Supporting Local has never been more important!

Shop Local NOW Mag - 2015

Typically the last weekend in November is celebrated as Shop Local weekend as residents are encouraged to Shop within their own communities, in an effort to keep people out of malls & big box stores. The shopping landscape has certainly changed, but as some reports show, many big box stores are doing well and people are moving more and more to online shopping.

What can you do about it? Before you shop online at big box stores, check with your local shops to see if they have what you need or if they can order what you need – many are here to look out for their customers and will try and support you just as much as you want to support them

Supporting local can mean a lot of things – as many local shops shift to online or pivot their businesses, you can continue to help by keeping your money local, buying a gift card for a holiday gift, leaving a positive review on a businesses Facebook or Google profile, posting your local favorites on a community message board, ordering food from the restaurant directly for your holiday celebration or even donating to local causes within the community. Every little bit helps!

So this season, although you may see fewer Deals, Discounts, or Events from your neighboring businesses, please find new ways to support and celebrate them! We ask you Parkdale, follow #ShopTOWest or #ParkdaleLove throughout November & December and search out ways to help keep our Mainstreet alive. See a deal; tag us, enjoy a fabulous meal; tag us, find the perfect gift; tag us, attending a virtual event; tag us – and let’s help spread some Parkdale Love.

Ways to support, eat, donate, explore, shop local; check our Instagram & Facebook Stories for around the clock deals & announcements http://instagram.com/parkdalevillage

Nov 19, 26, 28 online & various locations / Block by Block 2020 Exhibition Parkdale
Nov 13 – Dec 4 @ various locations / Parkdale Art Window Project

Property tax and energy cost rebates available for businesses affected by COVID-19 public health measures

On November 16, businesses in modified Stage 2 regions or, going forward, in areas categorized as control or lockdown, can apply for rebates to help with fixed costs, such as property tax and energy bills. Find out if your business is eligible.


About the rebates

Starting November 16, businesses that were required to shut down or significantly restrict services due to provincial public health measures (modified Stage 2 restrictions or, going forward, in areas categorized as control or lockdown) can apply for rebates, provided in the form of grants, to help with their fixed costs.

Eligibility

Support is available for businesses that were required to close or significantly restrict services as a result of modified Stage 2 public health measures announced on October 9, 2020. Going forward, areas categorized as control or lockdown will qualify.

Currently, this applies to businesses in:

  • Ottawa
  • Peel
  • Toronto
  • York Region

Types of businesses that are eligible for support include:

  • restaurants and bars
  • gyms, facilities for indoor sports and recreational fitness activities
  • performing arts and cinemas
  • bingo halls, gaming establishments, casinos, conference centres and convention centres
  • community centres, multi-purpose facilities, and museums
  • personal care services (with exception of oxygen bars)
  • racing venues
  • meeting or event space
  • in-person teaching and instruction

The following businesses will not be eligible:

  • Business located outside modified Stage 2 regions (i.e., located outside Ottawa, Peel, Toronto and York Region), or going forward, in areas not categorized as control or lockdown.
  • Business within the areas subject to public health restrictions that are not required to close or significantly restrict services.

What you’ll get

Eligible businesses could get rebates for:

  • municipal and education property taxes
  • energy costs, including electricity and natural gas (or where natural gas is not available, propane and heating oil)

Funding will cover the entire length of time that regionally targeted public health restrictions are in place.

Property tax rebates will be combined with federal support provided through the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS). This means you will get back 100% of your reported property tax and energy costs. Details on applying for the CERS are expected to be forthcoming from the Government of Canada.

Provincial rebates will also cover costs not covered by CERS.

Most businesses can expect to receive their rebate payments within a few weeks of submitting a complete application.

What you’ll need to apply

To apply, you will have to submit proof of costs and information related to your business’ revenue decline that is consistent with what you will need to submit as part of your Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy application.

For property tax rebates, this includes your property tax bills (or proof of costs associated with property taxes).

For energy cost rebates, this includes a digital copy of the first energy bill (including electricity, natural gas, propane or other) you received on or after the day Stage 2 restrictions were put in place in your region. You can also submit other energy bills if your business is heated by propane or heating oil.

How to apply

Application forms will be available starting on November 16, 2020.

You will be able to complete a single form to apply for both property tax and energy rebates.

Contact us

For questions about property tax and energy bill rebates, please contact the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659

Winter CaféTO program to allow outdoor dining areas

The CaféTO program has been extended to allow cafes on the sidewalk through the winter — providing more outdoor dining areas to help restaurants and bars create physical distancing for patrons. Full guidelines and requirements for operating a café throughout the winter months will be made available soon, when provincial regulations are made clearer.

Step 1:

Read the design guide  to understand the rules about safe and proper placement of a winter sidewalk café to keep them safe and accessible.

Step 2:

Café operators must have copies of the following documents on hand and available to be presented upon inspection:

  1. A completed Certificate of Insurance* 
  2. A completed letter of Municipal Non-Objection  to serve alcohol and a copy of your liquor license.
  3. Written permission letter  from the owner of an adjacent property, (if occupying sidewalk space in front of their business frontage)
  4. Written permission is required from your City Councillor if you are occupying space on a flankage/boulevard (on a local road) and don’t have an existing R57 permit.

Check toronto.ca/CafeTO for updates on winter maintenance, tents and structures, and heater guidelines, and private property patios.

Annual General Meeting – Nov 9, 2020

Members of the Parkdale Village BIA are invited to attend our

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

Monday November 9th, 2020 6:30pm

Virtual Meeting

Agenda

  1. Call to Order, Introductions and Opening Remarks
  2. Electronic meeting, recording of the meeting and voting protocols
  3. Declaration of Conflict of Interest
  4. Approval of 2019 Annual General Meeting Minutes
  5. Auditor’s 2019 Report
  6. Appointment of Auditor (to prepare 2020 Audited Financial Statements)
  7. Community Updates
  8. Program Highlights:
    • Streetscape
    • Marketing
    • New and Future initiatives
  9. Proposed Program and Budget for 2021
  10. New Business
  11. Adjournment

The purpose of this meeting is to approve the BIA’s budget and general program for 2021.  This program is paid for by a special levy charged to you as well as other commercial and industrial property owners, and non-residential tenants of such properties.  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 and audited financial statement, please contact the BIA. Notices for the above AGM have been mailed by the City of Toronto to property owners and mailed by the BIA to commercial tenants (businesses).

Due to COVID 19, this year’s AGM will be held virtually. BIA members will be able to attend the meeting via ZOOM by logging online or calling in. Members wishing to attend must pre-register with proof of membership to obtain the login/call in details. Please contact the BIA at 416-536-6918 [email protected] for more information and to pre-register.

Please RSVP/pre-register on or before Wednesday November 4th, 2020.

General Meeting Procedures:

To be eligible to vote, photo identification will be required and:

  • For Business Operators: A business card, or other proof of tenancy.
  • For Property Owners: A property tax bill or other proof of ownership

Only members of the BIA, and legal representatives of BIA members (proof required), are eligible to vote at the Annual General Meeting.  The City of Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 19, states that Business Improvement Area 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 the law.” No person in attendance shall have more than one vote.

Please note:  As per the amended City of Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 19, adopted by City Council at its meeting on July 4-7, 2017, designates are no longer eligible to vote on behalf of BIAmembers at annual general meetings.   Therefore, a designate form has not been included in your AGM notice package.

Snapshot of 2020 & 2021 Budget:

  • Levy to decrease 7.0% in 2021
  • 2020 Decrease in Streetscape/Maintenance Expenses resulting from programs being cancelled or postponed due to pandemic
  • 2021 Increase in Amenities and Maintenance Expenses resulting from contractor fee increases and catching up to cancelled or postponed programs due to pandemic
  • General and Administrative costs include; office rent & equipment, consulting fees, accounting fees, auditing fees, WSIB, salaries, insurance etc (G)

*If you are not sure if you are a BIA member, please contact the BIA office and they will work with you to confirm your voting eligibility.

O’Hara Garden – Native Plant Giveaway – Sept 16!

YOU’RE INVITED TO A NATIVE PLANT GIVEAWAY!
Wednesday, Sept 16, 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Parkdale People & Pollinators Peace Garden, in Honour of Parkdale’s Black Communities
Dear Parkdale Neighbours:
Interested in free native plants for your balcony or yard?
The Parkdale People & Pollinators Peace Garden, in Honour of Parkdale’s Black Communities, is sharing free plants,
in partnership with Project Swallowtail and the Parkdale Village BIA.


WHERE: corner of Queen Street West & O’Hara
WHEN: Wednesday, September 16, 4pm to 6pm – Rain or shine! First come, first served!
WHAT: Two native flowers / plants per balcony or yard
BONUS: A container + soil supplied for balcony growers. Please bring a wagon / friend to help you carry if needed.
Just supply plant love & water! Thank you for helping to honour Parkdale’s Black communities.

Please wear a mask and practice social distancing during plant pick-up.

(For more info on the Parkdale People and Pollinators Peace Garden, in Honour of Parkdale’s Black Communities, click here. https://parkdalevillagebia.com/oharagarden-
rejuvenation/ For more info on Project Swallowtail, click here.

King, Queen, The Queensway and Roncesvalles (KQQR) Construction Update

Upcoming Infrastructure Improvements at the Intersection of King Street West, Queen Street West, The Queensway and Roncesvalles Avenue (KQQR)
Start Date: September 8, 2020 End Date: August 2022
Timeline is subject to change.

The City of Toronto and Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) have coordinated various infrastructure upgrades at the King Street West, Queen Street West, The Queensway and Roncesvalles Avenue (KQQR) Intersection, The Queensway from Parkside Drive to Roncesvalles Avenue, Roncesvalles Avenue from Queen Street West to Dundas Street West and rehabilitation of the Parkside Drive bridge at The Queensway.

The infrastructure improvements will start in September 2020 with underside bridge rehabilitation of the Parkside Drive Bridge at The Queensway.

The remaining work starting in 2021 includes:

  • Topside bridge rehabilitation of the Parkside Drive bridge at The Queensway
  • Replacing watermain and relining combined and storm sewers
  • Road reconstruction and sidewalk replacement
  • Overhead wire replacement and reconstruction of the TTC track allowance and platforms
  • Relocating streetcar stops
  • Reconfiguring the KQQR intersection including: removal of the eastbound right-turn channel, removal of the centre TTC platform on The Queensway, a dedicated streetcar lane, left-turn lane, through lane and right-turn lane on the eastbound approach, new raised TTC platform/bicycle facility on Queen Street West and realignment of the northbound approach on King Street West
  • Completing the Roncesvalles Avenue design from Harvard Avenue to the KQQR intersection, including streetscape improvements and two raised TTC platform/bicycle facilities at the northbound and southbound transit stops
  • Modifying the TTC platforms on Roncesvalles Avenue from Dundas Street West to Harvard Avenue so accessible streetcar ramps can operate
  • Adding dedicated eastbound left-turn lanes on The Queensway at the Sunnyside Avenue and Glendale Avenue intersections
  • Extension of the dedicated eastbound bicycle lane on The Queensway to Glendale Avenue
  • New sidewalk on south side of The Queensway at Glendale Avenue intersection for north-south pedestrian crossing on both sides of the intersection
  • Installing a new traffic control signal at the Sunnyside Avenue and The Queensway intersection
  • New street lighting

This work is required to bring the TTC and City’s infrastructure to a state of good repair and improve intersection function for all road users and is part of the 2020 Council-approved Capital Budgets and Works Program.

Please note that following the underside bridge rehabilitation work on Parkside Drive, the remaining construction will be delivered in stages throughout 2021 and 2022. Please see map on Page 4 for more details. Construction Updates will also be distributed throughout the contract duration.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT COVID-19 AND CONSTRUCTION WORK IN TORONTO As restrictions on construction have been lifted by the Province of Ontario, City-led infrastructure will continue to proceed. During construction, the contractor is responsible for the Health & Safety on site under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act and is expected to implement COVID-19 mitigation practices. For more information on the City’s response to COVID-19 please visit toronto.ca/covid-19.

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING CONSTRUCTION

  • Work crews will mark the location of underground utilities, such as gas, water and cable so that the construction does not interfere with these utilities.
  • You may experience dust, noise and other inconveniences. The City will make efforts to reduce the impacts. We appreciate your patience.
  • Property owners should remove items located within City property limits (boulevard), such as patios, landscaping and / or decorative objects. If you have a patio, or sprinkler system within the boulevard, follow up with the Public Consultation Unit listed on Page 4.
  • The City will not be responsible for damage to any privately owned items on City property. Work Hours for Parkside Drive Bridge at The Queensway starting in 2020: Work will take place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays, including some extended hours or additional weekend work as approved by the City. Work Hours for Remaining Work starting in 2021: Work hours will be 24 hours / 7 days a week for the remaining work in 2021. Further details will be provided on the project website listed on Page 4 and in future Construction Update notices.
  • Accessible Accommodation: Residents who require accommodation (level entry, longer notice, etc.) must contact the Public Consultation Unit listed on Page 4 to arrange for access during the construction period.
  • Pre-Construction Inspection: A third-party contractor will survey all properties within 30 metres of the construction area before each construction phase starts. Participation in the survey is voluntary; however, participating is important in determining if the construction caused damage. The inspection will look at the exterior and interior of all properties to verify existing conditions. Affected properties will receive a separate notice to set up an appointment. All inspection staff will wear photo I.D. and carry photo equipment for this work.
  • Physical Distancing: There are times when contractors need to communicate with property owners about what is happening on-site. Contractor’s staff will be identifiable by their high-visibility clothing. Where possible, a phone number for a contact person on-site will be provided on notices to answer questions about work near your property. At other times, the contractor may knock on your door, but will then step away the required distance to discuss the work that is taking place and what can be expected that day. Please practice physical distancing with workers so everyone can remain safe. If you have questions, call the contact provided on this notice.
  • Road and Sidewalk Access: In order to complete the work in a safe manner, there will be road and sidewalk restrictions within the work zone. Access for emergency vehicles will be maintained at all times. Driveway Access: The contractor will notify you of any temporary restrictions to your driveway access. If your property has two entrances, one entrance will be kept open at all times.
  • Parking: Parking in the active work zone is not permitted as space is needed for construction equipment and materials. If your parked vehicle affects construction work, it will be relocated nearby with no charge to the owner. If your vehicle is moved, please contact parking control for its location at 416-808-2222. Affected properties will get additional parking information.
  • Garbage and Recycling: Please follow your normal routine. If required, the contractor will move bins to an appropriate location and return them. Please ensure that you label your bins with your address.

TTC Service: During the underside bridge rehabilitation work on Parkside Drive at The Queensway starting in 2020:

501 Queen streetcar service will continue to operate west of Roncesvalles Avenue during the bridge work at Parkside Drive. Stairwell access at Parkside Drive to/from The Queensway streetcar stop will be closed until October 30, 2020. Streetcars on The Queensway will not be stopping at the Parkside Drive stop during this time. Intermittent delays for the 80 Queensway bus service can be expected during lane restrictions on Parkside Drive.

During the 2021 – 2022 work related to the KQQR intersection;  504/304 King, 501/301 Queen, 508 Lake Shore and 402 Parkdale Community Bus routing changes will be required. Diversion details will be provided in a Construction Notice prior to the start of the 2021 project. Routing information will also be issued by the TTC and posted at transit stops along the affected routes. Information will also be posted on TTC’s website: ttc.ca

MAP OF WORK

WORK DETAILS Work Stages, Dates and Location Work Traffic Restrictions** *Subject to change ** More details on traffic restrictions and staging will be provided throughout construction

Advanced Work:

  • September 2020 to February 2021
  • Parkside Drive, North of Lake Shore Boulevard West
  • Bridge rehabilitation to the underside (sub-structure)
  • Minimum 1 travel lane in each direction on Parkside Drive under the bridge.

Stage 1:

  • February 2021 to July 2021 KQQR Intersection
  • The Queensway: Parkside Drive to KQQR Intersection
  • Queen Street West: KQQR Intersection to Triller Avenue
  • a) Watermain replacement and sewer relining
  • b) TTC pole replacement, overhead wire removals and installation, track work, (Lighting, platforms, curbs etc.), retaining wall installation, road reconstruction (base, curb gutter, sidewalk)
  • c) Rehabilitation of The Queensway bridge at Parkside Drive (outer lanes)
  • 1 east / west travel lane in each direction will be maintained at all times

Stage 2:

  • July 2021 to April 2022
  • The Queensway Median: Parkside Drive to Sunnyside Avenue Southwest corner of KQQR Intersection
  • King Street West: KQQR Intersection to approximately 100 m south thereof
  • a) Watermain replacement and sewer lining (King)
  • b) TTC pole replacement, track work, (lighting, platforms, curbs), road reconstruction (base, curb gutter, sidewalk)
  • c) Streetscape work at Beaty Boulevard Park (southwest corner of the KQQR Intersection)
  • d) Remove and install new overhead TTC wires
  • e) Rehabilitation of The Queensway bridge at Parkside Drive (inner lanes)
  • 1 east / west travel lane in each direction will be maintained at all times

Stage 3:

  • April 2022 to August 2022
  • Roncesvalles Avenue: Queen Street West to Dundas Street West
  • a) Watermain replacement and sewer lining
  • b) Queen Street West to Harvard Avenue: TTC pole replacement, overhead wire removals and installation, track work, (Lighting, platforms, curbs etc.), road reconstruction (base, curb gutter, sidewalk)
  • c) Harvard Avenue to Dundas Street West: Platform upgrades for accessibility
  • Roncesvalles Avenue will be fully closed to all traffic.

MAP OF WORK

Advance Work: September 2020 to February 2021

Stage 1: February 2021 to July 2021

Stage 2: July 2021 to April 2022

Stage 3: April 2022 to August 2022 / Harvard Avenue to Dundas Street West: AODA upgrades to existing TTC platforms

NEED MORE INFORMATION?

If you have questions about the upcoming work, please contact us.

Public Consultation Unit

Michael Vieira, 416-392-3074, [email protected]

TTC Senior Community Liaison

Diego Sinagoga, 416-393-2197, diego.sinagog[email protected]

City Councillor for Ward 4 Gord Perks 416-392-7919, [email protected]

TTY Hearing Impaired Service

416-338-0889 (7 Days a week, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed holidays)

General inquiries: 311

Website: Please visit project website for detailed information regarding these works (including design renderings), and / or choose to sign-up for email updates: toronto.ca/kqqr

Thank you for your patience. Building a great city takes time. Better infrastructure for all of us is worth the wait.

O’Hara Garden Rejuvenation

Introducing the Parkdale People and Pollinators Peace Garden, in honour of Parkdale’s Black Communities

The Parkdale Village Business Improvement Area (Parkdale BIA), along with local social enterprise Parkdale Green Thumb Enterprises (PGTE) is proud to share rebuilding plans for the O’Hara Garden as The Parkdale People and Pollinators Peace Garden, in honour of Parkdale’s Black Communities.

This rejuvenation project was conceived of and facilitated by Angel Beyde, Organic Master Gardener and Business Manager of PGTE, in partnership with the Parkdale BIA and many local community groups and organizations, as a vibrant and transformative symbol to honour marginalized residents, particularly within our Black communities.

“We humbly dedicate this space as a haven of peace, harmony and mental wellness, a place to feel refuge and connect with nature among the concrete,” says Beyde. “As the plants quietly pull carbon out of the atmosphere and do their tiny part to mitigate climate change, they bring beauty and pleasure, without discrimination, to all who pass by.”

In light of recent events affecting our Parkdale neighbourhood, such as repeated vandalism inflicted upon the O’Hara Garden over the past months, anti-Black racism and the disproportionate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Parkdale BIA is committed to continue its support of numerous programs and organizations within our community serving marginalized individuals. The BIA recognizes that the disparities and stressors are even greater among members of our Black communities.

“Parkdale People and Pollinators Peace Garden is a positive space of resilience rooted within a neighbourhood of resilience,” says Beyde. “Focused on healing and regeneration, and the importance of acknowledging struggles while also celebrating the inherent strength of the Parkdale community, the garden honours Black community members such as Regis Korchinski-Paquet and the movement for justice that Black Lives Matter embodies.”

PGTE programs help increase benefits to Parkdale’s most vulnerable residents by enhancing their employability, securing them work and support during the cycle of employment, all while helping beautify the community. Working together with Queen Victoria Public School’s Black Student Success Committee (BSSC), founded by local residents such as Naiomi Joseph, PGTE’s garden rejuvenation project will also seek to engage Queen Vic students in a Black youth citizen scientist project to help monitor butterflies, a powerful symbol of transformation, that visit the garden.

“As a first generation Canadian of Caribbean decent, I come from a family of farmers and nature lovers. I’m a mother of two and I want to continue sharing this tradition of respecting the environment and beautify our community,” says Joseph. “I’m a proud Parkdaleian, and this project demonstrates to children and youth that we can come together as one.”

In addition to Parkdale BIA’s funding, friends and organizations in support of PGTE have pledged over 400 donations of plants, many of which we hope to hand out during a Community Native Plant Giveaway day, taking place Wednesday, September 16th from 4 pm-6 pm at Queen and O’Hara. Learn more here or view the Facebook event here.

If you are interested in learning more or contributing in some form, please reach out to Angel Beyde at [email protected] / for updates follow PGTE and the BIA on social media.

Parkdale Village BIA Gardens 2002-2019



The Parkdale BIA funds and manages a number of neighbourhood beautification projects and assets in the area which help beautify, create safer streets, and enhances way finding and gateway intersections into the area as well as helping tie the area together visually. The ‘Floral’ beautification projects include over 180+ planters, hanging baskets and seven pollinator gardens along Queen Street West. In 2012, the Parkdale Village BIA was one of 21 communities selected from across the country to receive a TD Green Streets grant to support expansion of their downtown urban reforestation program. The program saw reinvigorated community gardens and historical plaques within seven Queen Street gardens.


PGTE is operated by Working for Change, a non-profit organization that emphasizes the importance of work in the lives of people who have been marginalized due to poverty and mental health issues. It operates social purpose enterprises, leadership and pre-employment training programs, as well as providing community-based research and public education on issues related to poverty and mental health.

Our Message on anti-Black racism & our Parkdale Community

The Parkdale Village Business Improvement Area (BIA) would like to share the following message:

To our Parkdale Village community,

Racism is real and pervasive in our City, and we acknowledge that Parkdale is no exception. We are heartbroken to hear about the recent anti-Black racism within our neighbourhood as it is a clear example of the ongoing struggles that our Black community members face. As a Business Improvement Area and entity of the City, we have an important role to play in addressing discrimination and anti-Black racism, which calls for City and Black community consultation. Over the course of this week, the Business Improvement Area has been working diligently with City departments to consult on and release a plan that provides tools for accountability and action. Mayor John Tory’s message yesterday was clear, and as a Business Improvement Area we are committed to the action this moment demands, using the tools and guidance provided by the City and our Black community members.  

We do not have all the answers, but we know we need to do better. 

We want to acknowledge the work of the City of Toronto’s Confronting Anti-Black Racism Unit as well as the individuals within Parkdale’s community working with us at this time.

The Parkdale Village Business Improvement Area Board of Directors  

CafeTO, re-opening, building Equitable & Inclusive Organizations

Speak to a City Business Advisor

The BusinessTO Support Centre provides one-on-one virtual support to help businesses, including not-for-profit and creative/culture organizations, complete applications for Government of Canada COVID-19 funding programs and get general business advice. An advisor will contact you within 24-48 hours to assist.  Speak to a Business Advisor, click here

Re-Opening

Restaurants and personal care services advised to prepare for safe reopening. The provincial government has advised restaurants, cafes, and personal services including hair salons, barbers, tattoo parlours, nail salons and aesthetics to begin preparing for their reopeningGuidelines for Reopening your Restaurant and Guidelines for Personal Service Settings are now available. Decisions about when and how businesses can begin operating will be made in accordance with the Government of Ontario’s framework to reopen the province.

Building Equitable & Inclusive Organizations

There is no organization that hasn’t learned a difficult truth about itself in the last few months. Crisis amplifies pre-existing inequities and harmful organizational practices and creates new ones. The Adaway Group offers a Summer Series of online modules on July 1, July 15, July 28. Spend July building your anti-racist analysis–as an individual, as teams, as leaders.
 

In developing effective responses to the COVID-19 pandemic governments, non-profit agencies, foundations and community groups should pay particular attention to the unique and distinct histories, experiences, and needs of Black communities. To support community stakeholders in this regard, the City of Toronto’s Confronting Anti-Black Racism Unit
has prepared this resource: Anti-Black Racism Analysis Tool Kit. 

Get your store Online!

The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the importance of having an online presence to sell goods and services. This tool is amplified that much more with the curbside pick up approach many of you are navigating.

 Leveraging Toronto’s technology community, the City of Toronto and Digital Main Street have brought together a range of partners to build and optimize online stores for Toronto’s independent businesses and artists at no-cost.
 
Thanks to volunteer developers, marketing and business students, and the support of corporate partners, Toronto’s independent businesses and artists – whether they are along a main street, in an industrial park, or a studio – can access ShopHERE to get their online store built and launched with hands-on support throughout the entire process in just a matter of days.
 
What do businesses and artists get as part of ShopHERE?

  • Their choice of a template online Shopify store customized with their information, branding, logo, etc.
  • Hands-on assistance setting up and launching their online store.
  • Training and support covering digital marketing, shipping and operating their online store.
  • Access to free tools and various credits (from over 10 partners) to help support the launch of their online stores.

Participant Requirements:
The ShopHERE program is open to any businesses or artist that meets the following requirements:

  • Pays commercial property taxes in the City of Toronto
  • Have fewer than 10 employees, or fewer than 25 if they are a café, restaurant, or bar
  • Not be a corporate chain or franchise
  • OR must be an artist located within the City of Toronto.

To sign up for this exciting program and receive a free online store you can fill out the application form here: https://digitalmainstreet.ca/shophere/
 If you have any questions, reach out to Digital Main Street at [email protected].

Plexiglass barriers

  1. BESI is an Ontario based company who is producing COVID-19 Plexiglas protective barriers. Visit their website to see samples of their sneeze shields and barriers for custom order. BESI contact is Evelina (647) 272-1323 from 8am until 10pm.
  2. GERAGHTY & ASSOCIATES is a design firm creating Covid2020shields and is an Ontario based company who is producing COVID-19 Plexiglas protective barriers. Visit their website to see samples or call/email: 416.524.3534  [email protected]

Early Stage Entrepreneurs 

Incubator accepting applications for early-stage entrepreneurs looking to solve issues presented by COVID-19. Parkdale Centre for Innovation, an incubator focused on inclusion and equity, is looking for early-stage entrepreneurs passionate about solving problems presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications are now open for entrepreneurship programs centred around the themes of food security, connected communities and digital startups.

CafeTO / Patios

Over the last few weeks TABIA and many BIA’s have had lengthy discussions with Transportation regarding the (CafeTO) extension of new or existing patios into the sidewalk and/or curb lanes for cafes, restaurants and bars within BIA’s. We believe outdoor serving is a critical component in establishments being able to survive the remaining months.
As we continue to learn more about the current patio parameters being adjusted to help accommodate a possible patio rollout in neighbourhoods, we are leading with the recommendations from Transportation – the department overseeing this Patio project, and looking at a ‘block by block’ approach, starting with Queen Street West from Noble to Brock.
Transportation is asking BIA’s to submit the desired plans per block, the Application process for each Restaurant/Café to apply online is not yet open, however we have compiled questions and the June presentation to help you assess this opportunity.

Please confirm ASAP by email indicating if you are interested in:

  1. Sidewalk Frontage Café Patio
  2. Small Frontage Café
  3. Curb Lane Café
  4. exterior back of house Patio (back parking spaces)

It may be wise to start conversation with your insurance provider to ensure that you can have proper coverage by extending your license out the sidewalk. And there will probably be costs involved to individual businesses who choose to exercise extending the patios – however we will advocate to ensure the least amount of cost is passed along to the businesses.

Some Common Questions Answered by Transportation in May 2020:
Q: Will the patio fees be waived for 2020 for this project?
A: Unsure. Transportation Department does not have the authority to waive this. It is being investigated by the City and more details will follow later.

Q: Is it possible to close down the curb lanes of traffic in each direction to extend the patios and space for people to use the sidewalk?
A: We don’t know. Transportation will ultimately make that decision, after reviewing our street in more detail. We have suggested it to Transportation and they are aware that this could work very well on Ossington. It could also work that a hybrid combination could work where certain days of the week the street could be reconfigured. Again – at the discretion and approval of Transportation.

Q: How do I get my liquor license extended to the patio outside?
A: We have tried to connect with the AGCO and once we have more details, we will share them. The City will also be in contact with the AGCO to layout a plan.

Q: We have some exterior “back of house” space in the laneway that could potentially be used for additional patio space. Can we convert that?
A: Transportation has indicated that back private space must only be used as per its zoning use. If it extends into “public” space, then it may be doable. It will be dealt with on a case by case basis.

Q: Who will pay for the legally required barriers to enclose the licensed patio?
A: Transporation has indicated it will most likely be a “hybrid” approach whereby the City may be able to pay for some type of barriers but businesses should expect to contribute to this cost as well. Details will follow once made available.

Q: How long can we have this additional use of space for patio use?
A: This is uncertain, but we will advocate for middle to end of October (typical patio season)

Q: What happens to parking with curb lane pedestrianization & hospitality use approval?
Toronto Parking Authority and Transportation will be in contact. We will have to educate A: of alternative parking areas and parking lots.

Some Common Questions Answered by Transportation in June 2020:
Our team has been busy preparing to take action on CafeTO. We are still waiting on the province and Medical Officer of Health to weigh in what that could look like. Last week, Barbara spoke to some of the temporary measures being explored for those who already have an existing patio in place. Other cities are allowing takeout on patios that is not an option for Toronto as far as we know. We are looking at all necessary authorities and other pieces that need to be put in place for CafeTO. Essential placement guidelines are being created. The city is working with consultants to provide a design resource for BIAs to assist in creating streetscape plans. Transportation will work closely with other relevant city departments on education to ensure we are ready to move forward. Transportation is also exploring new barricades to use. We understand that the ones currently used for CurbTO are not the most attractive. These new barricades would be more secure and visually pleasing with the knowledge that some BIAs/restaurants will want to put their own spin on it. As stated last week, it is not too soon for BIAs to begin active conversations with their restaurants on this initiative. Barbra encourages BIAs who have not yet already done to start having those conversations. Unfortunately, the program has not been finalized this week, but we are very close. Barbara will have more details to share on our next call.

Q: Do you have a rough timeline around some sort of implementation for CafeTO?
Barbara Gray: Our goal is to be ready by the time the province is ready to re-open. We know this has to be a quick rollout and understand the complexities around meeting social distancing guidelines. Advice from the Medical Officer of Health will be key. The team is working hard and will continue to until we’re ready to launch. That being said, we don’t want BIAs to wait to identify locations and businesses interested in expanded patios. As for patios in behind buildings or on private property, those spaces are governed by a zoning by-law and can be tricky to navigate. We’re working closely with City Planning.

Q: Where can BIAs email proposals for patio cafes?
Barbara Gray: ). At the moment, this is a resource for BIAs to send in questions and requests for answers related to patios. It will be shared in the future with businesses [email protected]) We have also created a dedicated email for the CafeTO program ([email protected]) We will be launching a web portal shortly. In the meantime, you can flip that information to Jodi Callan 

Q: As part of making patios more accessible and creative, would transportation be willing to help us remove old newspaper box corrals. These have often been incorrectly placed, cost money to remove, and are rusty and broken due to no maintenance.
Barbara Gray: Certainly something that should be dealt with separately but we have no problem working out issues if it makes sense in relation to patios.

Q: None of our restaurants have patios, but there is sufficient space without disrupting or extending into the right of way. Will the city waive fees for those patios as well?
Barbara Gray: We are eager to make all patios work, looking at waiving fees for 2020.

Q: Has there been any forward movement with the AGCO?
Barbara Gray: We recognize that issue and we’ve been raising it to the Mayor’s office as well. We are also trying to engage directly with the AGCO as there could be some issues resulting in a delayed launch of CafeTO. We need a solution on that.

Q1: Update on Existing Licensed Patios Barbara Gray: This question was asked this morning to MLS and Public Health, we have not heard anything from province in terms of existing outdoor patios but tracking closely. We assume when they announce it will be a quick lead time before it takes effect, like most orders.

Q2: 2020 Patio Fees – Mike Major: I’ve spoken with Carleton Grant, and the city is looking at waiving all fees as that’s the recommendation of staff. Still needs council approval for authority. It’s possible that some restaurants may have been mailed their 2020 renewals. If so, that was done in error. If they have already paid those fees, it will be counted towards their 2021 fees.
Q: Will parklette fees be waived as well?
Jodi Callan: Yes, they will be.

Transportation will review applications when they are open, but we are doing our best to advocate. Please ensure you read the attached presentation from June and I look forward to hearing from you at [email protected]

UPDATE: CafeTO have officially launched their website and registration – www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-protect-yourself-others/covid-19-reduce-virus-spread/covid-19-cafeto/
 
The CafeTO program requires that appropriate provincial orders are changed and public health recommendations enacted. Some components of the program also require consideration by Executive Committee on June 22, 2020 and Toronto City Council on June 29, 2020.
If you have any questions about the registration form or the CafeTO program, please email [email protected].

Curbside pick up, selling online & is commercial rent assistance working?

Curbside Pick Up

The Ontario government has announced that all retail stores with a street entrance may provide curbside pickup and delivery services effective Monday May 11, 2020. While a number of different strategies (i.e. scheduled pick-up appointments, pre-payment) may be used to mitigate against line-ups, if your business or organization is still experiencing high volume line ups that may be making it difficult to maintain physical distancing requirements for retail patrons and for pedestrians walking by – please contact the BIA as we can explore applying for Curb Lane Pedestrian Zones or Temporary Parking Pick-Up Zones that will support your active businesses with achieving physical distancing requirements. Please click below for signage you may find helpful as you explore Curbside Pick up;

General Information

  • Curbside pick-up does not include sidewalk sales or displays of goods on the sidewalk at this time (outdoor marketing displays by grocers with existing City permits are still allowed)
  • Customers are not permitted to enter your store to select goods, try on or sample goods, or return or exchange goods
  • Post signage encouraging at-risk customers (ie: symptoms, recent travel, exposure to someone with COVID-19) to return home and self-isolate
  • Encourage employees and customers to wear face coverings (non-medical masks or cloth masks)
  • Restrict public access to your location as much as possible
  • If pre-payment is not possible, have a wireless card reader available outside and disinfect frequently
  • Encourage no-contact payment (credit, debit) instead of cash
  • Workers should wash or sanitize their hands each time they handle cash
Encourage Remote Interactions
– Customers should order online or by phone if possible
Have customers pre-pay online or over the phone
– Establish a process to minimize the time required to complete the curbside transaction
– Schedule pick-up times
– Have customers notify you when they arrive by phone or textLoad the product into the car if possible – ask the customer to remain in the vehicle to limit contact
– Ensure employees sanitize hands and surfaces after each interaction
Advise customers not to use their own containers, reusable bags or boxes
Physical Distancing
Place multiple signs near entrances about the physical distancing methods being used and what customers should do
– Have someone in place to direct customers
– Set up queue lines at entrances – cones or ropes work well – be sure pedestrians are able to safely use the sidewalk as well
– Place markers (tape or cones) every two metres to act as distancing cues
– For in-person payments, have cashiers step back from customers if the card reader cannot be relocated two metres away from cashier
– If the queue outside your store gets too long to manage, consider ways to have customers queue up digitally and leave their contact information

Speak to a City Business Advisor

The BusinessTO Support Centre provides one-on-one virtual support to help businesses, including not-for-profit and creative/culture organizations, complete applications for Government of Canada COVID-19 funding programs and get general business advice. An advisor will contact you within 24-48 hours to assist.  Speak to a Business Advisor, click here

Keep sharing your feedback – SURVEY

To help continue Advocacy work, please help circulate this latest survey. This survey follows up from the one you completed a couple of weeks ago, and is focused on getting feedback on the Commercial Rent Relief Program.  Once again there are 2 surveys: one for commercial tenants; and, one for commercial landlords (please circulate the survey to your landlords.  This survey will close on Monday, May 11 at noon
The information that we gathered from the first survey was invaluable in directing our efforts with all levels of government.  The information that we get from this second survey will do the same.
Tenant: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CommercialRentReliefTenant
Landlord:https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CommercialRentReliefLandlord

Advocacy

A Message from MPP for Parkdale-High Park Bhutila Karpoche:
Dear small business owners,

It has now been two weeks since the federal government announced its partnership with the provinces to deliver support to small businesses affected by COVID-19 through the Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (OCECRA) program. Since then, there has been an overwhelming response from small business owners expressing their concerns about this program.
 
Here is what small businesses have shared with us so far:

  • “Commercial landlords don’t see OCECRA to be in line with their interests at all.”
  • “The rent relief program is not working because it’s voluntary for landlords.”
  • “As a new business having opened this month after months of preparations and renovations, we cannot prove a significant income loss so we are not eligible for OCECRA but we still need to cover rent and other operating costs on little to no revenue coming in.”
  • “The rent relief program is not feasible. As a micro business owner, I don’t qualify for wage subsidy and I cannot afford a $40K loan.”
  • “We need an immediate moratorium on commercial rental eviction, akin to the existing moratorium on residential rental evictions.”
  • “If the rent relief applies only to base rent and not TMI, the equivalent savings to tenants is closer to 50% than 75%. This is significant.”
  • “This program is only available for landlords who have a mortgage. What about landlords, with no mortgage, but with fixed costs?”

 As it has been clearly pointed out, there are massive gaps in the commercial rent relief program. The program leaves many businesses falling through the cracks. For some, the requirements are simply too big a barrier to be eligible and for others who are eligible, their commercial landlords have no interest in applying for the program. A new survey shows that just 1 in 5 businesses expect to get rent relief. It has become apparent that this program is of no help to most small businesses. This puts the continued existence of our local restaurants, shops and cultural spaces at risk. We must pursue a solution that provides direct relief to small businesses in order to support them and preserve the fabric of our neighbourhoods.

The Ontario NDP and I have called on the Ford government to step up to fill rent support gaps by creating an Ontario-based solution. We also continue to push our proposal Save Main Street plan, which has received widespread support from small businesses and commercial landlords alike.
 
The most urgent piece of action is the need to extend the eviction moratorium to commercial tenants as well. As May 16 approaches, it is possible that small businesses who were unable to pay May’s rent will get locked out. We’ve already seen this happen across Toronto including several here in Parkdale—High Park.
 Small businesses are vital to our economy. As I fight for real commercial rent relief from the province for small businesses, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if there is anything else that I can be of support to you.
 
Finally, please join me on Wednesday, May 13 at 4 p.m. on Facebook Live as I sit down virtually with John Kiru, Executive Director of TABIA, and representatives of our local BIAs for a focused discussion on supporting small businesses during this crisis.

Get your store Online!

The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the importance of having an online presence to sell goods and services. This tool is amplified that much more with the curbside pick up approach many of you are navigating.
Leveraging Toronto’s technology community, the City of Toronto and Digital Main Street have brought together a range of partners to build and optimize online stores for Toronto’s independent businesses and artists at no-cost.
 
Thanks to volunteer developers, marketing and business students, and the support of corporate partners, Toronto’s independent businesses and artists – whether they are along a main street, in an industrial park, or a studio – can access ShopHERE to get their online store built and launched with hands-on support throughout the entire process in just a matter of days.
 
What do businesses and artists get as part of ShopHERE?

  • Their choice of a template online Shopify store customized with their information, branding, logo, etc.
  • Hands-on assistance setting up and launching their online store.
  • Training and support covering digital marketing, shipping and operating their online store.
  • Access to free tools and various credits (from over 10 partners) to help support the launch of their online stores.

Participant Requirements:
The ShopHERE program is open to any businesses or artist that meets the following requirements:

  • Pays commercial property taxes in the City of Toronto
  • Have fewer than 10 employees, or fewer than 25 if they are a café, restaurant, or bar
  • Not be a corporate chain or franchise
  • OR must be an artist located within the City of Toronto.

 To sign up for this exciting program and receive a free online store you can fill out the application form here: https://digitalmainstreet.ca/shophere/
 If you have any questions, reach out to Digital Main Street at [email protected].

Plexiglass barriers

  1. BESI is an Ontario based company who is producing COVID-19 Plexiglas protective barriers. Visit their website to see samples of their sneeze shields and barriers for custom order. BESI contact is Evelina (647) 272-1323 from 8am until 10pm.
  2. GERAGHTY & ASSOCIATES is a design firm creating Covid2020shields and is an Ontario based company who is producing COVID-19 Plexiglas protective barriers. Visit their website to see samples or call/email: 416.524.3534  [email protected]

Need access to other PPE such as face sheids, masks, gowns – please email us.

SOS – Calls for Help

More Useful Resources

GOVERNMENT OF CANADA

Employment Insurance and Labour and Occupational Health and Safety

Export Development Canada

PROVINCE OF ONTARIO

Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation & Trade

Ontario Ministry of Health – Stats and Self Assessment Tool

CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE
Canadian Chamber of Commerce  – Pandemic Preparedness for Business

Hamilton Chamber of Commerce – COVID-19 Resources

Ontario Chamber of Commerce

Access Now – AidGuide.ca – 

Access From HomeCovid-19 Canadian Aid and Benefits Information

Grant Thorton – Guiding Businesses Through Coronavirus

Corktown Residents & Business Association – Survey Results

Destination Development Association – Dealing With the Coronavirus Slide Deck

Help For My RestaurantWebsite Link

Heritage Canada

Hogg, Shain & Scheck – COVID-19 Tax Update

Imagine Canada

Medium – 9 things Canadian Governments Can Do to Avoid a “Social Distancing” Economic Tragedy

Rick Hansen Foundation – Useful Resources for Persons with Disabilities

SaveSmallBusiness.ca – Petition for non-debt solutions for small businesses

TechSoupWorking From Home

Toronto Region Board of Trade – Support & Resources for Businesses

Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO)

Retail Council of Canada

World Health Organization COVID-19 – Business and Employees

WSIB

International Economic Development Council
Economic Development Preparedness as it Relates to COIVD-19 – IEDC Survey
COVID-19 Webinar Notes

Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction – Small Business Support 


MEDIA
CBC

blogTO Creative Ways of Supporting Local Businesses

CTVIncrease in Support for Small Business

Facebook for Business – Facebook Small Business Grants Program

Google for BusinessAd Credits for small- and medium-sized businesses

Municipal World – Municipal World Coronavirus News Update

Ottawa Citizen

Toronto Sun – Small business in desperate need of financial relief


POLICE & SECURITY
Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre – List of Known COVID-19 Scams

Toronto Police – Crime Prevention Tips for Businesses