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First there was 311, then 211 and now…there’s DUKE ask

duke-askMay 01, 2019

In the four years since DUKE Heights BIA started, we have played a role in helping most of the 2,500 businesses that reside in our community. During that time businesses have asked us questions ranging from ‘how do I find and keep local talent’ to ‘how can I make an effective business logo’. To help answer these questions, we partnered with York University’s Experiential Education branch to get the help of a team (or should I say a village) of students trained to help improve local economic outcomes in the community. The DUKE Heights member businesses, charities, not-for-profits, community collectives and startups can ask a general business question by sending our team an email to- employmenthub@dukeheights.ca.

DUKE Heights is offering this new service free of charge in order to help businesses in the area grow and succeed in our BIA. So, when an Internet search just isn’t enough, DUKE ask is here to make the process of finding the information businesses are looking for as seamless as possible. Go ahead and ask your business question at employmenthub@dukeheights.ca.

Councillor’s Corner: James Pasternak


Toronto City Councillor, Ward 6 – York Centre

May 01, 2019

james-pasternakDear Neighbours,
One of the biggest issues that comes up repeatedly in my conversations with residents, businesses and community stakeholders is the need to invest in infrastructure across York Centre and Toronto. As Chair of the City’s Infrastructure and Environment Committee, I am making this a priority.
One area of major focus over the past winter and into the spring has been the state of the roads in our city. While the City of Toronto has a comprehensive road maintenance program that budgets approximately $182 million for road repairs, rehabilitation and maintenance work each year, there is more work to be done.
This is especially true of the unacceptable number of potholes on our roads. The city spends $5 million to fix potholes each year and we are working to fill potholes as quickly and efficiently as possible. At the same time, we need to look at better ways, new technologies, new systems of asphalt and concrete as well as what other cities are doing to see if there is a better solution available.

james-pasternakAnother major focus of my committee will be to prevent basement flooding. I have visited homes and businesses that have suffered from flooding and the damage that can be caused by flooding. The good news is that work is under way on an over $262 million capital project across York Centre to make improvements to the sewer system and overland drainage routes.
As always, I am happy to speak anytime. Please do not hesitate to contact me at 416-392-1371 or councillor_pasternak@toronto.ca. Community updates are available at www.jamespasternak.ca.


Councillor’s Corner: Anthony Perruzza


Toronto City Councillor, Ward 7 – Humber River-Black Creek

May 01, 2019


Standing with Students: No Cuts to Education

On Thursday, April 4 I met with students at both C.W. Jefferys Collegiate Institute and Emery Collegiate Institute while they walked-out in protest of the Conservative government’s cuts to education.

Pioneer of American public schools, Horace Mann, famously called education the “great equalizer of the conditions of men.” He was correct, education is the great equalizer that provides opportunities for all. Our youth should not be facing cuts to their education system while they are trying to build a future for themselves.


Inflated classroom sizes will be a huge disadvantage for both students and teachers alike. Teachers will face more challenges in terms of how they connect with a larger group of students, and in turn, students will have a difficult time getting the attention and support that they deserve. Grade school is a critical time in adolescent development.

I am proud of our Ward 7 high school students for taking the initiative to mobilize and for making their voices heard. I will continue to stand in solidarity with them and advocate for key investments in local education and programming.

As always, please contact my office if you have any questions or concerns about city-related issues. My staff and I are here to help you.

Toronto City Hall

100 Queen Street West

2nd Floor – Suite C41

Toronto, ON

M5H 2N2

Main: 416-338-5335

Fax: 416-696-4144

Constituency Office

3470 Keele Street (Keele at Grandravine)

Ground Level – Suite 3

Toronto, ON

M3J 3M1

Line 1: 416-338-0696

Line 2: 416-338-0499

Follow me!

Twitter: @Perruzza_TO

Facebook: @AnthonyPerruzza


Reach me online:

Email: Councillor_perruzza@toronto.ca

Website: www.anthonyperruzza.com


DUKE Careers- Manufacturing Connections

May 01, 2019

On 11th April 2019, DUKE Heights BIA successfully hosted a first-of-its-kind career exploration event, ‘DUKE Careers- Manufacturing Connections, bringing together local BIA businesses, industry professionals, employment service providers and job seekers under the same platform to discuss career opportunities in the manufacturing industry, especially in the food and furniture sectors.
With high concentration of manufacturing businesses in the DUKE Heights BIA, a major challenge highlighted by our membership lies in hiring and retaining employees in their workforce. The role of the BIA is to act as an intermediary to connect them to the right talent pool by working with local employment service providers. With the intent to manufacture these connections, the first DUKE Careers event was launched.


The event was inaugurated by Anthony Perruzza, Toronto City Councillor for Ward 7 and James Pasternak, Toronto City Councillor for Ward 6. The focus for the first half of the day was on dispelling stigmas associated with careers in manufacturing and learning about the emerging workforce needs based on the evolving industry. This included presentations and panel discussions by various industry professionals from the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, University of Toronto, ThinkTank Toronto, Trillium Advanced Manufacturing and Ontario Manufacturing and Learning Consortiums (OMLC). The participants seemed to engage well in these sessions and had their queries addressed by the panelists.


The second half involved networking with food and furniture manufacturing businesses from the BIA and employment service providers through exhibitor desks. During this time, we witnessed a lot of buzz in the room where job seekers actively reached out to the exhibitors to learn more about the current job opportunities and employment support available to start a career in the manufacturing sector. The event closed with a participant feedback survey to capture the learnings and outcomes of the event.


DUKE heights would like to thank our project sponsors Metcalf Foundation and York Entrepreneurship Development Institute and all our community partners for their support and participation. We look forward to creating more employment opportunities in our BIA by building stronger connections with the local communities!

Adopt a Tree in Your Neighbourhood

May 01, 2019

Winter has finally ended, and spring is upon us. As the season begins and the weather becomes warmer a new scenery is about to engulf Toronto. One that contains lush trees and large amounts of greenery that are beneficial in many aspects to the community.

The local trees within our BIA are not only valuable but also fundamental to the success of the area as they provide essential and aesthetically pleasing elements including an increase in property value, improvements to mental health, a barrier to noise traffic and the removal of carbon dioxide from the environment. With a strong motivation to protect our BIA, DUKE Heights BIA is introducing Adopt-a-Tree program in partnership with the Local Enhancement & Appreciation of Forests (LEAF) to the BIA members.

The program targets trees located on City-owned and maintained sidewalks or boulevards, often referred to “street trees.” Although locations can include trees planted in turf or landscaped boulevards, this program focuses on trees that are often subject to severe stress and poor growing conditions. Whether it is an adoption of one tree or multiple surrounding your local area, each participant will enable the sequestering of harmful greenhouse gases and contribute in building a stronger and vibrant community.
We are inviting the DUKE Heights BIA members to take part in the Program and to adopt-a-tree today!
For all inquiries, please contact LEAF (www.yourleaf.org).
Phone: 416-413-9244 ext.0
Toll Free: 1-888-453-6504 ext.0
E-mail: info@yourleaf.org

Does Your Business Need to Register a Trademark?

April 01, 2019

As every small business knows, it’s challenging to stay competitive. Whether operating locally or abroad, you must protect your brand, products and services—your intellectual property (IP)—by registering trademarks with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) to enhance your growth. Here’s why registered trademarks are both necessary and beneficial for your business.

You gain the exclusive rights to sell your products and services. That way, you’re legally protected from infringement and copycats.

Owning your trademark legitimizes your brand and helps convey intellectual and emotional messages about your business to inform and persuade customers in your favour.

Once you register your mark in Canada, you’re protected nationwide—but what about the rest of the world? Use your initial CIPO application to gain priority filing should you choose to apply in another country within 6 months. That way, you’ll grow farther, faster.

Registered trademarks are valuable assets that appreciate over time and improve brand recognition to help expand your clientele.

Witmart Inc. can help you navigate the registration process. Witmart is a Toronto-based internet company that provides innovative, affordable and professional IP services in Canada, the United States, China and most other major jurisdictions. In addition to trademarks, Witmart offers copyright, patent filing and incorporation services to equip your business with the global legal expertise and representation you need to protect your assets.

Visit tm.witmart.com to learn more about trademark registration.

Toronto’s annual spring clean-up weekend returns on April 26-28, 2019

April 01, 2019


Toronto’s annual spring cleanup will take place during April 26-28, 2019. We encourage businesses in the DUKE Heights BIA to participate in the Community Cleanup and Corporate 20-Minute Makeover by cleaning up around their workplaces. To get involved, please visit the “Clean Toronto Together” page on City of Toronto website and select your cleanup. https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/festivals-events/more-city-produced-events/clean-toronto-together/

Community Cleanup Days: Saturday, April 27 and Sunday, April 28

On Saturday, April 27 and Sunday, April 28, property owners, tenants, residents and community groups can join the Community Cleanup Days. and remove litter from public spaces such as yards, ravines and laneways. Participants are requested to rake their curb, streets and boulevards in front of their premises, bag the debris and either take it to the compost site or leave it for the City to pick up on the Clean-Up Day. When you register you can request special litter collection, subject to approval, and are eligible for free litter and recycling bags. Registration closes on Wednesday, April 17.

Sign up here- https://wx.toronto.ca/inter/city/mayorscleanup.nsf/Register?OpenForm

Corporate 20-Minute Makeover and School Cleanups: Friday, April 26

Participating in the 20-Minute Makeover can be a great team-building event and a great way to show that your organization is committed to a cleaner and greener Toronto. When you register you will receive a free corporate cleanup kit, containing litter bags and nitrile gloves. You may also request special litter collection for your cleanup, subject to approval. Registration closes on Friday, April 12.

Sign up here- https://wx.toronto.ca/inter/city/cleanupday.nsf/Register?OpenForm

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