Members Survey Results Released!

In August the Parkdale Village Business Improvement Area (BIA) began it’s first step towards Strategic Planning by surveying property and/or commercial business’/ community organization’s who fell within the BIA boundary (as defined by the City of Toronto).

Our team was overwhelmed with the amount of wonderful feedback and the quantity of completed survey results exceeded our expectations – thank you!!!

The feedback will be used toward defining our priorities and identifying where we can add the most value on behalf of members. The BIA currently funds, manages and helps facilitate dozens of Streetscape, Marketing, Events & Advocacy initiatives within Parkdale Village along Queen Street West and can now ensure that we are focusing on initiatives that represent members interests.

The above snapshot will be circulated to members in the coming month, please feel free to reach out to our office with any further inquiries and thank you for helping guide our community into a new chapter!

Are you ready to Shop Local this Holiday – Deals, Promotions, Parties!

On November 25th, 2017, Canadians nationwide are being encouraged to Shop Locally within their Neighbourhoods, to make a local purchase and take advantage of exclusive event deals offered by the businesses in their areas. The weekend celebrates small businesses and reminds Canadians how local shopping makes a difference in all our lives.  So we ask you Parkdale, help us celebrate and choose to #Shoplocal or #ShopTOWest on Nov 25 within our amazing Parkdale Village! Shop Local NOW Mag - 2015But that’s not all, don’t let your support of community entrepreneurs start and end on Nov 25, we hope you’ll shop and re-explore your community throughout December.

Stay tuned for dozens of deals, promotions and local stories we’ll be sharing or take a look at the Sneak Peak below!. Share your own local recommendations and favorites to shopping local by using hashtag #parkdale #shopTOWest & #shoplocal

12 Reasons to Give the Gift of Local

5 Canadian Consumer Trends to Shape the Future of Retail

Top 10 Reasons to Support Locally Owned Businesses

A Sneak Peak at Shop Local Deals & Events this Holiday Season!

November till December 1
Who: MetroCycle Toronto
What: 25% off All Bikes with purchase of lock/helmet!

November 19 & 26
Who: Our Lady of Lebanon Parish
What: Christmas Bazaar

November 19
Who: HackLab
What: Junk Independence Day

November 22
Who: Toronto Designers Market
What: Holiday Shopping Night

Now till November 30
Who:
Doll Bar Inc.
What: Black Friday Deal on Full Hair Extension Package

November 22
Who: T.O Lounge
What: Parkdale Open Mic Anniversary & Fundraiser

November 23
Who: Glory Hole Doughnuts
What: Doughnut Eating Contest

November 24
Who: North Standard Trading Post
What: Black Friday Sale

November 24-26
Who:
Shopgirls Gallery Boutique
What: Black Friday Weekend Sale

November 24
Who:
Dead Dog Records
What: Grand Opening & Black Friday Deals

November 25
Who:
Grocery Coffee Shop
What: Grand Opening

November 24
Who:
Frances Watson
What: Black Friday Deals

November 24
Who:
Sylvie and Shimmy
What: Black Friday Sale

November 24
Who:
PARPAR
What: Black Friday Sale

November 24
Who:
Three Fates
What: Black Friday Sale

November 24-26
Who:
The Well of Alternative Medicine
What: Black Friday Sale; 30% off and Buy 2 get 1 Free

November 24
Who: Margin of Eras Gallery 
What: CUE presents: The Margin of Eras Gallery Launch

November 24
Who: The Assembly Theatre
What: The Parkdale Spread (comedy & music)

November 24
Who: Cadillac Lounge
What: GLSB Presents; FALL BRAWL 2017 (surf music)

November 24
Who: Parkdale Library
What: How the Fiddle Flows Film Screening

November 26
Who: The Tennessee Tavern
What: Coats 4 Cocktails x Tennessee Tavern Pierogi Eating Contest

November 30
Who: Northern Contemporary Gallery
What: A Festivus for the Rest of Us!

December 2
Who: Crown Flora Studio
What: Wreath Making Workshop

December 2
Who: Bonar-Parkdale Presbyterian Church
What: Christmas Bazaar

December 9 & 10
Who: Parkdale Flea
What: Parkdale Flea Holiday Market

December 9
Who: Parkdale Junior & Senior Public School
What: Annual Winter Fair

December 9
Who: St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School
What: Christmas Fair

December 16 & 17
Who: Crown Flora Studio
What: Holiday Market

 December 16
Who: Northern Contemporary Gallery
What: A Holiday Toy Drive and Party Fundraising for Parkdale Community Food Bank

December 20
Who:
Parkdale Walking Group
What: Parkdale Diversity Walk @ Parkdale Library

Stay tuned for Deals and Promotions being added daily!

Queen West Restaurant Study Update

UPDATE: Didn’t get the attend the below meeting, share your feedback by completing the survey online at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TOQueenWRestaurant

The deadline for the survey is Wednesday, October 18th. For further information contact Joanna Kimont via e-mail [email protected] or her office at 416-392-7919.

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The City is holding a Community Consultation meeting where you can learn more about this study, ask questions, and share your comments.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
May Robinson Auditorium, 20 West Lodge Avenue

In 2013 City of Toronto Planning staff completed a study of restaurants and related uses along Queen Street West between Dufferin Street and Roncesvalles Avenue and the impact that these were having on other commercial uses along Queen Street West as well as on the surrounding residential uses north and south of the street.

Upon completion of the Study, City Council passed By-laws 1049-2013 and 1050-2013 placing certain restrictions on restaurants such as limiting their size and location within a building. Additionally, these By-laws placed a maximum on the number of restaurants permitted to be located in Areas A-D (as found on the map on the opposite side of this page) limiting the concentration of restaurants to no more than 25% of the properties within each of these areas.

City Council directed City staff to evaluate the impact of this concentration provision and to report back to City Council before the end of 2017. The purpose of this Community Consultation meeting is to present some preliminary findings related to this concentration provision and to obtain feedback from the Community.

To help complete the required analysis, the City retained the services of consultation firm Three Sixty Collective who will present their preliminary findings and will be available to respond to questions.

To speak to the planner directly, contact Joanna Kimont at (416) 392-7216 or [email protected]. You may also mail your comments to the planner at Toronto and East York District, 100 Queen St W Floor 18 E Toronto On, M5H 2N2.

You may contact my office at (416) 392-7919.

Annual General Meeting – Tue, Oct 10th, 2017

You’re Invited

As a member of the Parkdale Village BIA (Business Improvement Area), you are invited to attend the Annual General Meeting:

Tuesday October 10th, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.

(Registration starts at 6:30 p.m.)

St John’s Polish National Catholic Cathedral, 186 Cowan Ave (basement hall)

It’s Free!

View the results from our Phase 1 Strategic Planning Survey, enjoy snacks, meet other business owners, Board Members, staff, City officials & learn about BIA Programs and initiatives.

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The purpose of this meeting is to decide on the BIA’s program and budget for 2018 (see over).  This program is paid for by a special levy charged to BIA members.  As a member of the BIA, the best way to participate in the decisions your BIA is making on your behalf is to get involved.  If you wish to obtain a copy of the complete proposed budget or audited financial statement, please contact the BIA.

For more information contact  416-536-6918 [email protected]

Proof of BIA membership will be required.  Please bring photo ID and either a business card, utility bill showing business/tenant name and address, or your City of Toronto property tax bill.

No person in attendance shall have more than one vote

Only members of the BIA are eligible to vote at the Annual General Meeting. In City of Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 19, Business Improvement Members are defined as “all persons who own rateable property in a business property class and all persons who are non-residential tenants of rateable property in a business property class in a business improvement area.”

A “person” is defined by Chapter 19 to include “a corporation and the heirs, executors, administrators or other legal representatives of a person to whom the context can apply according to law.”

Please note:  In accordance with changes to City of Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 19, Business Improvement Areas, designates are no longer eligible to vote on behalf of BIA members at annual general meetings.

Members Survey 2017

The Parkdale Village Business Improvement Area (BIA) is undergoing Strategic Planning in 2017/ 2018 and we want to hear from YOU!

If your property and/or commercial business/ community organization falls within the BIA boundary (as defined by the City of Toronto) then you could help provide direction for the next 5 years!!

Please take 15 minutes to help us determine our priorities, the 19 question survey can be completed online, or if you wish to complete the survey in person please call or email us to schedule an appointment. (Only 1 Survey per Member, even if you own numerous Properties)

www.surveymonkey.com/r/PVBIASurvey2017

The BIA currently funds, manages and helps facilitate dozens of Streetscape, Marketing, Events & Advocacy initiatives within Parkdale Village along Queen Street West and is seeking additional guidance from members to ensure that we are focusing on initiatives that represent members interests.

The general functions of a traditional BIA are to:

  • To oversee the improvement, beautification and maintenance of municipally-owned land, buildings and structures in the area beyond that provided at the expense of the municipality generally
  • To promote the area as a business or shopping area
  • To maintain business improvement area-initiated streetscaping and capital assets within the business improvement area
  • To offer graffiti and poster removal services respecting building facades visible from the street, to all member property owners who provide written consent, upon approval of the program by the general membership of the business improvement area
  • To undertake safety and security initiatives within the business improvement area
  • To undertake strategic planning necessary to address business improvement area issues
  • To advocate on behalf of the interests of the business improvement area
  • To support economic development
  • To provide services to members as needed

We value feedback toward defining our priorities and identifying where we can add the most value on behalf of members. Members responses will be used to inform the Parkdale Village Business Improvement Area’s Strategic Plan.  Members may also receive another survey in 2018 requesting further feedback on priorities and initiatives developed from responses.

Over the next couple of weeks someone from our office may also visit your property to help answer any questions you may have or to complete the survey in person.

Please feel free to reach out to our office with any further inquiries and thank you for helping guide our community into a new chapter!

You’re invited to Momo Crawl Sunday July 30th!

Crawling Through Parkdale for a Taste of Little Tibet

Fill your belly with steamy and savoury Tibetan and Nepali dumplings at the third annual momo crawl on July 30, hosted by Students for a Free Tibet Canada.

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The team at Shangrila Restaurant making momos. (Left to right) Namjam, Lodoe, Nawang, and Dorjee. Momo making is a communal activity. One person shapes the dough into flat discs while the rest pleat and shape the momos into the two crescents and rounds. Photo by Tsering Dorjee

A few years ago the Village Voice, that arbiter of New York cool, ran a piece titled, “Is the Momo Ready to Go Mainstream?” where the writer declared, “The era of the momo is very much upon us.” While that may be the case in the Big Apple, thanks to a proliferation of Tibetan and Nepalese restaurants in Jackson Heights (Queens), have momos become mainstream here in Raccoon City? A true Parkdalian knows what momos are. But does the rest of Toronto?

Momos are dumplings with meat or vegetable fillings and served steamed or fried.

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Loga, owner of Loga’s Corner at Close Avenue and Queen Street West. Photo by Tsering Dorjee

“I think it’s becoming more popular,” says Loga, the eponymous proprietor of Loga’s Corner in Parkdale. As Instagram account parkdalelife has put it:  “Prince, Madonna, Cher, Loga. Legends don’t need last names.” Loga is unaware of his social media fan following, thanks to Instagram and the combined star power of Matty Matheson and Eddie Huang. I show him an Instagram video clip of a Huang’s World episode in which Loga’s Corner is profiled. Laughing heartily, he says he isn’t on Instagram but that he remembers Eddie Huang coming to film the episode. We talk about momos, the neighbourhood’s diversity, the growing Tibetan community, and cowboy movies. Like many older Tibetan men, Loga loves Westerns. I always figured it must be the horses and cowboy boots. His favourite movie is Ringo and His Golden Pistol, a 1966 spaghetti western also known as Johnny Oro. Loga immigrated to Canada in 2012 from India, and with his entire family chipping in, built a beloved Parkdale institution in two years. The conversation circles back to momos.

“I put kale in the veggie momos. Injis (white people) really love kale,” he says. I detect a hint of incredulity.

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Photo by Tsering Dorjee

In the last two decades, more than 8,000 Tibetans moved to Toronto, making it the largest Tibetan community in Canada. Of those, a majority settled in Parkdale, which didn’t have a substantial Tibetan population prior to the 90s. When Tibetans began arriving in large numbers to Parkdale, they brought momos with them. In Tibet momos are filled with yak meat. In the diaspora, we substitute beef, chicken, or vegetables.

This Sunday, curious Torontonians and seasoned momo aficionados alike can judge for themselves which momo rules Parkdale as the third annual momo crawl returns to Little Tibet. A $20 passport buys you 10 momos from 11 Tibetan and Nepalese restaurants lining Queen Street West from Sorauren to Dunn avenues.

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The ingredients in momo fillings vary from restaurant to restaurant. Ground beef and onion are standard. Photo by Tsering Dorjee

Momos have come to represent Tibetan cuisine, at least in the diaspora. Tibetan activist and writer Jamyang Norbu writes about the origins of momos in an informative blog post, which materialized as a response to an email from a Tibetan restauranteur in Jackson Heights, a self-proclaimed warrior in a “food battle” against another claiming that momos originated in Nepal. While it isn’t clear how momos became the unofficial cultural ambassadors for Tibet and Tibetan food in exile, Norbu writes that despite “the adversity of diaspora life,” Tibetans managed to “spread this culinary boon all over a (presumably) grateful Nepal and India.” In urban hubs of India and Nepal momo joints are as ubiquitous as Tim Hortons. Ask any Tibetan or Nepali person and they will confirm the status of momos as the ultimate Himalayan comfort food.

Momo crawl organizer, Students for a Free Tibet Canada, is a non-profit organization. Based out of Parkdale, home to the largest Tibetan diaspora in Canada, they campaign for Tibet through education, grassroots organizing, and non-violent direct action. SFT Canada’s modest office in Parkdale has become a hub of activity for young Tibetans in the neighbourhood. On any given day, the office is buzzing with activity. Fuelled by a passion for Tibet and by momos, high school and university students plan events, fundraisers, protests, and discuss strategies to address and challenge China’s occupation of Tibet.

“We provide training to empower the next generation of leaders, both within the Tibetan freedom movement and in the worldwide movement for social justice,” says Sonam Chokey, national director of SFT Canada. For many young Tibetans, it is a stepping stone, a place where they find their footing and their voice. For the young activists of SFT Canada, momo crawl is important for many reasons, SFT intern Dechen explains. “It’s a chance to raise funds for campaigns, to promote Tibetan restaurants, to celebrate Tibetan food, and to have fun.”

“Food is such a big part of our cultural identity,” Dechen says. “When I think of momos, I have fond memories of my childhood, making and eating momos with family.”

“There are emotional connections when you’re sitting together with family and friends and making momos or sharing a plate together,” Sonam adds. “There’s a sense of belonging that’s hard to describe.”

At Kasthamandap Nepalese Cuisine, which opened last month, owner Tsering Dolma tells me one of her earliest memories is that of helping her aunt sell momos at a street-side stall in Boudha, a Buddhist pilgrimage site in Kathmandu teeming with devotees and tourists. Tsering immigrated to Canada in 2010. I ask her about Parkdale. “It’s great here,” she says, “It’s like being in Boudha.”

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Lhasa Kitchen owner-operators Dorjee and Khado Jampa. Photo by Tsering Dorjee

At Lhasa Kitchen, husband and wife team Dorjee and Khado Jampa run the show. They both came to Canada in 2011 to reunite with family members who were accepted as refugees here. Their daughter, Tenzin Namsel, was born at St. Joseph’s hospital in Toronto, just a stone’s throw from their restaurant. A photograph on the wall speaks of their exile and new home: a photoshopped picture showing the Potala Palace, historic home of the Dalai Lama until he fled to India in 1959 for asylum, and an upside down image of the Toronto skyline juxtaposed on top. “It’s hard to describe,” he says hesitatingly when asked about the photo. “The Potala is so sacred for Tibetans, and so is our new home here in Toronto.”

This Sunday, Torontonians will get a chance to taste the subtle differences between momos from 11 Parkdale restaurants, each unique in its own right. Colorful photos and paintings of people and places of Nepal adorn the walls of Daiko and Kasthamandap.

All Tibetan restaurants vary in menu and decor but all have two constants: a portrait of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan National Flag.

Order Momo Crawl 2017 passports here.

You’re invited to a Learning Series – June 20th & 29th

You’re invited to a two-part learning series organized by the Parkdale Community Economic Development (PCED) Planning Project. The neighbourhood wide planning initiative has been led by over 30 community-based organizations to build Decent Work, Shared Wealth, and Equitable Development in Parkdale. Through a series of community-based consultations, the Parkdale Community Planning Study identified the establishment of a Community Benefits Framework as a key direction for advancing equitable development in the neighbourhood.


Development 101
Tuesday, June 20th,
2017 from 6:00PM to 8:00PM2
Anglican Church of the Epiphany St Mark – 201 Cowan Avenue. This first panel will provide an introductory overview of the existing development and planning processes in the neighbourhood.

The Panel:

  • Benjamin Hoff, Urban Strategies
  • Clara Stewart-Robertson, Jane-Finch Community Centre
  • Claire-Helen Heese-Boutin, Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust

Moderated by Emily Paradis, University of Toronto

Please RSVP: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/on-community-benefits-development-101-tickets-35020864348


Community Benefits 101
Thursday, June 29th, 2017
from 6:00PM to 8:00PM
Parkdale Library – 1303 Queen Street West. This second panel will provide an in-depth3 look into Community Benefits Agreements as a tool for advancing equitable neighbourhood change.

The Panel:

  • Rosemarie Powell, Toronto Community Benefit Network
  • Mariam Paul, East Scarborough Storefront
  • Michelle Francis, Community Action Planning Group – York West

Moderated by Jenn Miller, Atkinson Foundation

Please RSVP: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/on-community-benefits-community-benefits-101-tickets-35022228428

We’re Hiring a Planning Coordinator – Thank you Canada Summer Jobs!

Position:  Planning Coordinator, Parkdale Village Business Improvement Area (PVBIA)

Employment Terms:  30 hours weekly at $11.40/hour for 7 weeks (This Canada Summer Jobs position is a Government of Canada initiative; to be eligible Student applicants must meet ALL criteria)

The Parkdale Village Business Improvement Area (BIA) represents over 300 businesses and property owners in Parkdale Village along Queen Street West from Dufferin Street to Roncesvalles Avenue, providing diverse retail shopping opportunities and excellent entertainment venues. Our dining establishments reflect the character of Toronto, in that you can find food from every corner of the planet here: from Tibet to the Caribbean to Vietnam to Indian and more. We have a thriving vintage and antique shopping district in our west end that anchors our sense of history, and there are several galleries in Parkdale that display the amazing talents of the many artists who live in the neighbourhood.

Overview of Position:

The Planning Coordinator position will assist primarily with preparing Strategic Planning activities in addition to supporting other initiatives as needed, such as maintaining databases and inventory for streetscape & capital design programs, some administrative duties and some event support.

This position reports to the PVBIA Executive Director and works closely with the Assistant Coordinator, PVBIA Board, Members, third parties, external suppliers, community leaders, residents and volunteers.

Key Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Supporting strategic planning activities including scheduling member interviews, surveying members, data collection and analysis, research, etc.
  • Maintaining documents such as databases, inventory mapping, critical paths, event briefs.
  • Conducting research and assisting with the ongoing management of streetscape and capital design projects.
  • Administrative support including but not limited to filing, fielding calls, general inquiries.
  • Contributing to the coordination of other areas and initiatives as directed.
  • Fielding and fulfilling inquiries and/or requests from PVBIA members.
  • Supporting marketing and event coordination as required.

Experience and Competencies Required: 

  • Post-Secondary (Community College, CEGEP, Technical Institute, University)
  • Strong customer service with superior interpersonal oral and written communication skills.
  • General understanding, interest and experience in urban planning, economic development or relevant disciplines and administrative processes involved as well as some marketing interest an asset.
  • Interest in community and local-level planning, and non-profit organizations.
  • Ability to communicate effectively and build relationships with a wide variety of stakeholders, including staff, volunteers, community groups, sponsors and members.
  • Proficiency in MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint).
  • Outstanding organizational and planning skills with strong attention to detail
  • Proven ability to balance multiple assignments and tasks simultaneously.
  • Ability to work flexible hours as needed (particularly some evenings or weekends if required for surveying/interviewing members).
  • Ability to arrange your own travel and be able to spend extended periods standing and walking along Queen Street West to visit all BIA members.
  • May be required to lift up to 20 pounds

Favourable Assets:

  • Experience supporting community level coordination of projects or events.
  • Experience with surveying.
  • Experience with customer service.
  • Experience working with or volunteering for another BIA.
  • Knowledge of Parkdale Village community and businesses.

Eligible Criteria:

This position is funded by Canada Summer Jobs; to be eligible Student applicants must meet ALL criteria;

  • be between 15 and 30 years of age at the start of the employment;
  • have been registered as full-time students in the previous academic year and intend to return to school on a full-time basis in the next academic year;
  • be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person to whom refugee protection has been conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act2; and,
  • be legally entitled to work in Canada in accordance with relevant provincial or territorial legislation and regulations.

To Apply:

  • Deadline for submissions: June 23rd 5:00pm
  • Send your cover letter & resume to [email protected] with ‘Planning Coordinator” in the subject line.

The PVBIA is committed to providing equitable access to opportunities and experiences to people facing economic disadvantage, discrimination and/or barriers to equal opportunity including those from equity-seeking communities protected by human rights legislation. These communities include, but are not limited to: Aboriginal communities, racial minorities, persons living with disabilities, women, newcomers, youth, LGBTQ2S+, and vulnerable populations including people who are homeless or under-housed, and persons living with mental health challenges. In doing so the PVBIA aims to achieve positive outcomes and experiences for people disproportionately affected by poverty and discrimination.

Spring Festival Photos & a BIG thank you to Parkdale!

What an incredible 5th Spring into Parkdale Sidewalk Festival & Night Market! This years event saw the addition of a 10,000 sqft food market, a pirate ship & skateboard camp for kids, Pop Up Markets all along Queen West and of course a little bit of rain.

Thank you to all the volunteers, board & committee members as well as businesses, artists, residents, participants and partners such as Foodora, Certified Tire & Auto, Toronto Parking Authority & Roncy BIA who helped make this an incredible success.

View the event photos on Facebook here.

Please help us ensure the growth of the festival by providing feedback, it only takes 1 minute to answer our survey questions here.

 

 

Parkdale Village launches 8 New Murals!

Parkdale Village BIA is excited to launch the PARKDALE NEIGHBOURHOOD MURALS 2017 PROJECT!

The project saw 8 Bell Canada utility boxes around the community painted by 8 artists, as part of the 2017 Bell Box Murals Project. Murals were painted in May and launched at the Spring into Parkdale Sidewalk Festival & Night Market on May 13th, 2017, visitors to the area were encouraged to grab a map and explore all 8 locations as well as meet some of the artists.
Artists were chosen by a BIA jury and based on 1) their connection to the community of Parkdale, 2) experience painting on outdoor surfaces, 3) concept for the mural and 4) a portfolio of past work.

To read more about the project click here.

The Parkdale Neighbourhood Murals is funded by the Parkdale Village BIA and are a partnership between the Bell Box Murals Project and Bell Canada. Since 2009 artists from the Bell Boxes Murals Project have painted 172 murals on Bell Canada outdoor utility boxes in 23 communities throughout Toronto, Southern Ontario and Quebec. The Bell Boxes Murals Project is an independent, community-engaged art program and not part of Bell Canada. Paint for project is donated by Benjamin Moore Paint.
To view past murals visit the below Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/bellboxmuralsproject