Parkdale Village Businesses Embracing Retail Technology

Big changes sometimes come in small packages.

Or, at least, so is the case with Square Inc., the plug-in point-of-sale technology invented by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey.

Easily attached to an iPhone, iPad or Android handheld device, Square allows customers to pay for items using their credit card – and lets businesses avoid paying hefting fees associated with traditional POS systems like Moneris, which is actually owned by BMO and RBC. (Square does charge a 2.75 percent processing fee per transaction, though, but this works out to be quite minimal and affordable in comparison.)

Square came to Canada less than a year ago, but it’s already changing the face of Main Street retail.

Take Parkdale’s Crown Flora Studio, for example. Co-owner Adam Mallory was recently interviewed by the Toronto Star on his experience with the miniature POS system. Read full story here >

And Crown Flora isn’t the only local business embracing this convenient new retail technology; Shawn Skeir Gallery is also a fan.

“Square lets me conduct sales both in my gallery and in my studio,” says Skeir. “My customers appreciate the option of paying with credit, and I have been able to take advantages of sales that maybe I would have missed without [the technology].”


Recently, at the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) Annual General Meeting held at Scotia Plaza, Executive Director John Kiru shared trends and activity in Main Street retail. Although big box retail is taking considerable revenues away from small business, it’s important for consumers to remember that shopping local has a ripple effect. For every dollar spent on Main Streets, 67 cents goes back into the community, versus only 53 cents with big box (which are most often foreign-owned).

It is retail technologies like Square that are indirectly benefiting communities such as Parkdale by helping its small business owners not miss out on credit purchase opportunities.

A great way to learn more about the retail industry’s latest trends and innovative technologies is STORE 2013: The Evolution of Retail, taking place at Toronto Congress Centre on June 4th and 5th. Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the Retail Council of Canada offers this informative conference to more than 300 business attendees for networking, education and advancement. Due to popular demand, grocery-specific content and an independent retailers section have been added.

For more information please visit

TABIA’s Go Renewable Seminar Series – Solar & Community Power Education

TABIA’s greenTbiz Program has recently launched a series of Solar & Community Power Seminars with participating BIAs across Toronto generously hosting these open-to-public events. The seminars are designed to educate BIAs, BIA members and local residents on how and why they should consider the development of solar PV projects in local BIA communities. A schedule of events can be viewed here:
Parkdale Village BIA will cohost a breakfast seminar with the Parkdale Rotary Club with the following details:
June 14, 2012
7:15 a.m.
Grenadier Cafe (, High Park


Our energy supply is changing in Ontario. From large fossil fuel plants, the future will see a transition to smaller scale distributed generation of renewable energy projects. This transition is creating an opportunity for individuals, small businesses and community groups to benefit by generating electricity and profits. Smaller generators sell clean energy to the provincial grid to be used by their neighbours and fellow citizens and are paid under a long-term guaranteed contract with the Ontario Power Authority.

To assist small businesses and BIA communities in taking advantage of this opportunity, greenTbiz created the TABIA Go Renewable series. Toronto’s 72 BIAs and their member businesses are well known for championing a common vision for their neighbourhoods and putting their entrepreneurial spirit to use in realizing that vision. With ample roof space, organizational expertise and marketing savvy, BIAs have extensive potential to actively participate in Ontario’s new green economy.

Attendees will learn how to plan, build and maintain rooftop solar PV projects for their homes, businesses and communities. In addition, they will hear stories from people who have successfully connected their solar PV projects to the electricity grid or are in the process of developing community projects.

For more information contact greenTbiz Program Manager Robert Wakulat at [email protected] or 416-697-9000. You may also visit for updates of the program’s progress or to find info on other seminars.

This project has received funding support from the Ontario Power Authority through the Community Energy Partnerships Program. Such support does not indicate endorsement by the Ontario Power Authority or the Province of Ontario of the contents of this material.