Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) – Board Governance Structure
Mandate and Responsibilities
A Business Improvement Area (BIA) is an association of commercial and industrial property owners and business tenants within a specified district who join together with official approval of the City in a self-help program aimed at stimulating business and improve economic vitality. BIAs are a catalyst for civic improvement and significant contributors to the City’s economy and quality of life.
A BIA is operated by a volunteer Board of Management. Under the City of Toronto Act, 2006, City Council has constituted the BIA Boards of Management as city boards. Among their responsibilities, BIA Boards of Management:
- oversee the improvement, beautification and maintenance of City-owned land, buildings and structures beyond City standard levels;
- promote the BIA as a business, employment, tourist or shopping area;
- undertake safety and security initiatives; and
- prepare strategic plans to address BIA issues.
Board Size and Composition
The size of each Board of Management, and the number of citizen members and Council members on each BIA Board, is set out in the City of Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 19, Business Improvement Areas.
All commercial or industrial property owners and commercial or industrial property tenants within the specified district for a BIA, or the designate of the owners or tenants, may stand for nomination to the Board of Management of that BIA, and the standard residency requirement does not apply. A maximum of 20 percent of the Board may be non-members of the BIA, if the non-members are nominated by a member of the BIA.
Citizens are eligible for appointment to the Board, and eligible to remain on the Board after being appointed, if they satisfy the eligibility requirements for appointment as set out in the City’s Public Appointments Policy, with the exception of the residency requirement.
Appointments Process – BIA Member Election
Citizen members of the Board are elected at the Annual General Meeting of members of the BIA. The names of elected nominees are recommended to the Community Council, within whose geographic area the BIA is located, for appointment. If a BIA is located in the geographic area of more than one Community Council, the names of elected nominees are recommended to City Council for appointment.
City Council or Community Council under delegated authority may refuse to appoint a person elected by members of a BIA, in which case City Council or the Community Council, as the case may be, may leave the position vacant, appoint another person (who is not required to be a member of the BIA) or direct that a meeting of the members of the BIA or the Board be held to elect or select another candidate for Council’s or Community Council’s consideration.
Board meetings are held at least 4 times a year, including the annual general meeting with the members.
No remuneration is paid to members on the Boards of Management.