Projects Funded: 2018 Stream 2
Baby Point Gates
Small Business Recruitment Program
The Program would attract new and interesting small businesses to the area through a Small Business Recruitment contest. Any small business owner or entrepreneur may enter by completing an application and submitting a business plan. A sub-committee would evaluate applications based on a variety of criteria, and the winner would have 6 months to secure a minimum 2-year lease within the BIA. If the lease is secured, the BIA would grant $1000 monthly, for overhead costs, for one year. This Program would diversify the types of businesses, products, and services available to serve the growing Baby Point Gates community.
Neon Sign Museum
The Museum, located in Downtown Yonge laneways, will activate underutilized laneways and honour Toronto's unique neon history—currently missing in heritage preservation tactics. This multi-phase project will clean up blighted areas, encourage positive foot traffic, deter unwanted activity, attract tourists, and teach visitors about Toronto's neon history.
The Beach and
Business Recruitment Strategy and Toolkit
To help local business districts overcome the cyclical downturns in their local economies, the BIA seeks to develop a robust business recruitment strategy to fill vacancies and renew the retail streetscape. Supported by a consultant, this work would manifest itself in a toolkit and template that other BIAs might use to keep storefronts full and well-utilized.
The Project aims to attract customers through the projection of interactive and immersive light displays onto the commercial facades of participating businesses during the winter months. The BIA would hire an artist to create a unique projection for the business strip, reflecting the neighbourhood's eclectic nature and love for the arts. This initiative may help businesses attract new customers after the December 'holiday rush,' when businesses experience the lowest levels in sales and foot traffic.
A vibrant, colourful, publicly accessible 'pop up' gathering space in a strip mall parking lot along the BIA. The project would support local strip mall businesses, while creating a welcoming environment for pedestrians and transit users. The project is a collaboration with the University of Guelph, and has base funding from Park People's Public Space Incubator Grant. Project performance would be measured to create a collaborative model for enhancing similar spaces across the city.
Yonge and St. ClaiR
Clicks to Bricks
The project aims to address two challenges at the intersection of e-commerce and the BIA: that e-commerce retailers are growing into physical locations—but seek to test the idea or market before committing to long-term leases—and that the neighbourhood has significant gaps in its current mix of retail offerings. The project seeks to solve this by curating e-commerce retail pop-ups for local property owners with an under-utilized asset, and using those pop-ups to fill gaps in the mix of retail offerings. The goal is to see pop-ups eventually become long-term tenants of the neighbourhood, thereby capturing exciting new retailers and filling existing market needs.