Toxic Behaviour

Bear in mind that BIAs are agencies of their respective city and, Ontario’s cities, as well as most other private and public institutions, all have Codes of Conduct. And the institutions are each responsible for the conduct of their employees and members.

This is an appropriate time to inform or remind BIA members and staff of the existing behavioural guidelines which apply to the workplace. It is most prudent to undertake defe...

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Tax Killings

OPEN LETTER TO ALL BIAs - Forget the Flowers and the Banners… Speak OUT

This is a matter that affects all your members - merchants and property owners.

The background is - the commercial property values (as calculated by MPAC) were increased outrageously, especially for Yonge Stree...

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What’s a BIA? – the Real Answer

The Truth will piss you off.

The original concept of establishing Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) was appealing. The intent was to form an association of entrepreneurs which would represent, promote and support the various business members in a city or community.

In Toronto however, the ideal was hijacked by municipal politicians who are always seeking more revenue. Instead of re...

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What’s a BIA?  Part II

“Safe upon the sidewalks our costly assets stand:  Come and see our BIA, built upon the sand!”

The superficial structuring of BIAs (by legislation) is intentional. It produces a great number of deficiencies in BIA governance – resulting in many conflicts, complications and waste.

Some typical BIA shortcomings…

The BIA Bo...

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What’s a BIA? Part III

Business Improvement Areas are agencies of the city (in this article, the City of Toronto). They are advertised as a community of businesses which assembles to protect their interests and promote prosperity. In Toronto, these BIAs come under the influence of the "BIA Office".

The Toronto Office of Economic Development and Culture (OED) often referred to as the “BIA Office,” employs staff which is supposed to he...

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What’s a BIA? Part IV

“Following advice from someone who’s spending your funds.” is strategically unwise.

The OED, like all other city departments, is judged by its success. And in a civil service environment, success is measured by spending. Never by cost-savings, nor by merit; but by spending. The more a department spends, the more ‘productive’ (successful) it is deemed to be.

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About Toronto’s BIAs

In Toronto, Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) are agencies of the city – that is to say their mandate comes from City Council; their Boards are approved by City Council and their main purpose is to serve the City’s priorities, while the priorities of their members (the business community they are purported to represent) are relegated to secondary importance.

This can be seen by the manner in which they are set up for operating. ...

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Parking Issue

The Toronto Parking Authority (TPA) is proposing to increase the paid parking rates within most BIAs by 34% to $2.00 or more per hour. 

"The Toronto Parking Authority (TPA) has undertaken a review of its On-Street Paid Parking Program for 2017 . As a result, the TPA is proposing a number of adjustments to the hourly rates and hours of operation to the on-street paid parking spaces."  More

Another Pound of Flesh

Vacancy Tax Rebates (VTR), the Facts

Some views and opinions on this subject are based on misinformation or misunderstanding. This includes politicians who are eagerly seeking to remove VTR whilst willing to forego due diligence in the never-ending pursuit of tax revenue.

Let’s begin with a little history. Prior to 1998, Toronto taxed business properties on two levels. One level was the actual property which was assessed a...

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