What is a Business Improvement Area (BIA)?
A Business Improvement Area (BIA) is an association of businesses within a geographical area, who join together, with the official approval of the City, to promote and stimulate the local economy.
A BIA is managed by a volunteer board which is comprised of property owners, business owners and usually the local member of council. The board's initiatives are funded by a special tax or levy charged to all the property owners in its catchment area..
The Weston Village BIA
Stretching along Weston Road, north to Church Street and south to Wilby Crescent; west on Lawrence Ave to Hickory Tree Rd and east on Lawrence Ave to South Station, the Weston Village BIA, established in 1979 is one of the oldest in Toronto. The business area reflects the cultural diversity of the area and consists of an electic mix of 160 stores, restaurants and professional buildings. The business area also refelects the long and storied history of Weston and there are many second and third generation-owned, family businesses, that are still going strong.
Getting to and From Weston
More than any other period in its recent history, Weston is undergoing enormous change. While it has always been an easily accessible area because of its proximity to the 401 and 400 highways, recent additions to our transit service has made it one of the most accessible areas in Toronto. In operation since 2016, The Up Express, which operates every 15 minutes from a new station at 1865 Weston Rd, south of Lawrence, transports riders to Union Station and Pearson International Airport in 20 minutes.
Developments in the Area
Artscape Weston Common
Championed by Councillor Frances Nunziata, the long awaited completion and official opening of The Weston Common occured on June 5, 2019 to great fanfare and excitement. The project features 369 apartment units (including 27 affordable units), 26 live-work, affordable units for artists, an 8,200 sq. ft. community cultural hub, dedicated to the arts, and an outdoor space for community gatherings. Hailed as one of the best examples of private and public partnership, the development was made possible through an innovative partnership between the City of Toronto, Artscape and a Toronto-based real estate development firm, The Rockport Group.
Artscape is running the cultural hub and with its main tenants Urban Arts and Shakespeare in Action, will bring the kind of arts programming and events that the area has had on its wish list for may years. And, in 2020, the Weston Farmers' Market will return to John Street as part of the Weston Common just in time for its 40th birthday.
Annual Events and Activities
For a small village, Weston ranks up there with the bigger down-town areas in terms of its events. Starting with our 39 year old, Weston Farmers' Market, which runs every Saturday from mid May until the end of October, the market is consistently rated as one of the top 10 markets in the GTA. The annual Weston Santa Claus Parade on the last Sunday in November attracts over 20,000 eager fans and in 2018 celebrated its 40th anniversary.
Three years ago, Weston BIA staged its first Buskerfest to rave reviews. We are now in the mid-planning stage of Weston Buskerfest 2019, which will occur on Saturday, July 20th and feature some of the top street performers in the world.
Streetscaping and Beautification Projects
With the beautiful Humber River as a back drop and numerous historical buildings in the village, ambiance abounds in Weston. To harness those attributes and in anticipation of the role new developments will play in the area, the Weston BIA is currently working on a master plan for the area.
Weston BIA Office
We are a busy BIA and along with a board of directors, we have one staff person who works 4 days per week out of our office at 4 John Street, Unit 3, Weston. John Street runs east off Weston Rd, one street north of Lawrence.
Our office is open from Monday through Thursday from 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.
Phone: 416-249-0691 Fax: 647-775-1158
Get in touch
4 John Street, Unit 3
Monday through Thursday from 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.