Bloor West Village
|Bloor West Village|
Looking east on Bloor Street
Runnymede neighbourhood and Bloor West Village BIA
Bloor West Village is a shopping district in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Located along Bloor Street, it encompasses all businesses along Bloor Street between South Kingsway and Ellis Park Road, consisting of more than 400 shops, restaurants and services. The mix of stores include specialty clothing stores, book stores, restaurants and cafes. The businesses organized in 1970 into the first mandatory business improvement district, an idea that has spread to numerous other commercial streets in Toronto and to cities around the world.
Bloor West Village is located between two neighbourhoods. To the north is Runnymede, a former streetcar suburb and to the south is Swansea, a former village dating to the 19th century. Bloor West Village is also considered the name of the immediate vicinity of Bloor Street.
Business Improvement Association
In May 1968, the Bloor–Danforth subway line opened in the area, allowing shoppers to shop downtown instead of the businesses along Bloor Street. Competition was also developing from enclosed shopping centres. Businessmen of the district attempted to set up a business association to pay for improvements to the area, but received only partial support from businesses in the area, and not enough to pay the estimated expenses to renovate and market the area. The businessmen lobbied the Toronto and Ontario governments for legislation to compel all business owners within a designated area to pay towards improvements, as directed by an elected body. The Ontario Municipal Act was amended in 1970 and the Bloor West Village Business Improvement Association (BIA) was founded as the first of its kind in the world, first chaired by Alex Ling.
In 1980, Ling founded the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA), an organization that now represents 66 BIAs across Toronto. Ling was chairman of the Bloor West Village BIA for 24 years. The organization promotes business activity in the area by holding several annual events and festivals. It also puts efforts into the beautification of the area.
The BIA hosts:
- Annual Ukrainian Festival in September (music, foods and crafts).
- July Festival, which is a local fair of amusements and entertainment.
- Halloween Festival on Armadale Avenue, Beresford Avenue and Glendonwynne Road (family-friendly activities).
- Participates in the Toronto city-wide "Cavalcade of Lights" (December)
- Yang, Jennifer (2010-04-18). "The birthplace of BIAs celebrates 40 years". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2010-10-12.
- "History of the Bloor West Village Business Improvement Association". Retrieved 2010-05-10.
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