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Join Smiles Foundation Efforts to Spread Smiles



March 01, 2019

Smiles Foundation located in the DUKE Heights BIA began as an initiative for bringing free for children and affordable for others, high-quality dental care to underprivileged communities in the Dominican Republic. Since their inception, they have successfully expanded their scope of initiatives and have delivered a variety of health and educational services to over 5 million people (primarily children), who otherwise would not be able to afford them.

Their health programs cover a wide range of important topics including nutrition, abuse prevention, general health, personal hygiene, disease prevention, oral health care and family planning.

Over the years donors and volunteers have allowed Smiles Foundation to expand their programs and services. Smiles in Action programs have recently been launched in the GTA. In partnership with the City of Vaughan, Improve Canada, and with a grant from Ontario Trillium Foundation, they now offer free and affordable Dance Sport programs to underprivileged families and individuals of all ages and abilities.

The mission for Smiles Foundation is to equip all the communities with the skills and knowledge they need to lead full, healthy and happy lives. By supporting these initiatives, you can help those in need smile even brighter. Join their efforts by volunteering and/or donating. Visit their website www.smilesfoundation.org for more information.


Invest in Your Building: Build Your Energy Savings

March 01, 2019

Have your utility bills risen dramatically? Interested in modernizing your building without reaching into your pocket? Efficiency Capital (EC) provides Turnkey solutions for you to reduce your operating costs, lower your energy consumption and modernize your building at the same time.


Efficiency Capital (“EC”) offers a unique investment program where they pay for upgrading your building, with no upfront cost to you. These upgrades are funded by the ‘Guaranteed’ savings that you receive in lower operating expenses. EC has developed a structured turnkey approach that mitigates savings risk, ensures improved building performance and reduces energy consumption.

Key features and benefits

EC invests up to 100% of funds • Savings can start immediately
• No opportunity cost of waiting for capital allocation
• Preserve your capital for other priorities
Pay when you save • No performance risk of savings not being achieved
• Data-driven monitoring by EC verifies performance
• Savings are guaranteed and insured
Flexible contract • Client can buy-out the contract at any time
• Provides flexibility for the timing of capital raises
Reduced GHG emissions • Demonstrates environmental leadership
• Regulatory compliance and reporting

How it works

Efficiency Capital was launched by The Atmospheric Fund (TAF) to accelerate efficiency upgrades in North America’s aging building stock. TAF created the award-winning Energy Savings Performance Agreement (ESPA) as an innovative way to finance these upgrades. TAF is an arms-length agency of the City of Toronto that invests in solutions for air pollution and climate change mitigation.

To learn more and apply, visit www.efficiencycap.com or contact info@efficiencycap.com.

Non-formal Dispute Resolution



February 01, 2019
Written by: Kristen Steele, DUKE Law Intern

Non-Formal dispute resolution mechanisms can be a good alternative to formal dispute resolution methods such as arbitration or litigation, which can be time consuming and expensive. One benefit of this method is to ensure that all parties involved in a dispute will maintain confidentiality because it encourages all parties to keep all material information to themselves. A second is that the parties have a higher degree of control over these kinds of proceedings. The two most common forms of non-formal dispute resolution include the following:

Negotiation involves two or more parties who enter into a discussion or deliberation with the goal of reaching an agreement or resolving a dispute by means of compromise, making negotiation the least formal dispute resolution mechanism available. However, given that there is no facilitator over these negotiations, if the parties cannot come to an agreement of their own volition, the negotiations will fail.

Mediation is like negotiation, but it includes facilitation by a neutral third-party commonly known as a mediator. A drawback is that the mediator, and not the parties themselves, will determine how formal the proceedings will be.

Sometimes it’s hard to translate business problems into legal questions, which is why DUKE Heights BIA made the process as seamless as possible through DUKE Law. From our partnership with Osgoode Hall Law School, we are offering businesses in the BIA this legal information service free of charge. Go ahead, ask your business question with the reassurance that it will be answered by a dedicated team of trained specialists at any time. Ask your question today at dukeheights.ca/law

Work as a Supplier or Service Provider to the Finch West LRT!



Attention, DUKE Heights business community! if you were waiting for the perfect time to seize an opportunity to work as a supplier or service provider to the Finch West LRT, the time is now. Mosaic Transit Group, the consortium responsible for designing, building and maintaining the light rail line, is kicking off construction during the spring/summer of 2019.

Mosaic Transit Group is now asking local construction services, equipment and materials providers to connect for new business procurement opportunities for the LRT project. They will use local sources for supplies and materials, where practical and economically reasonable. They have opened a variety of procurement packages from construction, architecture and engineering, goods, services, to simple acquisitions (e.g. painting, printing, fleet rental, cleaning service, catering, facilities rental).

The full list of products and services that they will be procuring in 2019 is below:

  • Trailer Rental
  • Office furniture/Miscellaneous furnishing
  • Temporary services (power, water, sewers)
  • Portable toilets
  • Utilities relocation
  • Site security
  • Temporary /Permanent fencing
  • Clearing/grubbing
  • Excavation equipment
  • Shoring of excavation
  • Concrete/formwork
  • Reinforcing steel
  • Architectural Masonry
  • Structural steel
  • Miscellaneous metals
  • Canopies for Stops
  • Carpentry/Millwork
  • Roofing
  • Doors and frames
  • Glazing
  • Cladding
  • Drywall
  • Tiling/Floor finishing
  • Painting
  • Washroom accessories
  • Fall arrest systems (roof anchors)
  • Escalators/Elevators
  • Mechanical/Electrical systems
  • Trackwork, railway, signaling, communication system
  • Landscaping

Tips to Businesses Responding to RFPs:

  • Be Innovative
  • Understand the Requirements
  • Demonstrate company’s capability to perform, including: experience, resources and ability to subcontract
  • Provide current and relevant references
  • Estimate costs realistically
  • Follow the submission requirements and perform quality control

If your business offers related products and services, act now! Email procurement@mosaictransit.com to introduce your business and/or goods and services. Visit www.mosaictransit.com to stay up to date on business and workforce development opportunities.

Councillor’s Corner

anthony-perruzzaThank you, Humber River – Black Creek for electing me as your City Councillor. I am filled with gratitude and I am excited to continue to work for you at City Hall. I would like to thank my family, staff, volunteers and everyone who helped on my campaign. I look forward to connecting with you about local issues and projects that encompass the new, larger Ward 7.

Since the election, my staff and I have been engaged in local events and meetings. Most recently, we attended the opening of the new community space at 415 Driftwood, a housing consultation at Firgrove-Grassways, and various holiday gatherings including the seniors’ Christmas party at 35 Shoreham. We also held our annual Holiday Toy Drive at Oakdale C.C. in partnership with Toronto Firefighters and other local organizations focused on children; we aim to expand the scope of that event next year.

I would like to take the time to wish everyone a very safe and happy holiday season! I hope that you get to spend quality time with family, friends, coworkers and neighbours. May 2019 bring in good health and prosperity for our community.

Please contact my offices if you have any questions. My staff and I are here to help you.

Toronto City Hall
100 Queen Street West
2nd Floor – Suite C41
Toronto, ON M5H 2N2
Fax: 416-696-4144
Main: 416-338-5335

Constituency Office
3470 Keele Street (Keele at Grandravine)
Ground Level – Suite 3
Toronto, ON M3J 3M1
416-338-0696 OR 416-338-0499

What kind of contract does my business need?

Dec 20, 2018

Written by: Christopher Dias, DUKE Law Intern

Contracts are an integral part of any business, dealing with crucial issues such as money and relationships between people. There are several contractual agreements to consider when starting or growing a business:


This is a vital contract for businesses that require a physical space. When negotiating a lease agreement, consider whether the space fits the needs of the business and if the lease term is of a sufficient length (with a right to extend the term, if necessary).1,2

Loan Agreement

Borrowing money is a likely reality when starting or growing a business. Many businesses take out loans from banks or other financial institutions in the form of a contractual agreement, so things like payment schedules and the right to prepay the loan without penalty may be important when considering where to obtain a loan, among other considerations.3

Employment Contract

If a business requires the assistance of other people, then employment contracts must be signed by everyone that is hired. These agreements often take the form of offer letters that detail the responsibilities of the role, its salary/benefits, and a host of other stipulations.4 Depending on the nature of the business, a confidentiality agreement may also be necessary.5

There are a variety of other contracts to consider when looking to start or grow a business. For more information on what a contract is and how they operate.6


1 https://www.forbes.com/sites/allbusiness/2016/02/03/10-essential-contracts-for-small-and-growing-businesses/#4ff6c6ef1aa3
2 For further information on lease considerations visit: Ibid.
3 Ibid;
4 Ibid.
5 Ibid.
6 https://www.canadaone.com/ezine/june2010/business_contracts.html

A Major Transit Hub on Its Way to Pearson Airport


December 20, 2018

transitAs we all know, mounting road congestion on 400 series highways and local roads is making life difficult for all of us – and making our businesses less competitive. It’s one of our region’s biggest challenges, and one that’s getting worse every day.

Toronto Pearson International Airport has come forward with a bold proposal to combat road congestion and deliver a more seamless transit network across the GTA. It’s planning to build a new facility to accommodate more airport passengers, which could also serve as a major transit hub. It’s dubbed this new facility “Union Station West”, which envisions connecting a number of existing and planned transit lines that currently travel past the airport or stop just short. Potential connections include the Finch LRT, the Kitchener GO line, the Eglinton Crosstown, the Mississauga Transitway and more.

A direct connection to Canada’s largest airport – and the 5th most connected airport in the world – with the Finch LRT will support the future success of our local businesses.

Toronto Pearson is asking residents and businesses to show their support for this project. Visit TorontoPearson.com/transit to learn how you can voice your support and sign up for updates on the project.

Do I need a lawyer to start a business?



Written by: Shally Malik, DUKE Law Intern
November 20, 2018

Lawyers can help businesses navigate the legal waters associated with being a business owner. Determining whether a business requires a lawyer is often dependent on the complexity of the case. For example, entrepreneurs developing businesses on their own can decide between operating as a sole proprietorship or as a corporation; whereas, businesses with more than one founder may operate as a partnership or similarly as a corporation. The complexities of registering as a corporation opposed to a sole proprietorship can be intimidating enough to warrant the assistance of a lawyer right from the start. However, regardless of the business structure an entrepreneur ultimately chooses, hiring a lawyer can make the process of drawing up legal contracts, leases, buying existing businesses, seeking equity financing and more, much easier.
Free legal information like DUKE Law can help startups, small-to-medium-sized enterprises and social enterprises get over many of the legal hurdles they might face when starting a new business. Still, when more than just general legal information is needed, a lawyer would be able to give customized legal advice that fits the legal situation.
Sometimes it’s hard to translate business problems into legal questions, which is why DUKE Heights BIA made the process as seamless as possible through DUKE Law. From our partnership with Osgoode Hall Law School, we are offering businesses in the BIA this legal information service free of charge. Go ahead, ask your business question with the reassurance that it will be answered by a dedicated team of trained specialists at any time.
Ask your question today at dukeheights.ca/law

Enhanced Walkability Between Keele St. and the Downsview Park


November 20, 2018

The DUKE Heights BIA is in lockstep with public realm and streetscape improvements as a step in establishing itself as a prominent and attractive employment district. The context of DUKE Heights, once known as a dull, lurching and motor-only area is changing as the mobility choices in the BIA are being enhanced. We are working with the City over the last several years developing public realm improvements across the BIA. A key objective is to promote walkability within the DUKE Heights Area.

Recent Development
• Adding missing sidewalks on St. Regis Cres. (To Tuscan Gate and to Bakersfield St.)
• Adding new crosswalk at Keele St and St. Regis Cres.
• Corner improvements at North-East and South-east Corner of Keele & St. Regis Cres.
• Adding pavement, street furniture- benches, etc.


These improvements will provide for an improved pedestrian friendly streetscape between Keele St. and Downsview Park offering a significant advantage to pedestrians in time saving and adding ease of mobility in the area.

The momentum generated through the significant transit investments that the DUKE Heights BIA is going through is providing unparalleled incentive to develop a state-of-the-art public realm that will not only benefit the existing BIA members but also and promote this form of streetscaping and urban design through other similar scaled and typically auto-centric neighbourhoods elsewhere in the city.

Finch West LRT Business Ready Seminars



Metrolinx will be organizing Business Ready Seminars on October 19th, 2018 and November 19th, 2018 for businesses around the FInch corridor. The workshops are FREE. Sign up for your free seat now!

Seminar 1: Digital Transformation


  • Importance of Digital Transformation for your business
  • Using digital transformation to better engage and reach your customers
  • Tools and tips for immediate activation & implementation

Date            : Monday, October 29, 2018

Time            : 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Address       : Finch West LRT Community Office, 2540 Finch Ave. W.

Hosted by    : Metrolinx Finch West LRT Team

Speaker        : Darryl Jullot from Digital Main Street


Seminar 2: Marketing


  • Understanding your environment & identifying your unique advantages
  • Developing your brand & best practices for keeping loyal customers
  • Measuring & monitoring marketing activities

Date            : Monday, November 19, 2018

Time            : 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Address       : Finch West LRT Community Office, 2540 Finch Ave. W.

Hosted by   : Metrolinx Finch West LRT Team

Speaker       : Dr. Youssef. A. Youssef from The Business School, Humber Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning


To RSVP and learn more, contact: Metrolinx. Tel: 416-202-6500; Email: finchwest@metrolinx.com