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Toronto’s Village ready for WorldPride: BIA

Group has saved money since moving its office into The 519 Community Centre

The Church and Wellesley Village BIA is finishing the year with a surplus and is ready to welcome tourists this summer for WorldPride. Credit: Flickr
The co-chair of the Church and Wellesley Business Improvement Area says the Village is ready to welcome the world for WorldPride now that it has $6,600 in surplus and a number of "beautification projects" underway on Church Street. 
 
Liz Devine, from Rainbow High Travel, told BIA members at the group's annual general meeting that its board had made some smart financial decisions this year.
 
Last year, the BIA moved its offices into The 519 Church Street Community Centre, which produced a savings of $1,700.
 
“We consolidated a number of our expense areas, including telephone, storage, communications, printing, all of the related operational expenses of the BIA into the contracted suite of services provided by The 519,” says Devine. 
 
The BIA now has a permanent office at the community centre, which saves on wireless internet costs. It also has access to staff and resources at The 519, including for its communications and promotions. 
 
The BIA also received more than $100,000 from the City in 2013 for two special projects: the Church Street Mural Project and its parklets program, which BIA manager David Wootton said may be cancelled before WorldPride
 
The group went over budget on the new rainbow gateway markers by $11,000. Rupert Hon, BIA treasurer, says the markers required unexpected modifications.
 
BIA members approved the group's 2013 audited financials. Check out the BIA’s 2014 budget documents and audited financials.
 
Not included in the BIA’s budget summary is $30,000 in funding which was recently announced by the City. It will be earmarked for expenses related to planning for the Pan Am Games, Hon says.
 
“There are some special funding envelopes available [through the City] for beautification support for special events,” Devine says. “That was just announced. So it does not appear on the summary.”
 
Also at the AGM, Pride Toronto executive director Kevin Beaulieu updated the BIA on WorldPride planning, noting that Pride is also in a good financial position, finishing the year with another surplus.