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The Corso Italia Business Improvement Area (BIA), founded in 1984, is made up of 200 local business across a variety of sectors. It’s one of more than 80 BIAs in the City of Toronto and is one that has a distinct identity and heritage beyond its geographic boundaries, along St. Clair Avenue West from Westmount Avenue to Lansdowne Avenue.

Toronto’s BIAs represent a diverse range of organizations with priorities that are defined by local business stakeholders.

  • All funds raised by BIAs are reinvested back into their local communities.
  • The BIA model allows businesses to establish a local standard for cleanliness, amenity and maintenance which is higher than that provided by the City.
  • BIAs are advocates for their local communities. Their volunteers and paid staff are local leaders, contributing to the health and prosperity of the City.
  • BIAs invest levies raised from their members to improve public streets, parks and alleyways. BIAs create unique local streetscapes which provide amenity to customers, neighbourhood residents and visitors alike.
  • BIAs establish and maintain the character and identity of their streets, which form a vital part of the Toronto’s image as a diverse, cosmopolitan City.
  • BIA events include many of the City’s most celebrated festivals, drawing millions of visitors per year.

The Corso Italia BIA is made up of a volunteer Board of Management that is in charge of the administration and strategic management of the BIA. The board is responsible for planning and overseeing projects which are then executed by the BIA Coordinator (who is an employee of the BIA).

The Corso Italia BIA receives funds through a special levy paid by businesses and commercial properties within the boundaries. The levy is determined by assessing the value of each property and is collected by the City which then returns the funds to the BIA to manage.

A Business Improvement Area (BIA) is a commercial area within defined boundaries where business owners have combined efforts to enhance and promote the area. BIAs help identify, create, and highlight the individual characteristics of a neighbourhood, showcasing what makes it special. Through targeted marketing, BIAs help their members better compete in an age of shopping malls and big-box retailing.

Working together as a BIA, local businesses and community stakeholders “become catalysts for civic improvements, ultimately enhancing the business climate and quality of life of the neighbourhood.”

The Corso Italia BIA is located on St. Clair Avenue West between Westmount Avenue to the east and extends west past Lansdowne Avenue to the Joseph J. Piccininni Community Centre. It’s rich history and diverse mix of shops, restaurants, cafés, and services make Corso Italia an ideal place to shop, visit, and live.

The Corso Italia BIA’s mandate is to beautify, maintain and help make safe the public realm, as well as promote the business community and the neighbourhood as a whole. The BIA works in partnership with the City to create a thriving, competitive area to run a small business, and a safe business community that attracts shoppers, diners, tourists, and new businesses.

You can join our mailing list here and follow us on social media—you can find us on Facebook and Instagram @CorsoItaliaBIA and on Twitter @CorsoItaliaTO. We look forward to seeing you!