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Church Wellesley BIA considers expansion

Organization reported a $145,102 operating surplus in 2013

The Church Wellesley BIA reported a $145,102 operating surplus in 2013 at the recent annual general meeting. Credit: HG Watson

After reporting a successful year, the Church Wellesley Village Business Improvement Association is eyeing an expansion that could see the organization push up against Yonge Street.

At the BIA’s annual general meeting, at the 519 Church Street Community Centre, chair Avery Pitcher, Michael MacDonell, Stephanie McCracken and George Pratt showed a map of the proposed new boundaries. Though it will be some time before an official boundary change takes place, board members believe there is enough interest in it from nearby businesses to make it happen.

The expansion would come on the heels of a good year for the BIA. The organization reported a $145,102 operating surplus in 2013, exceeding the budgeted projection by more than $25,000, thanks to a significant increase in sponsorship funds. The BIA did spend more money on promotions and events, including making Church Street pedestrian-only on the weekend before Pride, an initiative that cost just over $51,000. According to BIA staff, that weekend is usually quiet, so the street closure drew more people to Church Street.

In 2015, Church Street will close for a number of weekends, including during the Pan Am Games. The games’ Pride House will be located on Church, and a total of $60,000 — including a $30,000 grant from the City of Toronto — will go toward streetscape improvements for the event. Pitcher said the BIA will also try to address the concerns of businesses that might be affected by the street closure.

Sixteen members were elected to the new board, with many rejoining for another term. The board will be approved by city council in early 2015.