Forging Strong Links with the Community

The neighbourhood surrounding a BIA is usually the primary customer base for member businesses and is important to a BIA’s vitality and success. In order to build and maintain a strong and positive relationship between your BIA and the local community, the following measures can be taken:

  • Demonstrate and make sure neighbourhood residents recognize that the BIA and its members have a vested interest in the community of which they are a part
  • Respond in positive ways to community needs and concerns, and where possible get involved in community affairs. This can be achieved through working with residents’ groups and other local organizations and institutions such as community centres, schools, churches and libraries on matters of common interest and concern
  • Reach out to community members by participating as an organization in community activities and events and also encourage your members to do so as individuals
  • Support the community as much as possible by encouraging your business members to hire locally and use local suppliers of goods and services where possible
  • Keep the lines of communication open between the BIA and the community. Stay abreast of neighbourhood activities and make sure the residents are kept informed of your BIA’s initiatives
  • Invite your community ratepayers’ association to some of your BIA board meetings to hear their comments and keep them informed of upcoming BIA activities. You can invite a local area resident to become a contributing BIA board member.

Charity and Community Fundraisers

Another effective way to show your involvement with the community and gain added support and attention to an event or promotion is to tie it in with a well-recognized (and preferably well-advertised) charity, popular cause or appeal.

Your event then customarily serves as a fund-raiser for that charity and, as a result, the charity receives an agreed-upon percentage of the proceeds. This contribution can be offset by the enhanced image and positive publicity your event receives through its affiliation with the participating charity. The charity can also provide you with additional volunteers for your event.

When working with a charity, make sure that important points such as the level of event involvement and the percentage of the proceeds it is to receive are clearly spelled out and formally agreed to in advance.

Locating Commercial and Industrial Property Owners

The BIA Office can provide BIA chairs with the mailing information for commercial and industrial property owner members in hard copy format only. This list is to be used exclusively for marketing and promotion materials and circulating newsletters. The BIA Office will continue to mail your AGM notice to property owner members on your behalf. Your board is responsible for the distribution of materials to tenant members. As you may be aware, no level of government maintains a database of businesses. In order to communicate to your member businesses, you will be required to do so through Canada Post, a delivery service, individual board members, or if available, through your coordinator.

Key BIA City Contacts

BIA audits

Auditor General’s Office
Tel: 416-392-8030

Festival planning assistance

View the Toronto Special Events Planning Guide for information to help simplify the planning of a special event in Toronto.

Toronto Film, Television and Digital Media Office

Economic Development & Culture
Film Co-ordinator
Phone: 416-338-3456
Fax: 416-392-0675

City councillors

Contact information for members of council.

Police divisions

Location and contact information for the various Toronto Police Divisions