July 01, 2019
Why Your Business Needs to Go Digital
Reason # 1:
Researches show that 36 cents out of every dollar spent in-store in retail shopping is influenced by digital devices. (Deloitte)
Reason # 2:
Digital Main Street makes it easy! Digital Main Street is a free online platform which gives businesses recommendations on how to get started and which tools they can use to increase sales and engage more customers online.
Reason # 3:
Exclusive Deals are available from trusted vendors. Digital Main Street encourages digital vendors to offer exclusive deals, discounts and free trials to main street businesses.
The Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) and the City of Toronto have developed Digital Main Street as a platform that can help you better understand the digital tools your business should be using.
Digital Transformation Grant Program
The Digital Transformation grant provides $2,500 to each qualifying small main street Ontario business to purchase and adopt digital tools and technologies. There are ONLY 2000 grants available until March 2020, so apply EARLY. To start the process to apply for a Digital Transformation Grant, visit the program information page on the Digital Main Street website.
Whether your business needs a website, a new point-of-sale or digital inventory system, or just needs to become more visible online, by joining you will receive a free digital assessment for your business, learn how to adopt digital tools and get connected to vendors offering deals and discounts for the BIA members.
July 01, 2019
The kickoff for the Canada Day long weekend could not be any better for the DUKE Heights community. With more than two thousand community members, families, students, and people from the surrounding areas, we celebrated our very own DUKE Eats festival on June 29, 2019 at the corner of Keele St and Finch Avenue W. The festival was a smashing success; it brought in over a dozen local BIA food vendors, craft vendors, local organizations and businesses, and some of Toronto’s best food trucks to the DUKE Heights community.
The festival featured Toronto’s DJ Budz, free family circus performances by Illuminair Entertainment, a kids’ entertainment zone completed with bouncy castles and countless free activities and treats, such as face painting, caricature sketches, Lego blocks, and cotton candy, all thanks to our sponsors for the festival.
In addition to delicious food options, we promoted DUKE eats as a green festival with Metrolinx, Live Green, Regenesis and Cultural Link bike clinics promoting sustainable living and transportation methods. Thanks to the help of these organizations, we were able to provide the public with access to information on sustainable methods of waste disposal, a free bike clinic for minor repairs and tune-ups and information on the construction of the future Finch West LRT.
Last year DUKE Heights BIA organized its first outdoor food festival to provide a platform for our growing and successful food manufacturer and vendors. This year we brought back DUKE eats festival with a promise to provide a wider platform for the food manufacturers and retailers to showcase our rich and thriving food sector and to promote diversity and cultural inclusion in our BIA.
DUKE eats festival is sure to return next year bigger and better, with more food, fun and excitement for all your friends and family to enjoy in the DUKE Heights BIA!
July 01, 2019
Over the last four years, businesses in the Duke Heights BIA have partnered with the University to provide York students with extraordinary experiential learning opportunities, while receiving innovative marketing expertise at no cost to their organizations.
Recent experiential education projects by York University showed that even small investments into the community by students have a substantive and positive effect on local businesses. Combining academic and community networks has increasingly become a pillar of the university.
“It’s clear that our long-term partnership with Duke Height BIA has been extremely beneficial to our marketing students and the businesses they engage with,” said Karlene Case, Senior Experiential Educational Program Coordinator with the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies.
“Our marketing students provide real, tangible benefits to organizations. They bring the skills needed to tackle marketing challenges and develop strategies to improve everything from client retention to brand awareness,” she added. “The Faculty continues to partner with the Duke Heights BIA and invites local businesses to tap into bright marketing minds for the upcoming Fall 2019 semester. The relationship forged between York and the BIA is truly symbiotic and represents a real “Height of Opportunities.”
July 01, 2019
The City of Toronto must do everything possible to help businesses thrive. In most cases this is done by eliminating red tape, reducing corporate taxes and creating a positive environment.
But helping business is much more. The City of Toronto, must also build, improve and maintain infrastructure to ensure that businesses can succeed, and employees can arrive and depart safely. Over the years we have made sure that the City of Toronto does its part for DUKE Heights. For example, Toronto Hydro has made major investments to upgrade the power grid to make sure power disruptions are minimized or eliminated. Through Toronto Water, we have also invested heavily in old storm water and sewage systems to make sure that businesses can prevent flooding. Our transportation division has been working to ensure that road conditions are improved. Recently, Finch Avenue was resurfaced to allow for easier commutes and the better flow of goods. Additionally, we have been working with Transportation staff on signal-timing changes and enhanced signage to reduce traffic congestion. We also removed restrictive diamond lanes on Dufferin Street, allowing all vehicles to use the lane. The opening of the University-Spadina subway extension has helped thousands of workers get to the DUKE Heights catchment area and the Finch West Light Rail Transit line, is expected to do the same.
The city is also working with businesses to improve employee safety by introducing sidewalks in employment areas and investing in our Vision Zero safety plan. One example is building a sidewalk on Flint Road. My office will continue to support city investments in DUKE Heights so that businesses can focus on their clients and Toronto remains a great place to invest.
July 01, 2019
On Friday, June 7, 2019 I attended the ground-breaking ceremony for the TRCA’s new administrative building. The event took place at 5 Shoreham Drive, next to the Aviva Centre and York University. As a board member of the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) I am proud that this office block will be situated in our Ward because of the agency’s long history in our community.
Back in June 2016, the TRCA approved the construction of a new head office and delegated tasks to staff for them to move ahead with plans for the project. In early 2017, all six of the TRCA’s municipalities approved the plans and the allocation of new and existing capital funding towards its construction.
The 8,100 square feet facility will open in the summer of 2021. It will incorporate low carbon timbre and a concrete hybrid system. The design team aims to achieve the Leadership and Energy in Environmental Design (LEED) platinum certification and the WELL Silver Building certification. The team is also taking part in the Canadian Green Building Council’s Zero Carbon Building Pilot Program. Sustainable measures reduce costs and create efficiencies. This eco-friendly facility will set the standard for future commercial designs in North America.
This building will back onto part of the Black Creek area, representing the connection between Toronto’s expanding urban framework and the ravine network that we continue to preserve, protect and appreciate.
For more information about the TRCA, including the new site and local conservation initiatives, please visit: https://trca.ca
June 04, 2019
The DUKE Heights BIA has undertaken a study of the current zoning By-law regime across the area, seeking to assist the City of Toronto identify and reduce obstacles to businesses operating in the area. This Zoning By-law review aims to:
- eliminate the overlap of two zoning By-laws — the City-wide By-law and the old North York By-law;
- address the onerous and confusing parking requirements;
- support a range of uses that facilitate business growth in the area;
- eliminate the holding By-law that applies to certain properties.
We hosted an Open House on June 04, 2019 to introduce the proposed changes to collect feedback from the members of the BIA. There will be more opportunities to view and respond to proposed changes during the Zoning By-law amendment process including future community open houses and public meetings as the City process unfolds.
The complete set of display boards presented at the first Open House held on June 04, 2019 are accessible with the link below:
DHBIA Open House Display Boards June 04, 2019
At the end of the review, our Draft Zoning By-law and report will be submitted to Community Planning with the City of Toronto, beginning the City’s public process to amend the zoning By-law. You can get involved now by speaking with one of our staff to provide your feedback. You can also fill-in a comment sheet or get in touch with us online. Please provide all responses by June 14, 2019.
June 3, 2019
Applying for a new business licence or permit?
The City of Toronto is improving the application process for new business licences and permits. As of June 3, 2019, applicants will need to submit a complete application with all their documents. Incomplete applications will not be accepted. Application requirements and forms are available online at toronto.ca/licences.
The improved application process will help you get your licence in one visit. Submit your complete application at the Licence and Permit Issuing Office, 850 Coxwell Avenue, 3rd Floor, East York, ON M4C 5R1.
Note: The new business licence application process does not apply to taxicab and limousine owners, or business licence renewals.
Questions? More information at toronto.ca/licences
June 01, 2019
Each summer, our team of field researchers conduct on-site interviews with businesses located in DUKE Heights BIA to find out how the BIA can better support its members. Our members’ needs and views assist us in prioritizing how Duke Heights can better help these businesses and community in our area.
The goal of the survey is to:
• Gather the needs and perceptions of local business owners
• Identify what businesses need to thrive in our area
• Inform businesses of services and programs Duke Heights currently provides
• Aid in planning and delivering support services for businesses and enterprises located in the DUKE Heights BIA
All businesses located in DUKE Heights BIA are invited to participate in this survey. Our representatives will be visiting their premises during May 30 – July 25, 2019 to conduct this brief survey. Dedicating a few minutes of their time to complete the survey can have a direct impact in meeting the needs and services of their business and the greater business environment in which they operate.
We understand that confidentiality is important to our members. That is why the law and our own security policies strictly protect the confidentiality of participants in our surveys. The survey data will only be reported in aggregate form to show employment patterns without revealing information about individual businesses. The individual responses related to the BIA services will be used only to extend relevant services to specific organizations.
The BIA members’ participation is pivotal in the success of this survey and its intended outcome. If you have any questions about the DUKE Heights Business Survey, please e-mail DUKE Heights BIA at: firstname.lastname@example.org.