Mar 28

OBIAA & TABIA Announce the 2017 National BIA Conference


The 2017 National BIA Conference | Toronto, ON
April 2-4, 2017

The Ontario BIA Association (OBIAA) and Toronto Association of BIAs (TABIA) welcomes the delegates to the Westin Prince Toronto Hotel for the 18th Annual BIA Conference

The Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA) and the Toronto Association of BIAs (TABIA), our many sponsors and exhibitors invite you to join us for the BIA Conference in Toronto, Ontario.  The Conference is presented with the goal of giving BIAs and associate members the opportunity to hear from subject matter experts and network with others that share the same passion for creating a vibrant people-place in their core area.

The theme of this conference is Measuring our Return On Investment (ROI).

The conference will feature keynote speaker, Paul Bedford, former Chief Planner with the City of Toronto, who will inspire attendees with his 45 years of experience in urban planning and planning strategies.  Paul will speak on how to measure the value of a BIA? While there are many traditional performance indicators, his perspective will be personal based on his years of first-hand observation and interaction with BIA businesses across the city of Toronto.

Keynote Speaker, Sarah Millar of FOTENN Consulting and Project Manager for OBIAA/TABIA’s Return on Investment of BIAs Project will present the findings, to date, of this year-long project, including key-findings such as:  BIAs have an incredible ability to drive employment.  From a sample of 162 BIAs across the province we find BIAs that can both attract employees to an area increasing the daytime population by over 800%, to BIAs that account for a significant proportion (ranging from 0.2:1 to 0.9:1) of the jobs in a community.

 Preparing Main Street Business for the Digital Marketplace, Nirvana Champion of the City of Toronto will speak to the delegates on “Digital Main Street”.  This project, soon to be spread to all BIAs in Ontario connects main street businesses to the most innovative digital providers.

Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and the Minister Responsible for Small Business, will bring greetings to the delegates.

The 2017 BIA Conference will also be the platform for Ontario’s Minister Responsible for Accessibility, Tracy MacCharles, to make a major announcement about an innovative new program for businesses across the province.

With more than 20 concurrent sessions, including an interactive mobile tour of the Yonge Lawrence and Uptown Yonge BIAs, this conference will provide delegates will tips, tools and data to aid them in their building capacity and success of their BIA area.

Each year, OBIAA holds their Awards Night and this year, the awards will be held during the “Red and White” Gala.  This awards ceremony will announce innovations from the BIAs across the province while celebrating Canada’s 150th Birthday!

Join OBIAA and TABIA as we measure the success of BIAs, over their 45+ years since formation at the 2017 BIA National BIA Conference.

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2017 BIA Conference Program

Quick Facts about BIAs:

  • The first BIA was formed in Bloor West Village in 1970
  • BIAs are self-funded Local Boards of Council(s)
  • BIAs are governed by the Ontario Municipal Act (Sections 204-216)
  • There are 82 BIAs in Toronto
  • There are approximately 310 BIAs in Ontario (the largest amount in Canada)
  • There are BIAs, BIDs and BIZs across Canada
  • The legislation has inspired “Downtown Revitalization” across the world with BIDs, BIAs and BIZs in many countries around the world, including the US, the Great Britain, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Singapore, India and China


Quick Facts about the 2017 BIA National Conference

  • More than 250 delegates are expected over the 2 ½ days
  • 3 Keynote Speakers
  • 21 Concurrent Sessions
  • 8 Awards will be presented, including the Alex Ling, Lifetime Achievement Award
  • BIA Conference Website



OBIAA is the network that represents unique and vibrant BIAs across Ontario.  The Association, incorporated in 2001, supports and advocates on behalf of its members through the building and nurturing of strong relationships and partnerships.  OBIAA is a leader in the development and sharing of information, tools, resources and best practices, and is the ONE voice on common issues.


TABIA is a non-profit umbrella organization representing the City of Toronto’s 82 Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) who in turn represent over 40,000 small businesses and property owners. BIAs are responsible for the development of their commercial neighbourhoods and are a diverse and vibrant collection of ethnic, historic and business locations, combining to make Toronto a veritable City of Neighbourhoods.


For more information, please contact:

Kay Matthews, Executive Director