Business Improvement Areas

Board of Management overview

Main functions and responsibilities

BIA boards of management are accountable to their BIA membership and the City of Toronto. Their main responsibilities are to:

  • maintain BIA-initiated streetscaping assets within the BIA
  • promote the business improvement area as a business, employment, shopping and tourism area
  • offer graffiti and poster removal services respecting building facades to all member property owners who provide written consent, upon approval of the program by the general membership of the BIA
  • undertake safety and security initiatives within the BIA
  • undertake strategic planning necessary to address business improvement area issues
  • participate in a hearing of the Ontario Municipal Board or other similar tribunal if the BIA board has conducted a general meeting of the BIA membership to obtain approval to participate, and to obtain approval of any related expenses.

BIA membership

One of the major functions of a BIA board of management is to make decisions on behalf of its members and to keep the membership abreast of BIA activities. A board must also be able to identify and respond to the needs of its membership.

Open communication with members is vital and can be maintained through various means:

  • face-to-face discussions
  • organized meetings
  • newsletters
  • e-mail
  • volunteer groups and subcommittees
  • surveys and questionnaires
  • visits to members

One of the first responsibilities of a board of management is to be familiar with, and follow, the provisions of Chapter 19 (Business Improvement Areas) of the Toronto Municipal Code and the BIA’s procedural by-law or constitution. A sample template upon which a BIAs by-law is to be based can be found on the Creating your procedural by-law page

BIA general membership information requests

In order for members to stay connected and to understand the direction and goals of the BIA, we recommend that you provide your members with some of the basic facts, tools and information about your BIA operations.

BIA members commonly request the following items:

  • Mission or vision statement
  • Business plan
  • list of board of management and contact information (phone, fax, e-mail)
  • list of members and contact information
  • copies of marketing brochures
  • copy of approved annual budget
  • a welcome package for new members
  • Maps illustrating individual BIA boundaries.

Contact the City of Toronto BIA Office by phone at 416-392-1291 or by e-mail at biaoffice@toronto.ca.


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