What is a BIA?
In 1970 the world’s first Business Improvement Area (BIA) was formed in Toronto’s Bloor West Village. Today Toronto is home to 83 BIAs, more than any other city in the world. A Business Improvement Area is a board established by City Council to provide specific services for the benefit of businesses within a defined geographic area. BIAs provide services to supplement, not replace, those provided by the City. Governed by volunteer Boards of Management comprised of member businesses and property owners as well as City Councillors, BIAs exist in 20 of the City’s 25 wards.
BIAs invested $31 million in 2017 to support marketing, promotion, festivals and neighbourhood beautification programs. Much of the revenue raised by BIAs comes from levies on member businesses collected through the property tax bill. BIAs tax themselves to make Toronto a better place for all.