BIA News & Updates
'Fall Harvest'  business decoration contest Results
The BIA was very proud to provide the Fall Harvest Décor this year. 

We received a very positive response from you, many residents, customers, and commuters!

We would like to thank all the merchants that participated in decorating their storefronts and added to the welcoming harvest scenery.

With the holiday season fast approaching, we would like to encourage all businesses to decorate their storefronts and windows and contribute to the festive atmosphere.

Let's welcome in our fellow Ottawans and visitors alike with the best Little Italy has to offer.
Night Lights on Preston Street
The first ever Night Lights brought many people to Little Italy.

Ottawa residents and visitors came out and embraced this free nighttime event that offered guests the chance to interact with uniquely lit art installations. Our goal was to create an event that got people to get outside during November, in one of the dullest, darkest times of the year-and experience Little Italy. The street looked beautiful with the tree lights and the businesses that have added their own décor to their storefronts, and those who came to Preston Street were charmed by our ambience.

Night Lights is a unique Art and Light Festival designed by local artists Dems n Doll.

The event included glow-in-the-dark and illuminated sculptures, glow face painting, a DJ, a fire poi performer, glowing hula hoops, selfie spots and more.

This whimsical event also paid homage to Little Italy's proud heritage by including objects that have been invented by Italians.

Check out the event highlights on our Facebook page here.

The Holiday season has begun in Little Italy

Kudos to those businesses who are decorating for the season!

What a fantastic way to show your holiday spirit.

Keep it up and feel free to send us your pictures for our newsletter and social media channels.


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Board Members Wanted
There is an opening on the Board of the Preston Street BIA. If you would like get involved with planning what your BIA does for the members, we'd love to hear from you. Board Members must attend monthly board meetings on the second Tuesday of the month for two hours, as well as participate in BIA initiatives. Board Members may not advocate for their own business, but must keep the interests of the whole membership in mind. If you are interested in joining the Board, kindly submit an email to, and outline what strengths you can bring to the Board of Directors.

DIY Success Story: Fall Fusion Fashion Show
The Preston BIA Board established the DIY grant program to encourage businesses to work together to create innovative new events that would help meet the unique needs of their business sector. Offering events that get picked up and shared over social media is good for the whole business area, because it keeps "Little Italy" and "Preston Street" in people's minds. It reminds our target customer about what a great destination this is. 

The aim was not just to assist us in ensuring that BIA marketing dollars met the needs of our members, but also to generate activity on our social media channels. Social media is most effective as a marketing tool, when it gets our customers involved in discussing the event, and sharing the information with their friends and networks. Events of this kind are of more interest to specialty bloggers, and are more likely to be picked up and shared by them. Bloggers Chantsy, YOWcitystyle, bernardibeauty, ottstyle all tweeted live from the event and promoted it in advance of the event.  

The businesses involved were: 
The Upkeep Shoppe, Vincent, La Roma, The Moonroom, Raw Pulp & Grind and Hair by Adamo

By the numbers: 
  • Total social media impressions: 6,322
Key Figures 
  • Total reach on Facebook was 1,526
  • Twitter earned a total of 2,862 impressions
  • Instagram earned a total of 1,934 impressions & 143 likes 
  • Facebook Event: 
    • 4.1K Reached 
    • 766 Viewed 
    • 149 Responded 
  • Facebook Video: 1,044 reached, 694 views  
Here is their description of the event:  

A collaborative event featuring your favourite spots on Preston Street in one place for one night only.  

Come for the The Moonroom cocktails and delicious bites by La Roma Restaurant. Get pampered by The Upkeep Shoppe and stay for the Fashion Show put on by Little Italy's only women's clothing boutique Vincent. For those who want to make the healthy choice, enjoy RAW PULP + GRIND juice bar.  

Hair by Adamo will be helping us get our special models read to walk the runway styled and clothed by Vincent 

DJ will be spinning beats all night long. 

Here is their report on the event: 
We had a full house and sold out the full capacity of the venue. The demographic consisted mainly of women interested in fashion, food and fun, Boomers, Millennials and Gen Xers. All businesses benefited greatly from this event. 

There was an excellent vibe and feedback. Many guests encouraged us to do this again. Those of our regulars who could not make it but were aware of the event through word of mouth or marketing have been asking when we will be putting this type of event on again as well. Overall we believe that the Fall Fusion event was a huge success and showcased Preston Street in a very positive way.

To be eligible for the grant, you must fill out the application form, and present your event at the monthly Board Meeting for approval. Board meetings are held the first Tuesday of the month. 

Marijuana Dispensaries in Little Italy
Update: The BIA has just learned that the Police have closed one of the Marijuana Dispensaries on Preston, and is working on the other two.

The BIA Board has been in communication with Yasir Naqvi, our MPP, and the Solicitor General for Ontario. He is very much aware of the concerns of the Membership around the impact on the community of these establishments. Minister Naqvi is currently shepherding a bill through the legislature that would give the police the laws needed to close down illegal cannabis operations, and charge users, and landlords who are supporting these illegal businesses.

As you know, it was the Federal Government that made the commitment to legalize recreational (and medicinal) marijuana. The Province and City had to wait for the federal government to develop rules around cannabis use and sales, before they could develop their own laws.The federal government has now decided it will continue to administer the system for medical cannabis users, in that medical cannabis can only be purchased online or over the phone directly from a federally licensed producer and delivered by secure mail. Medical users can also register with Health Canada to produce a limited amount of cannabis for their own medical purposes, or they can designate someone else to produce it for them. This clarified that medical marijuana could NOT be sold in dispensaries.

Now the Province has to make and enact laws that deal with
a) illegal medical dispensaries;
b) how recreational marijuana will be sold in Ontario only through the Cannabis Control Board CCB (like the LCBO model)
c) At what age will it be permissible to consume recreational marijuana (19);
d) Where it is permissible to use recreational marijuana (and where it is not permitted);
e) What are the penalties? Etc.

The Province has been working on this legislation and it has now presented Bill 174 to the Legislature. It has gone through Second Reading and Minister Naqvi is aiming to have it enacted into law by the end of the year.

Minister Naqvi has asked us to make the Landlords aware that selling marijuana at these retail outlets is not legal, and it will not be legal when recreational marijuana is federally approved for sale on July 1st, 2018. It will only be legally sold through the provincial CCB. He has asked us to advise landlords that there will be serious consequences for those selling marijuana and the landlords that knowingly lease space to them. To read the full Bill 174, click here.

UPDATE: We have received this message from the Ministers Office:

I am writing to let you know that the Government tabled a motion in the House today that, if passed, will establish timelines for the debate of Bill 174. Below is a link to the motion. As you will see, this Bill is being referred to the Standing Committee on Justice Policy, with public hearings scheduled to take place on November 30th from 9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. and from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

If you are interested in presenting, please contact the Clerk of the Committee, Christopher Tyrell at 416-325-3883 or
"Meet Me on Preston" Events Calendar

Our December events print calendar is now out!

If you have an event that you would like on the printed copy of the January Calendar, you will need to have your information submitted by December 5th.

We can add events to the web calendar throughout the month so be sure to make us aware of any special event or promotion you are having. We will also use that information to expand your advertising reach through the BIA social media channels.

If you have an event that you would like listed on the website, please email
Member News & Updates
Happy first year anniversary to Colony VR!
Come help us celebrate our FIRST year in Ottawa!

Please join us for free Virtual Reality demos and real cake!

December 6th, 6:00PM - 9:00PM

Alice In Winterland: Savings for the whole family

Alice is coming to The Gladstone Theatre. Come join her down the rabbit hole and witness The Gladstone transform into a winter wonderland.  Enjoy the classic Alice we all know and love, with a wintry twist. 

From the creators of Freezing: The Musical & The Blizzard of Oz.

Buy your tickets before December 1st and unlock 15% savings with the code "CYBER15"

For more information visit:
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Other News
Ontario Government introducing new initiatives to help small businesses lower costs!

Dear Friends,

I am writing to share with you information about new initiatives that Ontario government is introducing to help small businesses lower costs, create opportunities, and modernize their relationship with government.

The success of small businesses in Ontario is critical. With more than 400,000 small businesses in communities across the province, we know that when they succeed, we all succeed. While our economy is strong and unemployment is at an all-time low, we know not everyone is feeling the benefit of this. Our small business are the backbone of communities everywhere, providing good jobs for families, which is why our government is committed to their success and growth. That is why we chose to focus our efforts on ensuring that we create the conditions for small businesses to succeed, while bringing everyone forward.

As such, through the Fall Economic Statement, we are investing an additional $500 million to help small businesses lower costs, take advantage of new opportunities, and save time when dealing with government. 
Read more

Join the Good Business Collective
As a member of Ottawa's business community, we wanted you to be the first to know about the launch of United Way Ottawa's Good Business Collective - a program that empowers local business owners and entrepreneurs to create meaningful change within the community.

How it works: Join the Good Business Collective for the opportunity to gain instant access to a network of like-minded professionals, along with incentives and resources to help grow your business.

Submit your content for the newsletter to:


Lori Mellor
Executive Director
Preston Street Business Improvement Association
118 A Preston Street, K1R 7P2

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