August 18, 2021

Helpful Resources for DYBIA Members

New Updates
Proposed new small business property tax class
The City of Toronto will be engaging with the small business sector on the potential creation of a separate property tax class for small businesses in Toronto, which if implemented, could provide a measure of property tax relief for small and Main Street businesses in the city.

The City is looking for feedback on a potential small business tax class, including which businesses may qualify for tax relief, how it will be administered, and how lower taxes can be passed on to business tenants where small businesses do not own their own property.
The City is hosting public consultations where businesses from across the city can have their voices heard and provide feedback. These consultations will be held virtually TODAY, August 18, 7-9pm.
WebEx login details can be found at
Questions submitted in advance are welcomed and can be sent to All City residents are encouraged to have their say by completing the survey on tax relief for small businesses at
Funding Support Available for Ontario Food & Beverage Processors
The governments of Canada and Ontario are partnering to provide funding to help Ontario food and beverage processors improve their operations, increase their competitive edge and adapt to challenges as we move beyond the pandemic. Learn more about program guidelines and how to apply. Applications close September 2, 2021.
Last chance for restaurants to register for City's CafeTO program
Restaurants looking to set up a curb lane café are encouraged to apply at before registrations close on Friday, August 20 at 4:30 p.m. Final installations of approved curb lane cafés will occur in early September. Operators are required to submit a proper Certificate of Insurance and hold a business licence to successfully register. Online registration for sidewalk cafés will remain open through the end of the year, and restaurants looking for a sidewalk café may apply at any time.
Free advertising on Yonge-Dundas Square Billboard for restaurants
We've partnered with Yonge-Dundas Square to offer restaurants a 15sec slot on the YDS screens, on rotation for two days, in addition to a delivery point where people can order local food directly to the square! Sign up here:

Ontario Makes COVID-19 Vaccination Policies Mandatory for High-Risk Settings
To protect vulnerable patients and staff in settings where the risk of contracting and transmitting COVID-19 and the Delta variant is higher, the Chief Medical Officer of Health has issued a directive mandating hospitals and home and community care service providers to have a COVID-19 vaccination policy for employees, staff, contractors, students and volunteers, and for ambulance services to have a COVID-19 vaccination policy for paramedics. The vaccination policy must be effective no later than September 7, 2021, and at a minimum will require these individuals to provide proof of one of three things:
  • Full vaccination against COVID-19;
  • A medical reason for not being vaccinated against COVID-19; or
  • Completion of a COVID-19 vaccination educational session.

DineTOgether restaurant support program accepting registrations
Registrations continue to be accepted for the City of Toronto's DineTOgether program to support the recovery of local restaurants and celebrate Toronto's diverse culinary scene. DineTOgether, part of ShowLoveTO, in association with Founding Sponsor American Express and in partnership with Destination Toronto, will run from September 17 to October 3 to encourage residents to patronize local eateries through a feature menu available by takeout, delivery, patio dining and/or indoor dining. Get more information and register at Registration deadline is August 31.
Free De-escalation training available for street-front retailers
The City of Toronto continues to offer de-escalation training sessions for street-front retailers. The sessions are geared to managers and employees who interact with the general public regularly and would like to learn strategies and skills for communicating with individuals who may be street involved or displaying agitated behaviours. Training is facilitated by the Downtown Yonge BIA and a mental health educator. Learn more and register for free.
Planned Construction for Ontario Line at Yonge & Queen
Metrolinx is sharing plans to manage construction impacts around a new Ontario Line subway station at Yonge & Queen.

The plan includes detours – for both streetcar lines and car traffic – around two small stretches of Queen Street on either side of Yonge, while maintaining important pedestrian connections.
The detours are expected to start in early 2023 and last for about four and a half years.

Downtown Toronto Drop-In Resource- Updated Changes due to COVID-19- July 9, 2021
To keep up with constant changes in the social services sector, we have created a simplified version of the Drop-In Resource that lists the changes in drop-ins around Downtown Yonge during this pandemic. This update includes warming centers, public washrooms and more. We will be updating this list regularly as changes arise. Please click here for the list.
Upcoming Webinars
Web Presence 101 - Ensuring Your Foundation Is Set
August 24, 10 - 11:30 a.m. – Register (Free)

Scarborough Business Association Cyber Breakfast – Keep Your Staff & Customers Safe: A Guide to Reopening
August 25, 9:15 to 10 a.m. – Register (Free)

Scarborough Business Association Online Networking Event 
September 9, 6:30 to 8 p.m. – Register (Free)

Guidelines for Mandatory Mask Usage in Enclosed Public Places

How to Successfully Apply for Government Funding

CaféTO & Expanded Outdoor Dining Program 2021
Watch on Demand (Free)

Business Learning Hub Courses
Register (Pay what you can)

Small Business Centres Ontario
On-going Online Events and e-Learning – Register (Free – $35)
Other Updates
Reopen Safely with Free COVID-19 Rapid Screening Kits
Reopen safely with free COVID-19 rapid screening kits
The City of Toronto has partnered with the Toronto Region Board of Trade to provide free COVID-19 rapid screening kits to help small- and medium-sized businesses of 150 or fewer employees safely reopen.
Eligible businesses can visit to order an initial four-week supply of testing kits and book a time slot for pickup at one of the following four locations:
  • Etobicoke Civic Centre, 399 The West Mall
  • North York Civic Centre, 5100 Yonge St.
  • Scarborough Civic Centre, 150 Borough Dr.
  • Fort York Visitor Centre, 250 Fort York Blvd.
Leading Practices for Reopening of Office sector from Toronto Region Board of Trade
Find COVID-19 safety measures appropriate to your organization in the Toronto Region Board of Trade's database of control measures. They include leading practices that building owners, employers, cities, transit agencies are using to mitigate COVID-19 transmission risk and have been compiled with the input of public health experts from our region. Click here to learn more
Mandatory COVID-19 Safety Plan Checklist for Open Businesses
Under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 a business or organization that is operating is required to prepare and make available a safety plan. The plan must:
  • Describe measures/procedures that have been or will be implemented in the business, place, facility or establishment to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
  • Include measures for screening, physical distancing, masks, cleaning, disinfecting and personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Be in writing and made available to any person for review, on request.
  • Be posted in a visible place to come to the attention of those working or attending the location.

Contact details for Yonge Street Neighbourhood Community Police Officers
The contact details for the Yonge Street Neighbourhood Community Officers have changed.

Parking Violation Penalty Fines for Non-Payment Increasing
On June 1, 2021, Parking Violation Notice (PVN) Penalty fines for non-payment and expired time at a number of Toronto Parking Authority (TPA) parking lots increased from $30 to $75.
The increase comes into effect because in many of the TPA car parks, the $30.00 nonpayment penalty amount is less than the cost to park for an eight (8)-hour period. Therefore, customers were electing to park without paying for parking because the risk and cost of receiving a Parking Violation Notice (PVN) is less than the cost of parking for a full day. Increasing the non-payment fine is meant to promote compliance and fairness so that ALL customers pay for their full parking period.
The change was put in place through an amendment to City of Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 610, Penalties, Administration of, carried by City Council on December 16, 2020.
The parking lots effected by the fine increase in the neighbourhood include:

13 Isabella Street
15 Wellesley Street East
37 Queen Street East
25 Dundas Street East
323 Richmond Street East

Other Links
Downtown Yonge Resources
Bring Back Main Street
DYBIA is one of the nationwide members of the Main Street Action Network in the "Bring Back Main Street" campaign that was announced today by the Canadian Urban Institute. The research and advocacy campaign will look at support for businesses as we recover and emerge from the COVID crisis.

How to Report a Crime Infographic
A reminder that community safety is a shared responsibility for all. Without your reporting, the Toronto Police Service do not know what is going on in the community. If you see something, report it. To see the different ways to report a crime, click here for our How to Report a Crime infographic.
Crime Prevention Tips for Businesses
Toronto Police Service 52 Division has offered some tips for businesses that are having to close their physical stores due to COVID-19.

  1. Ensure locks, alarms and CCTV are operational 
  2. Track inventory and update insurance coverage 
  3. When checking your business, do so during the day. 
  4. Display empty cash drawer in window view 
  5. Leave lights on inside and out 
  6. Tell your business neighbours your plan 
  7. Post emergency contact keyholder information inside the store 
  8. Remove high-value items from window view 
  9. Back up all business documentation 
  10. Report suspicious activity by calling non-emergency line (416) 808-2222 

Downtown Yonge BIA Updates
A reminder to Downtown Yonge BIA members that the Community Engagement Team and the Clean Streets Team are off the street until further notice due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

For any issues or concerns in the public realm, or if you see someone who you believe needs assistance, call 311.

In case of an emergency, call 911.

For the most up-to-date information on the Downtown Yonge BIA, please follow us on social media @DowntownYonge on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
We encourage members to reach out if they have any questions or concerns.
Downtown Yonge Business Improvement Area
T: 416-597-0255