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Edge out Your Competition by Becoming a ‘Certified Social Enterprise’

Dec 01, 2019

Buy Social Canada offers a third-party certification for social enterprises. A social enterprise is a business that seeks to achieve a defined social, cultural or environmental goal and reinvests the majority of net profits back into that goal. Buy Social Canada certification recognizes your organization as a verified social enterprise and demonstrates your commitment to social and sustainable business.


By proudly displaying Buy Social Canada certification you:

  • Signal to customers the impact of their purchases
  • Promote awareness of the social enterprise industry
  • Invite the attention of social procurers

As part of your Buy Social Canada certification you:

  • Will be featured in our social enterprise directory
  • Have access to 2 hours of free consulting from the Buy Social Canada team
  • Receive discounted access to webinars and learning resources

It’s easy to apply for certification, all you need to do is:

  • Complete a short, online application
  • Speak with a Buy Social Canada team member to talk about your social enterprise
  • Submit your Articles of Incorporation and Audited Financial Statements
  • Find out more at www.buysocialcanada.com and don’t miss our free social procurement tools and resources.

If you have any questions please content Brent Brodie at brent@buysocialcanada.com

Exciting Winter Break Camp at Active Kids Zone from Dec 23, 2019


Dec 01, 2019

When school’s out, Active Kids Zone is the place to be! Conveniently located near Steeles Ave and Alness St, we take the worry out of what your children are going to do for FUN with their time off school. Especially when you are stuck at work! Offered for ages 5 to 12 years old, Active Kids Zone’s Winter Break Camp is action-packed with sports and organized games, crafts and ceramics, cooking, karaoke, fun zone and much more! Pre-registration is required.


Camp runs from Monday, December 23, 2019 to Friday, January 03, 2020 (Closed December 25 and January 01).

Weekly Cost is $400 for all 8 days, or daily registration is available for $60. Register by Friday, December 20 and get their pre-camp registration price of $55 per day.

Visit www.activekidszone.com or call 416-650-5060 for more information and registration.

Don’t be stuck out in the cold, register your child for Active Kids Zone’s Winter Break Camp today!

Distill Laser Clinic is now open!



Dec 01, 2019

Distill Laser Clinic is a cosmetic clinic offering only Health Canada and FDA approved technology in laser hair removal and skin treatments. The team at Distill Laser Clinic has 20 years of combined experience.

The new state-of-the-art Laser Clinic facility offers hair loss, photo rejuvenation, skin tightening, scar removal, wrinkle treatments including injectables, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, laser hair removal and much more.

Distill Laser Clinic is located at 1275 Finch Avenue West, suite 407 in North York. The facility has convenient underground parking perfect for patient privacy.

To book an appointment for a free consultation, please contact Distill Laser Clinic at 416-398-4000 or email them at info@distilllaserclinic.com.

Security Services for DUKE Heights BIA



Dec 01, 2019

Doing business has never been safer in Duke Heights as we provide security services for Duke Heights BIA members 7 days a week.
Since its inception, DUKE Heights BIA has been providing its members with the Security Mobile Patrol Service. The goals of the program are to maintain and increase the property values, increase safety and reputation and reduce cost associated with crime, vandalism and theft. More than 600 businesses located in the BIA are already making use of the DUKE security services and the number is increasing.

Interested BIA member can sign up and receive the following free services:

  • Patrol dispatches
  • Patrols of your property
  • Alarm response
  • Safe walk program
  • By-law infraction notification

If you operate a business in the DUKE Heights area and would like to sign up for the DUKE security services, visit the BIA website and submit the signup form.

How do I apply for a business licence issued by the City of Toronto?


Each licence type requires different information and documentation to apply. If you need to apply for a licence issued by the City of Toronto, you must do so in person at the Licensing and Permit Issuing Office at the East York Civic Centre, 850 Coxwell Ave, 3rd floor.

For most licences, you will need to present identification documents for either yourself, your partnership or the corporation. For sole proprietors, these identification requirements are often two pieces of government-issued identification, one of which must have your photograph, from the following list:

  • Canadian Passport (photo ID)
  • Driver’s Licence (photo ID)
  • Canadian Birth Certificate
  • Citizenship card
  • Permanent Resident Card
  • SIN Card (Social Insurance Number)
  • Valid Work Permit

Because certain business licence applications require additional documentation, such as proof of compliance with the City’s zoning by-laws, you should familiarize yourself with the requirements of the specific licence(s) for which you will apply. Requirements for individual licences and permits are listed in the search results of licence search tools such as BizPaL (https://services.bizpal-perle.ca/) or can be obtained from the City’s permits and licences website (https://www.toronto.ca/permits-licences/).


If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please contact the DUKE Law team.

  • Office hours | Monday – Friday | 9:00am – 5:00pm
  • Drop-in hours | Monday | Tuesday | Thursday | 2:00pm – 3:00pm
  • By phone | (416) 739-1621 ext. 19
  • Website | https://dukeheights.ca/law/

In partnership with Osgoode Law School we provide free legal information to the DUKE Heights BIA community and beyond. Whether you are a start-up, a small business owner or an entrepreneur, DUKE Law can be your first-hand resource in finding answers and clarifications to the legal aspects of any business query.

Disclaimer: DUKE Law service is available to be accessed only for free legal information and it cannot be substituted for legal advice from a trained legal professional.


Why Client Satisfaction is Key to Business Growth




Written by: Atul Oka, Senior Director of Strategy and Business Development, DUKE Heights BIA



Nov 07, 2019

You have tried various marketing channels, and have also hired some dedicated sales people to boost the visibility of your company and increase sales. These are tried and tested ways of growing sales and have worked for many large companies, so they should work for you right?

Marketing and actively pursuing sales are essential for any business, but the most effective sales generator for any business is much closer than you think. I’m talking about your existing clients, whether they are aunt Maggie next door, or the large law firm downtown. Let me explain why.

According to the latest Global Trust in Advertising report by Nielsen, which surveyed more than 28,000 people across 56 countries, 92 percent of consumers around the world say they trust earned media, such as recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising.

What does this mean? It means that your existing clients are much more important than you think. People generally heed recommendations or warnings from those they trust, making your existing customers your biggest advocates or antagonists. In fact, negative interactions with a business are spread to twice as many people as positive ones. This is generally known as word of mouth marketing and could be solely responsible for the success or failure of your business.

The next step would then be finding the best way to ensure as many of your current customers become advocates and at the same time minimise your antagonists. Sounds logical doesn’t it? Many companies call this “client service”. The concept has been around since humans first traded goods or services with each other, yet many businesses do not know the first step in understanding and leveraging it to best effect.

client-satisfactionIt all starts with measuring customer satisfaction. The simplest and most effective tool for this may be the Net Promoter Score (NPS). All you have to do, is to get as many of your customers as possible to answer a simple question: “On a scale of zero to ten, with zero being Not likely at all, and ten being Extremely likely; How likely is it that you would recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?”

Now break up responses into three chunks:

  • Promoters (9-10). These are your happiest and most loyal customers, and are most likely to refer you to others. Use them for testimonials, affiliates, etc.
  • Passives (7-8). These customers are happy, but are unlikely to refer you to friends. They are just as ready to buy from you as your competitors.
  • Detractors (0-6). Detractors are those customers that are unhappy and can be dangerous for your small business and brand, by spreading negative messages and reviews. Figure out their problems and fix them!

We now have some useful information, but let’s move forward and actually calculate your Net Promoter Score (NPS). You do this subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters. This net score will tell you your net word of mouth influence.

Here are some NPS scores compiled by Customer Guru for well known companies and brands. Costo has a net positive score of 79 meaning a LOT of existing customers are saying great things about the company. Interestingly both Facebook and MacDonald’s have negative scores, -21 and -8 respectively. Go ahead and find out where you stand!

Business author Michael LeBoeuf is famously credited for saying “A satisfied customer is the best strategy of them all.”

Councillor’s Corner – Ward 7: Fall Update



November 07, 2019

Dear Resident,
I am happy to announce that my Autumn Newsletter will be released this month. In this edition you will find more community updates, photos, and tips for the winter season. You will receive a copy at your doorstep and it will be made available online on my website and social media accounts starting Monday, November 18.

Ten Urban Forestry crews were dispatched from our local Emery Yard recently to assist Winnipeg in the wake of a storm that left many spaces in need of serious repairs. Our crews are skilled and capable of providing emergency response support to our neighbours who are working to restore facilities and utilities. I joined Mayor Tory and staff from Emergency Services and Forestry for the send-off.


As the Poverty Reduction Advocate, I was also able to join the Mayor, Councillor Fletcher and Councillor Thompson to announce the new Production Assistant Training Program. This program is part of xoTO’s initiatives to offer young people with hands-on work experience and make the film industry more inclusive and representative of Toronto’s racial and ethnic diversity. This part of the program supports young black adults ages 18 to 29. Astrolab Studios helps facilitate the program along with key partners, including the Poverty Reduction Office here at the City of Toronto, The United Way, POV’s 3rd Street and CEE Centre Toronto – Centre for Young Black Professionals. HBO has offered placements for participants on two upcoming productions. It is important that our City continues to create pathways to meaningful mentorship opportunities.

Please stay-tuned for information about upcoming events in Humber River-Black Creek. As always, my team and I are available to answer any questions that you might have.

Looking forward to seeing you soon!


City Councillor Anthony Perruzza
Ward 7 – Humber River-Black Creek

Councillor’s Corner – Ward 6: Preparing for the Winter Season – Protecting and Improving our Infrastructure and Roads



November 07, 2019

Dear Neighbours,

Now that school is in session, road repairs and infrastructure upgrades are underway, it is time to prepare for the winter season.

To protect our businesses, homes and streets from floods, we are renewing our aging infrastructure, improving water distribution and reducing the risk of watermains breaking and basement flooding through the city approved 2019 Capital Works Program. We will be replacing watermains and resurfacing roads around the Duke Heights BIA in places that require it most.  The City must do its part in maintaining our growing infrastructure.

Keeping our loved ones and most vulnerable safe is one of my top priorities. In response to complaints about unsafe driving on Wilmington Avenue, we installed flexi-posts in front of Wilmington Elementary Public School to deter unsafe driving. Our office is committed to working with local residents and students for their safety. Additionally, children who bike to school require a safe storage space for their bicycles. We are working with TDSB and investing in more bicycle stops on school grounds.

Employees depend on the efficiency of public transit to ensure they arrive on time to work, return home, and have access to local resources, including but not limited to recreation and health care. We are well aware that the #41 Keele bus route has been one of the most over-crowded routes on the TTC. We are working with Toronto Transit Commission to improve bus services on Keele Street to increase frequency of the buses and reduce commute time. We have also been working on modifying existing bus routes to include Stanley Greene neighbourhood on the #41 Keele express route. Finally, we are insisting on a bus stop directly in front of the Humber River Hospital on Wilson Avenue. This stop will grant patients and visitors easier access to health care services and family visitations.

I am always available. If you wish to connect, contact me at Councillor_Pasternak@toronto.ca

Research shows you may be losing customers without knowing it



November 01, 2019

We now live in a digital world, and as the internet and digital technology both become more deeply rooted in the basic functions of human life, this creates major implications for all businesses, regardless of industry.

Research from Stanford University and Blue Corona Analytics has revealed 2 key findings for business owners:

  • 75% of people admit to making judgments about a company’s credibility based on their website’s design.
  • 80% of consumers research a business online before making a purchase.

This means that even business owners’ in-store sales are still at the mercy of the internet. This is why successful businesses make it a priority to invest in a compelling website; because a website is often the first impression to potential new customers.

When potential clients search your business or see your ads, they usually end up at your website. If it’s compelling, it can win you customers. If it’s not compelling or not as good as your competitor’s website, or if you simply don’t have one, then you are likely losing customers without even knowing it.

This is one of the reasons why more and more businesses in DUKE Heights are taking advantage of the $2500 grant to help fund a new website and improve their business reputation. The good news is that this government approved grant does not have to be paid back (it’s a grant, not a loan), and it’s quite easy to apply for. If your business needs a new website, this may be a great opportunity for you to get an extra $2500 to get started and make sure you aren’t losing customers online.

If you’d like to find out if you qualify, and how you can secure the grant, please reach out to us or fill out the form and we will be happy to answer your questions.

Submit Your Contact Information

DUKE Law – Our Free Legal Information Service is back!



October 01, 2019

In partnership with Osgoode Law School we are bringing back the DUKE Law service which provides free legal information to the DUKE Heights BIA community and beyond.

Whether you are a start-up, a small business owner or an entrepreneur, DUKE Law can be your first-hand resource in finding answers and clarifications to the legal aspects of any business query.

Mark your calendar as DUKE Law is set to reopen its doors from October 9th, 2019! The DUKE Law team equipped with Osgoode Law School students will be available for answering your questions.

Disclaimer: DUKE Law service is available to be accessed only for free legal information and it cannot be substituted for legal advice from a trained legal professional.

Questions, comments or concerns? Let us hear from you.