The City of Toronto has defined a Business Improvement Area as:
an association of commercial property owners and tenants within a defined area who work in partnership with the City to create thriving, competitive, and safe business areas that attract shoppers, diners, tourists, and new businesses. By working collectively as a BIA, local business have the organizational and funding capacity to be catalysts for civic improvement, enhancing the quality of life in their local neighbourhood and the city as a whole.
Toronto now has a total of 72 vibrant BIAs across the city, representing over 30,000 small and medium-sized businesses — the largest number of BIAs in North America. Together, they generate over $23 million in funding towards street and sidewalk beautification, marketing and promotional campaigns, street festivals, clean street / graffiti-removal campaigns, and crime prevention strategies. BIAs also act as a unified voice to address issues on behalf of their membership.
The Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) is a non-profit organization representing Toronto’s BIAs. TABIA works with BIAs towards a common goal: building a kick-ass network of communities that are continually striving to create welcome local environments for shopping, festivals and friendly street level interactions. TABIA is well recognized by government organizations on all levels as it is understood that BIAs are the primary lifeline of the communities in which they reside.
Since the inception of BIAs, the City of Toronto has been supportive and has championed the BIA movement. As a result of this support, a BIA Office has been established at City Hall in order to administer, assist and support the efforts of the City’s BIAs and TABIA.