If your business or commercial property is located within the boundaries of the Willowdale BIA, you are already a Member, and our team is working hard on your behalf. You will find more of what falls under your membership benefits in the section below. Check back or sign up to our business or property owner’s e-newsletter to learn more as we develop new initiatives to support local economic development and further establish the BIA and the area’s brand.

Supporting Businesses

Member E-Newsletters

We will be sharing relevant business support, news, notices, marketing opportunities and BIA activities through these e-newsletters specifically geared towards our Member businesses and commercial property owners. As we build resources for our Members, we will share them through these e-newsletters. Sign-up in the footer of this page.

Digital Main Street

We have partnered with Digital Main Street to help your business with its digital transformation. The best part is, there is absolutely no cost to you as a business to receive help from the Digital Main Street Squad. The primary role of the DSS is to help you on-board to the Digital Main Street online platform and assess your digital needs. The DSS can also help you gain a basic web presence or enhance your existing web presence by helping you activate easy-to-use tools. Contact us to get connected to the Willowdale BIA’s direct Squad member or for assistance with any open grants.

Commercial Façade Grant (Opens Winter 2022)

The City of Toronto, Economic Development administers the program which provides funding to property owners and tenants to renovate commercial building facades. Eligible improvements include, but are not limited to, a minimum of three of brick cleaning, accessibility improvements, doors, signage, windows, lighting and masonry.

The minimum grant funding is $2,500 for $5,000 worth of improvements, with a maximum of $12,500 for $25,000 worth of improvements. Bonus funding up to $2,500 is available for $5,000 worth of accessibility improvements which meet AODA design standards.

For more details on the program and eligibility, please contact Michael Saunders at the City of Toronto at 416-392-1005 or visit their website.

Mural Grants

Murals are a great way to make your business, property or office more memorable, and often reduce issues with tagging or graffiti.

The City of Toronto has a $5,000 Outdoor Mural & Street Art Grant for BIAs. The BIA can apply to this grant, and if successful, manage a mural project for you with a professional artist at no cost.

Alternatively, the City of Toronto offers the StART Support Mural Program to help property owners clean up graffiti by providing materials for the creation of art murals. The City can provide up to $2,000 for spray paint, paint caps, exterior paint, or some limited other application materials.

For large-scale projects, there is also the City’s StART Partnership Program.

Please contact us if you are interested in learning more.

Showcasing & Promoting Businesses

Social Media 
We have recently engaged a social media agency to promote the Willowdale BIA business community. Wayne and his colleagues from Spectre Agency will be visiting the area to create content in the community and from Member businesses. Make sure to follow us and connect on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram so we can interact with you and promote your business or property, too. More details on how Members can get featured are coming soon.
Community e-Newsletters
Additionally, we are building our residents and friends of Willowdale BIA subscribers list. An e-mail newsletter program will send updates about our businesses, marketing materials and community news. You are welcome to send any information about special business events, contests, business openings, community initiatives, special features or signature products, services or dishes that you would like considered. Contact us to learn how to get featured.
Business Directory (Coming Soon)
We are currently building a list of our Member businesses in order to produce a website directory to showcase local dining, shopping and services. This is an additional opportunity to promote your business. Contact us if your business is within the Willowdale BIA’s boundaries and you wish to be added. 
An Opportunity to Develop A Unified Brand for the Business Community (Coming Soon)
Creating a consistent brand for a business district helps to position the area to attract investment, shoppers, businesses and partnerships. It is an opportunity to promote the area and create a distinctive community.

Improving the Public Realm

Regular Streetscape Issues Reporting (Coming Soon)

We’re proactive about identifying and finding solutions to on-street cleanliness issues to create a positive client and customer environment. We will be reporting semi-monthly to 311 and various departments damaged or deficient public realm assets, street poles, public garbage bin issues, bike rings and other cleanliness issues. Call 311 or contact us if you’re noticing an issue in the area you would like to see cleaned or fixed faster.

Attracting Visitors

Signature Events

Our inaugural event, CafeTO (May to October) recently launched as a COVID-19 business support initiative. One Kilometre of CafeTO patios supports Member restaurants in need of increased opportunity for sales during COVID-19 while creating local dining experiences for residents and office workers. Keep tuned and join e-newsletter for new and upcoming events, and COVID-19 Recovery projects.

Advocating

Unified Voice

A BIA can act as a unified and collaborative voice to multiple levels of government, including letters and submissions on issues with wider impacts on the business community. We are participating in active public consultations and working directly with public leaders on issues such as Reimagine Yonge and Metrolinx Yonge North, safety issues and others. Our goal is to support local businesses and commercial property owners. We also have a strong connection to our local representative at the city, Councillor Filion, who sits on the BIA’s Board. Additionally, Willowdale BIA is a member of TABIA and OBIAA, the Toronto and Ontario Associations of BIAs, which provide a format to share common concerns and actively advance solutions through partnerships and collective advocacy.

More to come

As we grow our core team and complete an upcoming Member survey, we will be developing new initiatives to best support our Members.