The BIA Innovation Fund provides grant funding to BIAs to test innovative and creative solutions to BIA issues and share the findings with other BIAs. The program exists to encourage innovation within the BIA model and to allow for unique projects to be piloted throughout the city.
Previously funded projects have included a virtual street art museum, rear laneway activations, creative retail recruitment strategies, asset monitoring systems and other unique pilot projects that push the limits of the work traditionally done by BIAs.
The Innovation Fund encourages innovation within the BIA model by supporting and showcasing new, unique, innovative and previously untested projects. Toronto’s BIAs represent a diverse range of districts, each with unique local challenges. The purpose of the BIA Innovation Fund is to expand the range of strategies available to all BIAs by supporting and encouraging innovative projects and sharing the results. The program is targeted to support exceptional projects which might provide a model for other BIAs to follow.
The Toronto BIA Office reviews all applications to the Innovation Fund, and determines successful applications as well as the award amount. One-time grants are available in the following denominations:
The Innovation Fund grant can be used to fund a variety of activities including consultant services, salaries and wages of BIA staff, technical assistance, research (including data collection, surveying, etc.), communications and workshop/consultation facilitation.
Projects which are eligible for funding under other BIA financial incentive programs (including BIA Capital Cost-Share Program, Mural Street Art Program, or Streetscape Master Plan Program) do not qualify for funding under the BIA Innovation Fund. A project-related services completed prior to grant application approval are not eligible for funding.
The Innovation Fund operates with two funding streams each year, affording BIAs with ample opportunity to apply for the grant.
Applications for the Innovation Fund must include the following completed documents: