Spring 2023 Newsletter

POSTED ON April 21, 2023 BY Justine Smith

You’re Invited to Our BIA Summer Social

The BIA invites you to our upcoming summer social June 8th at Le Germain Hotel Toronto Mercer with special guest, Councillor Ausma Malik.

About Councillor Ausma Malik:
As Toronto City Councillor, Ausma brings her local knowledge and experience to be a champion for affordable housing, vibrant public spaces, improved public transit, and safer streets for everyone.

Ausma has spent her life working to build a better city, more caring communities and inclusive civic spaces. From student organizing to environmental activism, from child care advocacy and education accessibility to policy innovation that improves lives, she has experienced first-hand the power of working together.

From 2014 to 2018, Ausma served our downtown communities as a Trustee elected to the Toronto District School Board, where she was successful in getting Jean Lumb Public School built – the first new downtown public school in over twenty years.

From 2016 to 2022, Ausma was the Director of Advocacy and Organizing at the Atkinson Foundation, where she collaborated with grassroots organizers, policy innovators, and other movement builders to advocate for decent work and a fair economy.

Ausma is proud to serve Ward 10, Spadina–Fort York, and knows we can do more in Toronto to bring people in, not push people out. Ausma’s vision for Toronto is a green, just, and caring city – a Toronto that works for all of us, includes all of us and gives voice to all of us.

401 Richmond: Toronto’s Art Haven

We recently had the opportunity to connect with some of the dynamic spaces within 401 Richmond and were blown away by the creativity and passion of the people behind them. In our BIA Member Feature this month, learn more about Abbozzo Gallery Director Ineke Zigrossi’s evolution over 30 years showcasing fine art. We also spotlighted 401 Richmond and the many gallery spaces, art exhibits, charming shops, cafes, and creative studios within.

Read the full Story:
401 Richmond: Toronto’s Art Haven
Director Ineke Zigrossi Celebrates 30 Years Showcasing Fine Art at Abbozzo Gallery

Metrolinx Project: Ontario Line
Small Business Best Practices

The Ontario Line will be a 15.6-kilometre subway line that will make it faster and easier to travel within Toronto and beyond. The line will bring 15 new stations to the city and will run from Exhibition Place, through the heart of downtown, all the way to the Ontario Science Centre. Two stations, King & Bathurst and Queen & Spadina, may have impacts on businesses in the area.

In order to construct the Ontario Line it is anticipated that portions of properties along the route will be expropriated either temporarily (i.e. a right taken for a limited period of time) or permanently. If an expropriation takes place, the impacted owner may be entitled to compensation. In certain circumstances, tenants may be entitled to compensation. It is advisable to seek legal advice if you receive a notice indicating that your property will be expropriated.

In preparation for this construction, businesses should proactively start detailed and accurate recordkeeping. Attached is a Small Business Best Practices presentation that provides more information and guidance for businesses who may be impacted.

The BIA is working with the City and Metrolinx and will continue to keep you updated on the progress of Ontario Line and any funding opportunities that may be available to business members. For more information, email us at

BIA Wins Award of Merit at the
2023 OBIAA Conference

The BIA’s 2022 Annual Report won an Award of Merit in the Communications category at the 2023 OBIAA Awards Ceremony held on April 17, 2023. The Annual Report webpage was created to showcase our initiatives over the past year, as well as performance highlights, district stats and future plans. Our submission, which highlighted our work in the Communications category was judged on five BIA pillars: Innovation, Replication, Representation, Outcome, and Accessibility. A committee of our BIA peers across Ontario chose our submission of our Annual Report as particularly exemplary in each of these categories. The BIA also presented this project during the conference.

The ArtWalk Experience

Thank you to those who attended our recent information session on The ArtWalk Experience with EXAR Studios. This discussion provided members with information on this revolutionary technology and how businesses can create augmented reality experiences to draw attention and attract customers in a unique and imaginative way. More information can be found in the linked presentation.

If you would like to learn more about this experience or book a demo meeting, please email

Featured Development: KING Toronto

Currently under construction, this mixed-use development contains residential, office, and retail/restaurant uses. The proposed building has a ‘Pixelated’ design with a variable massing which includes a central courtyard and four ‘peaks’. Several heritage buildings will be incorporated into the design.

Address: 489 King Street West
Developer: Westbank Corp, Allied Properties REIT
Architect: Bjarke Ingels Group, Diamond Schmitt Architects, Sweeny &CO Architects Inc.
Landscape Architect: Public Work
Purposed Land Use: Institutional: Hotel
Height (storeys): 16
Height (metres): 57.6
Total Residential GFA: 35,637 Square Metres
Total Commercial GFA: 19,072 Square Metres
Application Status: Under Construction

Safety & Security Updates
Downtown West Security Committee:
The next BIA Downtown West Security Committee meeting will be held Wednesday, April 26th at 11:00 AM. This group of security and operations representatives from businesses work with community stakeholders to address issues impacting the area.

Upcoming quarterly meetings are also scheduled for the following dates:
• July 26, 2023
• October 25, 2023

For more information about safety and security-related matters, please contact Mike Josifovic at

5 Ways to Show Love for Earth Day


Earth Day is tomorrow! Now is a great time to take stock of our environmental impact and consider ways to keep our beautiful city healthy. Here are 5 quick and easy tips to be more sustainable and environmentally conscious. Our BIA cleaning program works daily on issues in the area including removal of litter, abandoned items, graffiti, posters, and sidewalk cleaning, ensuring our district is clean and vibrant!

CafeTO Property Improvement Program

The CaféTO Program provides restaurants and bars in Toronto with the opportunity to access public space and expand their outdoor dining area through sidewalk cafés, curb lane cafés or patios on private property.

The CaféTO Property Improvement Program is available to owners and tenants of commercial and industrial properties in Toronto to improve the appearance and/or function of their curb lane cafes, commercial patios and sidewalk cafes. This program is funded by the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.

Accepting applications until Friday, June 30 (or when funds are expended). For more information, click here.

Upcoming Conferences and Conventions

April 2023

Newcomers Canada – Global Talent Expo
* Date: April 29
* Location: Metro Toronto Convention Centre
* Attendance: 20,000

Planted Expo Toronto
* Date: April 29-30
* Location: Enercare Centre
* Attendance: 5,000

ESI Toronto Beauty Expo
* Date: April 30-May 1
* Location: Metro Toronto Convention Centre
* Attendance: 50,000

May 2023

ODA- Annual Spring Meeting- 2023
• Date: May 10-13
• Location: Metro Toronto Convention Centre
• Attendance: 8,500

FCM’s 2023 Annual Conference and Trade Show
• Date: May 25-28
• Location: Metro Toronto Convention Centre
• Attendance: 5,000

June 2023

Canadian Immigrant Fair
• Date: June 22
• Location: Metro Toronto Convention Centre
• Attendance: 20,000

Collision 2023
• Date: June 26-29
• Location: Enercare Centre
• Attendance: 50,000

See full list of upcoming conferences & conventions

Who Do You Call?
The BIA works with the City of Toronto’s Shelter, Support & Housing Administration on a number of street involved issues including providing support for those most vulnerable on the street.

Here is a quick reference for you, your tenants and employees on important numbers to call if you see street–involved activity or potential criminal activity.

Janice Solomon | Executive Director

Dana Duncanson | Director of Marketing & Communications

Mike Josifovic | Director of Safety & Security

Anojan Sathasivam | Urban Planning Manager

Justine Smith | Communications Manager