COVID-19 coronavirus The following precautions are recommended. These are the same precautions used for influenza seasons, except for the mask and gloves. 1) NO HANDSHAKING! Use a fist bump, slight bow, elbow bump, etc. 2) Use ONLY your knuckle to touch light switches, elevator buttons, etc. Lift gasoline dispensers with a paper towel or use a disposable glove. 3) Open doors with your closed fist or hip – do not […]

Minimising BIA Board Attrition

Minimising BIA Board Attrition Introduction of Per Diems Per Diems for BIA Board members are long overdue. Toronto milks BIAs for millions annually and has never shown any appreciation or generosity towards those who serve on these Boards, promoting the city’s interests. Five of the 25 wards have no BIAs. Twenty which have BIAs provide a great source of additional taxes for the city. Toronto’s 83 BIAs are encouraged to […]

Commercial Business Interruptions

We all are aware of the annual Spring and Summer road closures that overwhelm sections Toronto due to upgrading or repairing arterial streets. Thankfully, many of these restrictions affect the local businesses for a week or two resulting in minor inconveniences to the retail/commercial sector. However, there are some major streetscape changes that create a significant effect on these trades by restricting traffic and commerce; causing substantial losses to the […]

How To Be A Good Chair

Role and Conduct of a Good Chair This dissertation defines what a Chair could do to maximize the success of its Management Board. The appropriate qualities are listed with explanation. Also included; some conduct to be avoided. Forethought and Preparation Inexperienced Chairs often mistake their primary role as managing Board meetings. This is a secondary task to be performed and not the most eminent. Initial Meeting When a Board is […]

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 […]

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 Street properties. Naturally, the property owners will pass these increases unto their tenants. This problem was addressed by the Yonge Street BIA because of […]

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 […]

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.”   Background  “On-street paid parking is important in order […]

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 and taxed at […]

About the Editor: 

Buzz Brackenreid is a veteran of the British Forces (Scots Guards). He served in The Falklands Conflict (1982), Episkopi Garrison, Cyprus (1984), Northern Ireland (1987) and Canada (1989).

Buzz emigrated to Canada in 2000. He resides with his wife Olivia, daughter Patricia and his dog Winston, in Etobicoke.