June 24, 2020

Dear Downtown Yonge BIA members,
The staff and board of the Downtown Yonge BIA are engaged and actively working to support the membership during this time, working closely with the City of Toronto, relevant agencies and other BIAs throughout the city to ensure the health and safety of all our community stakeholders.

We believe our primary role in this time of crisis it to ensure the Downtown Yonge community can access accurate, up-to-the-minute information from the appropriate, expert sources. As stewards of the Downtown Yonge neighbourhood, we are focused on making sure our members and stakeholders can navigate the current situation as quickly and effectively as possible.
Below is a round-up of critical links and resources:
New Updates
New Guidance Documents for Retail Sector
The City has released new guidance documents for the retail sector as they plan their reopenings during phase 2.

Call for Yonge Buzz Submissions- Newsletter Opportunity for Members
We are excited to announce the return of Yonge Buzz, our bi-weekly promotional e-newsletter focusing on all things Downtown Yonge!

Check out the eblast that went out earlier today for more details on this FREE marketing opportunity for all DYBIA members, reaching 2,000+ community members every issue.
City of Toronto announces funds for community services to do more for vulnerable populations
Mayor John Tory announced that approximately $4.97 million will be distributed from the TO Supports Investment Fund to community-based agencies supporting vulnerable populations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the next few weeks, funds will be released to more than 50 community-based agencies to help them continue to provide support to vulnerable communities, including mental health support through enhanced phone support, distributing culturally appropriate prepared meals and food hampers, baby food, traditional medicines, air conditioners, hygiene kits, Wi-Fi hot spots and more.

NEW: Free Webinar for DYBIA Members- De-Escalation during COVID-19-
July 8, 2020 9am-10:30am
As you begin your business reopening plan, it is important to equip your staff with the proper de-escalation tools to ensure a successful reopening.

This webinar is focused on developing your capacity to respond to individuals experiencing distress.

It is particularly helpful for groups working with the public or providing customer service.

In these particularly challenging times, stress levels are higher for everyone. In this webinar, we’ll explore using supportive communication and de-escalation skills in the era of COVID-19.

Other Updates
TTC requiring masks or face coverings as of July 2
Effective July 2, masks or face coverings are mandatory when travelling on the TTC, with the exception of:
  • Children under two years of age.
  • Persons with an underlying medical condition which inhibits the ability to wear a mask or face covering.
  • Persons who are unable to place or remove a mask or face covering without assistance.
  • TTC employees and agents within an area designated for TTC personnel and not for public access, or within or behind a physical barrier or shield.
  • Additional accommodations in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code will also be considered.

The Pink Basket- Free business directory
Is your business providing products or services for the Greater Toronto Area during COVID-19 downtime, that you want the LGBTQ2S+ community to know about?

Businesses operating essential services, online shopping, remote services, delivery, curbside pick up, and such, can post their business on The Pink Basket, a free and simple directory that will help get the word out about your business.

DYBIA 1-pager of Free Programs Available for Members
The Downtown Yonge BIA has created a 1-page infographic sharing 5 programs available to all members for free from the City of Toronto and DYBIA.

City of Toronto opens registration for CaféTO 
The City has released the registration form for businesses who wish to participate in the CafeTO program.

The City has also released a CafeTO Placement Guidebook to help businesses better understand program requirements and other details necessary for the safe and accessible installation of a temporary sidewalk café or curb lane café.

Below you will find the different configurations as part of CafeTO and CurbTO . If your restaurant or bar is interested in having one of these in front of your business, please reach out to bia@downtownyonge.com.
Other Links
Downtown Yonge Resources
Downtown Toronto Drop-In Resource- Updated Changes due to COVID-19- June 9, 2020
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. We will be updating this list regularly as changes arise. Please click here for the list.
Repairs to Sidewalks, Roadway, and Milling & Paving of Yonge St from Gerrard St to King St
The City of Toronto will be repairing sidewalks, roadway, and milling & paving of Yonge St starting in June, 2020. The boundaries of the work are from Gerrard St to King St.

Downtown Yonge At Home- Nature Lovers Guide
We've got another Downtown Yonge At Home guide, this time for the nature lovers out there!

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

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.

Downtown Yonge Initiative: Yonge Locals
#YongeLocals is a campaign we have created to highlight the businesses operating in the Downtown Yonge community and the local Torontonians behind them. Fill out our quick form and have your business highlighted on our social media for free !

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 

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.
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