BIA Mentors 

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Sheliza Esmail

Sheliza Esmail has been the Administrator at The Eglinton Way BIA since the fall of 2015 and began the Masters of Planning program at the University of Toronto in the fall of 2017. From day one at The Eglinton Way Sheliza has had her hands full with BIA member concerns relating to the construction. From marketing initiatives to street cleaning operations to event planning, Sheliza has directed strategies for enduring the construction period for the businesses on The Eglinton Way.

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Mark Garner

Mark Garner has been a successful business and community leader for more than 30 years, and is now focusing his expertise and vision on the transformation of one of Toronto’s most vital tourism and business hubs. As Chief Operating Officer for the Downtown Yonge Business Improvement Area, Mark is an active champion for building a thriving, vibrant city centre.

Prior to joining Downtown Yonge in early 2013, Mark spearheaded economic development in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, including five years as Executive Director of the Downtown Kitchener BIA.

Mark’s business acumen and social conscience were forged during his years as a senior executive at major Canadian companies, including Bank of Montreal, AT&T and NCR Canada, where he was responsible for international sales, franchise operations and global business development. He also ran his own consulting firm, providing expert advice to a wide range of organizations.

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Darryl Julott

Darryl Julott is currently the Senior Manager in charge of leading Digital Main Street. Darryl oversees the execution of Digital Main Street as well as all growth/expansion plans. Through his work with Digital Main Street, Darryl has been able to engage over 6,000 main street businesses in the City of Toronto to help them with Digital Transformation, and has recently expanded the project across Ontario with a grant program for small businesses through a partnership with the Province of Ontario and Ontario BIA Association.


Pauline Larsen

Building on a background in economic analysis and journalism, Pauline has spent the past two decades working in the field of urban research, based first in Johannesburg, South Africa, and then in Toronto, Canada.

She has extensive experience as an urban economist, in both the private and public sectors, and she holds both a BSocSc(Hons) degree in Economics from the University of Kwazulu-Natal and an MA (cum laude) in Geography from the University of Pretoria in South Africa.

In Toronto, she has focused on research and strategy work for clients in the not-for-profit sector and her range of professional interests include: urban revitalization and performance measurement; urban social issues; the Business Improvement Area (BIA) model of urban management and advocacy; resource development and strategic planning.

She was appointed to the newly-created position of Senior Economic Development Manager in October 2013 and is responsible for economic research and analysis, economic development partnerships and initiatives, safe and inclusive programs and the DYBIA’s social enterprise, which generates fee revenues that are reinvested into the Downtown Yonge community.

As part of her mandate to develop Safe & Inclusive Streets, she is involved with a number of programs that are founded on non-traditional partnerships, like the multiple award-winning Walkabout which pairs Aboriginal Elders and uniformed police officers to do street outreach downtown.


Ron Nash

Ron has over 20 years of experience at the forefront of economic revitalization working with Business Improvement Areas and revitalization areas as an Economic Partnership Advisor for the Toronto BIA Office. He currently works directly with a variety of areas advising on issues ranging from start up, establishing revitalization plans, setting growth priorities, governance, budgeting, streetscape and beautification plans, advising on area competitiveness and liaising between the City, businesses and other key stakeholders that shape the public realm.

His primary focus make Toronto's commercial areas competitive, attractive, safe and accessible to all.

Ron holds a B.A., McGill University and a Master's, Urban Design Studies, University of Toronto.

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Antonia Yee