Business Improvement Area (BIA) is an association of commercial property owners and tenants within a defined area who work together with the City of Toronto to create thriving and safe business areas that attract shoppers, diners, tourists, and new businesses. By working collectively as a BIA, local businesses have the organizational and funding capacity for civic improvement; improving the quality of life in their local neighbourhood.
Toronto now has a total of 71 BIAs across this City, representing over 20,000 businesses - the largest number of BIAs in North America. Together, they generate over $10,000,000 in funding towards street and sidewalk beautification, marketing and promotional campaigns, street festivals, clean street campaigns, and crime prevention strategies. BIAs also acts as a unified voice to address issues on behalf of their membership.
The success of Toronto's BIA program can be seen in the growth in the number of BIAs in the last 7 years - increasing from 42 in 2001 to 60 at the end of 2006, with new commercial areas expressing an interest to explore implementing the program in their neighbourhood.