Bayview Leaside BIA soon ready to spend $190,000

The Business Improvement Area (BIA) for Bayview, to be called Bayview Leaside, is one step closer after a meeting April 8 presided over by the city’s economic development department.

BIA members approved the $190,000 annual budget that had been developed by the steering committee and nominated the seven board members, who will be joined by the two city councillors in the two wards involved. The term will extend to the end of 2018, coinciding with the current term of city council.

Elected were Trae Zammit, owner of The Smokin’ Cigar, who spearheaded the effort to set up an area BIA, Grant Allardyce of The Source Menswear, Stephen Betts of TD Canada Trust, Simon Hanlon of McSorley’s, David Illiatovich-Owen of De La Mer, Stanley Janecek of White House Meats, Debora Kuchme of Pagnello’s Antiques plus councillors Josh Matlow and Jon Burnside.

“Our three top priorities,” says Zammit, “are branding and advertising the area, street beautification, and addressing the parking issues – including working with the city to try to make the ticketing authorities less aggressive. Our focus in year one will be on branding and advertising the area.”

Councillor Jon Burnside says the city may be able to help with funding above the BIA’s budget. “The city has so many little pockets of money, I need to dig a bit to find out what’s available. And I’ve found that, if you don’t ask, you won’t find out. On signage, for example, there are apparently some funds available by ward.”

The Leaside Property Owners’ Association has committed $25,000 to be transferred as soon as city council confirms the BIA later this month. Then the board will choose executive officers and get down to work.