Celebrating 142 years of Parkdale Village with Love

The beginning of the year typically sees the Parkdale Village BIA celebrating Parkdale Village’s milestone anniversary with online contests and in-store promotions, however, 2021 is unlike any other year we’ve experienced.

Celebrating 142 years of this wonderful community, and how far it’s come, has a whole new meaning during this Covid-19 era. We acknowledge the hardships many members of our community have faced over the 142+ years, the adversities, grief, and challenges, and we embrace it all with love and hopefulness for the future. Parkdale Village’s rich history and the many people from all walks of life who have called it home, who have opened up businesses, who have studied or worked here have all helped in building this into a colorful and resilient neighborhood.

This year, as we celebrate in the month of love, we ask you to be #ProudlyParkdale and share your #ParkdaleLove;

“What do you love about Parkdale”?

“What are your fondest memories”?

“What do you miss most about Parkdale”?

Perhaps it’s the memories of heading to Sunnyside Pool or Ontario Place as a child that brings you joy, or the free popcorn at 24-7 Video store at Gwynne Ave in the ’90s, watching movies in Parkdale’s many movie theatres, or simply missing your favorite sandwich shop. Parkdale holds many memories and this month we want you to share yours.

Tag us in your posts using #ParkdaleLove and #ProudlyParkdale or to explore history in photos follow the links; Sunnyside Historical Society, Vintage Toronto, Lost Toronto, Toronto Archives, Parkdale History.

The original Odeon Theatre was Harvest Fresh Foods and now home to F45 Parkdale.
The old Police Station on the South West corner of Queen & Cowan. This station was replaced in the early 1930’s by the Modern version that stands today, which is home to Artscape resident artists and the Parkdale Arts & Cultural Centre organizations.
The original mural on Fullworths at Close Ave – 2006.
Now home to Common Sort at Dunn Ave – 2006.
The old 7-24 plaza before the Gwynne Ave Greep P lot
Parkdale Community Legal when it was located at Elm Grove, now home to The Workroom
Old Valentine Card, Miss Agnes Syrett Melbourne Avenue, City of Toronto Archives, Globe and Mail – 1835
Dufferin & Springhurts – 1925
Pickin’ Chicken BBQ at Roncesvalles Ave, now home to Burrito Boys – 1960
King St W and Jameson Ave – 1950

You’re invited to Parkdale FitPlay – Jan 27-Feb 28

The Parkdale Village BIA is proud to support a local community initiative; Parkdale FitPlay!

Kicking-off on Wednesday, January 27 for 4 weeks, and with the support of local fitness leaders and personalities, you’re invited to get outside, get fit and have fun!!

The Parkdale FitPlay Campaign provides a fun affordable way for Parkdalians to be active outdoors safely throughout the winter months while connecting with a variety of local health, fitness, and business leaders from Parkdale’s diverse Black / BIPOC communities.

The Parks: Explore in your own time Budapest Park, Lakeshore Blvd Parklands, Centennial Park on the Exhibition grounds, Dufferin-King Parkette, Masaryk Park, McCormick Park and Charles G. Williams Park. Click here for Map

The FitPlay: Community members are encouraged to visit designated public park locations and participate in self-led physical exercise and play, inspired by the FitPlay letter key.
How it works: Each letter of the alphabet, A to Z, is associated with a simple exercise most can perform some variation of safely. E.g. A = 10 high knees on the spot.
Participants self-select a word or phrase and perform the exercises associated with each letter. E.g. P A R K D A L E = 10 squats, 10 high knees on the spot, etc.
Mix up your FitPlay by choosing a new word, a new park  or a new challenge each time and invite your Parkdale friends and neighbours to do the same!

The event creator, Debbie King (@supafitmama), is a long-time Parkdale resident, active community member, and energetic fitness leader who some may recognize from @f45parkdale or @black.student.success .

Debbie King – Community champion, Athlete, Fitness leader

Knowing how important yet how challenging staying active can be during the darker, colder months, and recognizing the restrictions on fitness facilities, Debbie set out to create a motivating way for Parkdalians to get moving safely outdoors.

#ParkdaleFitPlay was created to inspire more movement, as well as greater connections with local Black fitness leaders, Black-owned businesses, and amazing wellness brands close to home,” she said.

Follow the Parkdale FitPlay Facebook page, join the event on Facebook or Instagram to view videos from local health leaders, to get fit and win weekly prizes from some of our wonderful sponsors! Check out the Facebook Event here!

Hashtags: #parkdalefitplay
Instagram/Facebook Tags: @parkdafitplay @supafitmama

Contest Details: One prize pack per person. Ontario residents, must be 18 years of age. Winners drawn by 12 noon each Monday. Contest runs January 27-February 28, 2021. To be eligible you must Like, Share, Comment or use #ParkdaleFitPlay online to enter. Prizing has no cash value.

Applications open for new Ontario Small Business Support Grant

Applications are now open for the new Ontario Small Business Support Grant. The program provides up to $20,000 to eligible small businesses that are required to close or significantly restrict services under the province-wide shutdown. New businesses established since April 2019 can apply if they meet other eligibility criteria. For help applying check out the user application guide, or contact the City’s BusinessTO Support Centre for one-on-one virtual support.

CurbTO program re-opens to allow temporary pick-up zones

This is how you can park for free on major streets in Toronto

The City of Toronto’s CurbTO program is now accepting requests from small businesses for temporary parking pick-up zones. The program allows main street businesses to provide easier curbside pickup for customers—helping to support these businesses while Toronto is in the Grey – Lockdown category of the Province of Ontario’s COVID-19 response framework. Main street businesses and BIAs can register for the program.

Applications from individual licensed businesses will be reviewed beginning November 25, 2020.

Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy Portal – NOW OPEN!

Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy Portal – NOW OPEN! 
If you are a Canadian business, a non-profit organization, or charity that has seen a drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of your commercial rent or property expenses, starting on September 27, 2020, until June 2021.  

This subsidy will provide payments directly to qualifying renters and property owners, without requiring the participation of landlords.  
If you are eligible for the base subsidy, you may also be eligible for lockdown support if your business location is significantly affected by a public health order for a week or more.

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.


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


Monday November 9th, 2020 6:30pm

Virtual Meeting


  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!

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.