you. Learn More.

Road Closures & Event Notices

Site Preparation at the future Osgoode Station

  • Date: January 13
  • Location: University Avenue & Queen Street West
  • Attachment: Construction Notice.

Filming – Feature “Twin Cities”

Filming – Series “Cruel Intentions”

NHL All Star Weekend

  • Date: February 2 – 4
  • Location: Various Closures
  • Attachment: More Information.

Super Bowl Community Tailgate at Jurassic Park

  • Date: February 10
  • Location: Bremner Blvd., from Lakeshore Blvd. W. to 15 York St. parking garage
  • Attachment: More Information.

Canadian International Auto Show

  • Date: February 25 – 26
  • Location: Various Closures
  • Attachment: More Information.

Learn More.

Conferences & Conventions

Canada’s Bridal Show

  • Date: January 12 – 14
  • Location: Metro Toronto Convention Centre
  • Attendance: 35,000

Interior Design Show

  • Date: January 18 – 21
  • Location: Metro Toronto Convention Centre
  • Attendance: 38,500

2024 Hyundai NHL Fan Fair

  • Date: February 1 – 4
  • Location: Metro Toronto Convention Centre

2024 Auto Show

  • Date: February 16 – 25
  • Location: Metro Toronto Convention Centre
  • Attendance: 350,000

Learn More.

So much to do, so much to see. Keep up with the latest happenings in Toronto’s most vibrant neighbourhood. Neighbourhood Stories.