One of Toronto's Oldest BIA's
The Gerrard India Bazaar BIA was formed in 1982 to promote the area's businesses and coordinate events. We are the largest main street marketplace of South Asian goods and services in North America.
A thriving main street is the heart of a neighbourhood, supported by the effort of the people who live and work there.
The Gerrard India Bazaar BIA funds and manages a number of beautification projects, as well as a number of assets including: 22 Pedestrian lights, 12 Branded Banners on TTC Poles, 7 bike racks/posts, 28 Sidewalk Planters, 30 hanging flower baskets, 23 City Garbage Bins, and 20 Pole wraps
Resources + Services
The Gerrard India Bazaar BIA can assist you in exploring local services, resources and programs for your organization or small business such workshops, seminars, grants and marketing expertise.
What is a BIA?
A Business Improvement Area (BIA) is made up of commercial and industrial property owners and their non-residential tenants who join together under a volunteer Board of Management (BIA Board) to carry out improvements and promote economic development within their designated area.
There are currently 83 BIAs in the City of Toronto. They work in partnership with the City to enhance and promote business areas as safe, vibrant places to do business, unique destinations for tourists and focal points for neighbourhood activity.
Administration and strategic management of a BIA is the responsibility of the BIA Board. Among their responsibilities, BIA Boards:
- Oversee the improvement, beautification and maintenance of municipally-owned land, buildings and structures in the business improvement area
- Promote the business improvement area as a business, employment, tourist or shopping area
- Undertake safety, security and crime-prevention initiatives
- Prepare strategic plans to address BIA issues
- Advocate on behalf of the interests of the BIA, subject to certain limits contained in Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 19, Business Improvement Areas
The financing of BIA operating budgets is raised by a special property tax levy on the commercial and industrial properties within the BIA boundary. The City funds a portion of capital projects undertaken by BIAs for streetscaping under the BIA Capital Cost-Sharing Program, an incentive program offered to the City’s BIAs that leverages investments from BIAs to improve, beautify, enhance and brand Toronto’s unique neighbourhoods. Find out about BIA Financial Incentive Programs offered by the City.
How is a BIA governed?
BIA Boards are established by City Council as City Boards under the City of Toronto Act, 2006 in accordance with Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 19, Business Improvement Areas, which sets out procedures for the establishment and operation of BIA Boards and the composition of each BIA Board.
BIA Boards are composed of public directors and City Councillors. The public directors are elected by the BIA membership and recommended to the Community Council in which the BIA is located for appointment. If a BIA is located within the geographic area of more than one Community Council, Council shall appoint the directors. The Councillors for the wards in which a BIA is located are Board directors by-right-of-office. BIA Board Chairs are elected by the BIA Board directors.
Find out about opportunities to serve on a BIA Board of Management.
Am I part of the BIA?
The Gerrard India Bazaar Business Improvement Area (BIA) proudly represents over 100 business with over 500 employees. Our boundaries span Gerrard Street East from Glenside Ave to Coxwell Ave. If your business operates within these boundaries you are most likely a member of our BIA. If you want to confirm please speak to your landlord, or contact the BIA directly to inquire.
What streetscape projects does the BIA maanagae?
The Gerrard India Bazaar BIA funds and manages a number of beautification projects and assets in the bazaar including:
- 22 Pedestrian lights
- 12 Branded Banners on TTC Poles
- 7 bike racks/posts
- 28 Sidewalk Planters
- 30 hanging flower baskets
- 23 City Garbage Bins
- 20 Pole wraps
Interested in beautifying Gerrard Street? Please contact the BIA Office to sign up for the Streetscape Committee!
When does the GIBBIA board meet?
All GIBBIA Board meetings are held at 6.30 pm at the GIBBIA office. All bazaar members (property owners and business owners) are invited to join the board meetings and listen in. If you have any items that you want to bring to the board, you can bring it as a “New Item” in the Board meeting towards the end or just email the BIA office and it will be added to the Agenda and brought it to the Board’s notice on your behalf.
What are the benefits of a BIA?
By creating a strong and distinct image for a neighbourhood shopping area and marketing it effectively, the main benefits of a BIA start with the fact that it can better compete in an age of shopping malls, big-box retailing and e-commerce.
BIAs can be catalysts for civic improvement and significant contributors to the City’s economy and the quality of life of our neighbourhoods. In order to help local commercial areas create thriving, competitive and safe business areas, the City of Toronto, through the Economic Development & Culture Division, offers a number of assistance programs to BIAs.
One of the more successful BIA programs is the Capital Cost-share Program, which provides matching funding to BIAs for streetscape beautification projects. These projects help create a more attractive and marketable image for the area and improve the atmosphere in neighbourhoods.
Financial assistance is also available to BIAs to implement mural projects; commercial façade improvements and streetscape master plans.
How do BIA's improve the local economy?
BIAs improve their local economies through activities such as:
- Street and sidewalk maintenance and capital improvements
- Promotion of the BIA as a business, employment, tourist or shopping area (business directories, festivals, advertising)
- Hosting neighbourhood festivals and events
- Safety, security and crime prevention initiatives
- Graffiti and poster removal services respecting building facades visible from the street
- Strategic plans for business recruitment, market studies and capital improvements
- Advocate on behalf of their membership as a unified voice
What is TABIA?
The GIBBIA is part of the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) a non-profit umbrella organization working with 83 BIAs within the City of Toronto who in turn represent more than 40,000 business & property owners. Founded in 1980, TABIA gives BIAs a voice.
- All members in good standing may take advantage of the benefits.
- From advocacy to collective bargaining for interests of its members.
- TABIA works with all levels of government to actively advance the interests of BIAs, be it Parking Issues, Garbage, Safety, Taxes, or BIA legislation.
- Offers members discounts, benefits & privileges of real value, continued education, promotions and networking Opportunities
For More information on TABIA – www.toronto-bia.com
What is the Digital Main Street program?
Digital Main Street is an online platform and service for main street businesses that can help with the adoption of digital tools and/or technologies. Digital Main Street was created in partnership between the City of Toronto and TABIA and is supported by Founding Partners – Google, MasterCard, and Rogers – along with Product Partners – Microsoft and Shopify.
By joining Digital Main Street platform and completing the onboarding process, you will receive a free Digital Assessment and recommended to-do list that identifies technologies and tools that can help your business meet your digital goals. Along with this, you will also receive exclusive discounts from various digital vendors as part of the DMS community.
There is absolutely no cost to you to join Digital Main Street and receive your Digital Assessment. If you choose to activate a tool or service from one of DMS’ partners or vendors, then there may be a cost associated with this activation. But often there is a special price or free trial period for businesses using Digital Main Street.
Contact: Darryl Julott | Senior Manager, Digital Main Street | firstname.lastname@example.org