Next summer, the Church Wellesley Village Business Improvement Area (BIA) plans to pilot a partial street closure similar to Celebrate Yonge.
BIA manager David Wootton says an extra $20,000 has been allocated in the 2013 budget, which was released at the annual general meeting Dec 10, to create “parklets” up and down Church Street.
“This is an idea the BIA board is completely behind and they are aiming to get in place for next year,” he says. “We will probably take on a project manager to help with that, a contract person.”
Last summer, Yonge Street was closed to two lanes between Gerrard and Queen, creating additional pedestrian space, green spaces and sprawling patios.
“So we need the extra money to make that happen,” Wootton says. “We are talking landscaping, patios, et cetera.”
If the parklets are successful for 2013, he says, the BIA will likely do it again for WorldPride in 2014. “And we plan to work with Pride Toronto for the upcoming international event.”
In order to afford trying something new in the summer, the BIA is reducing its 2013 budget for the Halloween festival by $10,000.
In 2012, the BIA budgeted $25,000 for the annual fall festival. In 2013, it goes down to $15,000.
To make up the difference, the BIA will be working with the 519 Church Street Community Centre to seek sponsorship for the event, he says.
“Through sponsorship, we will seek out another $15,000,” he says. “This year I was able to bring on $6,000 in sponsorship on my own, and I’m confident those people will come back.”
Halloweek costs approximately $13,000, which includes the street party, promotion and other events through the week.
“Even without sponsorship we could still host the event. Sponsorship allows us to go even bigger,” he says.
[Audited financial statements and 2013 budget are attached below.]
Getting Toronto’s businesses involved in WorldPride
Pride Toronto is reaching out to the business community beyond the borders of the Church Wellesley Village to get the whole city excited about WorldPride in 2014.
Executive director Kevin Beaulieu is inviting all of Toronto’s business associations to a meeting Jan 14 at the 519 Church Street Community Centre to discuss ways to get involved in the international festival.
“Of course we want to engage the local BIA, but of course with the international scope and flavour of WorldPride, and the attention it will bring to the city, means it’s a great opportunity for businesses across the city, particularly those in support of LGBTQ communities, to get involved and become a part of it.”
Rainbow gateway markers installation has begun
Crews have broken ground for the installation of the long-awaited swirling rainbow gateway markers that will soon arrive in the Church Wellesley Village.
The 22-foot signposts, which each cost $87,500, are part of a cost-share project with the City of Toronto. Money for the rainbow markers was set aside in the BIA’s 2012 budget summary.
BIA manager David Wootton says the gateway markers, which will mark the northern and southern borders of the BIA, will be unveiled on Jan 20.