BIA sought for Leslieville

Poll planned to bring business group to neighbourhood

Leslieville businesses say they’re in a neighbourhood where some of the best shopping, dining and street life can be found in Toronto.

Now, to help spread the word, they’re working to form a Leslieville Business Improvement Area.

“When Torontonians decide to go out for a night on the town, many of them think of newer areas like Ossington, Queen West and the Junction,” said Realosophy Realty partner Urmi Desai.

“Leslieville is a great place to eat and shop, but we need more Torontonians to be aware of that,” she added. “So it’s really about promoting rather than transforming the neighbourhood.”

The formation of a Leslieville BIA has been in the works for years. The city has approved for the Leslieville steering committee to go forward with a formal poll for the section of Queen Street East between Empire and Vancouver avenues.

The polling period starts in September and lasts 60 days.

“That will be another opportunity for the business community to chat about what the BIA means and make a decision whether to move forward,” Desai said.

At a June 25 meeting, Desai said most of the attending businesses supported the proposal and wanted to see it move forward.

“There’s a lot of good will,” she said. “A lot of it is just wanting to see an area your business is located in thrive.”

But there were also some concerns, such as how much would have to contributed by businesses.

“People are concerned about costs and they want to be satisfied that the benefits outweigh any risks,” Desai said.

She believes as more community consultation takes place, the idea of forming a BIA will only find more support.

Desai says it’s about time Leslieville businesses got some more attention.

“We have a BIA in Riverside, there’s a BIA in the Beach and there’s three or four on the Danforth right north of us,” she said. “So we’re basically the only ones without one.”

About this article:

By: Omar Mosleh
Posted: Aug 29 2012 10:09 am
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto