Months of proposals, campaigning, meetings and votes are culminating in what appears certain to be the birth of two new business improvement areas in midtown early next year.
Bayview Avenue business owners between Soudan Avenue and Davisville Avenue are in the midst of a 60-day vote period where they will okay or reject the Bayview Leaside BIA. The Midtown Yonge BIA, representing the Soudan-to-Davisville stretch along Yonge Street, passed the voting stage in September and will be formalized by council when it reconvenes early next year.
The Midtown Yonge BIA is already making its presence known. Representatives from the Toronto Parking Authority and the TTC, which has considered selling some of its property to create a new parking lot in the midtown area, were invited to attend the BIA steering committee meeting in mid-November.
“There are going to be a lot of changes moving forward,” steering committee member Diana Sideris said.
Ward 22 councillor Josh Matlow, who calls the Midtown Yonge BIA “a remarkably positive initiative for the whole community,” said additional parking and streetscape improvements will be chief among the changes proposed.
“For the merchants it means we can now focus collectively on their priorities… while discussing how to make it a great main street for residents,” he said.
Pro-BIA business owners on Bayview Avenue are also confident the support is there for an official proposal to reach council early next year.
Stanley Janecek, of White House Meats, said fewer than a third voted against having a BIA at the steering committee’s last meeting in August and he expects the majority of owners who did not attend the meeting will vote in favour.
The results of the vote will be announced in early December.
Meanwhile, several local stores have “We Voted Yes to the Bayview Leaside BIA” signs displayed in their windows.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing what the Bayview Leaside BIA can put forward,” Janecek said. “We’ve got a tremendous opportunity here.”
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