As I write this note, we have just completed the last of the Riverside BIA’s many annual events. It’s one of the most near and dear to me and, I know, to many of you: the Riverside Antler Breakfast. This event embodies all that is great about this wonderful, warm and hard-working community – our teamwork, our drive and our humanity – always striving for better in all we do, giving back, going above and beyond, and working together to make it happen. In 2017, these efforts have continued to make the Riverside neighbourhood a welcoming place, for people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds.
When this hits your inbox, the Riverside BIA office team will be off recharging for some much needed R&R so we can come back refreshed for another incredible year of public programming and community improvements. I wanted to take this moment to express thanks and reflect on the past year.
First and foremost, I want to recognize and thank our Riverside BIA Board of Directors. They are all local business and/or property owners, and are dedicated volunteers who have invested so much of their time and energy into building this BIA community. Thanks to: Mitch Korman of Korman and Company, who is our long-standing Chair and son of the original BIA founder Jack Korman; Natasha Varjacic, of Nell & Natasha’s Real Estate Homeward Brokerage who is our Secretary; Ryan Nelson of Hullmark Development, who is our Treasurer; Adrienne McRuvie, of Oma Chiropractic & Wellness Centre; Athena Ellinas Towers, of The Opera House; Rosie Little Jeffares, of Quince Flowers; Dave Watson, of Eastbound Brewing Co; Ellen Davidson, of Dimensions Custom Framing & Gallery, and our local Councillor Paula Fletcher.
Also a big thanks to the 2017 members of our Marketing Committee and Streetscape Committee, also all local folks who work, live and/or play in Riverside and who volunteer their time to help support the Riverside BIA’s annual planning and activities and make the magic happen.
RIVERSIDE EATS & BEATS ‘CELEBRATES 150’ was a hit, thanks to the fabulous participation of so many Riverside BIA members; great partners like the Indigenous & Ingenious Show and Sale, our generous sponsors Downtown Automotive Group, BMO, and Hullmark, and a grant from the Government of Ontario’s 150 Celebration Program! Looking forward to another great festival, coming up Saturday, June 2nd, 2018, with some big plans in the works!
RIVERSIDE MAGAZINE shone in 2017 thanks to a fabulous cover, highlighting the illuminated Broadview Hotel (photo credit to Giancarlo Pawelec, graphic design by geocdesign) and some great content by our editorial team. The 2018 Riverside Magazine will take it to the next level – check out the media kit and let us know if you’d like to be a part of this exciting publication!
TKARONTO PAST, TKARONTO FUTURE MURAL was launched in August on the walls of Woodgreen Community Services, thanks to a wonderful partnership with Indigenous artists (pictured above: Odinamaad, Chief Lady Bird and Dave Monday Oguorie) and support from Cultural Hotspot, City of Toronto, StreetART Toronto, Canada 150, Ontario 150, and the Riverside BIA. This mural has brought much meaning and connection to the Indigenous community and we are truly honoured to have this beautiful public art.
RIVERSIDE’S PARTNERSHIP WITH DIGITAL MAIN STREET (DMS) provided lots of benefits to Riverside businesses, with hands-on 1:1 support, access to in-class training and $2500 grants from qualifying businesses to implement digital plans (pictured above at the DMS Camp Tech – from Left: me, Ashley from White Lily Diner, Laura from LabCreative, Jen from Healthy Whey, Sinead from Irish Design House, and Avery from Camp Tech). Thanks to the positive feedback we received from Riverside BIA members, we will be investing in 2018 to bring back the DMS squad for more in-house support – stay tuned!
RIVERSIDE BIA BROUGHT NUIT BLANCHE TO TORONTO’S EAST for the first time, thanks to a partnership with Streetcar Developments, ERA Architects, the City of Toronto, and artists Rosie Little Jeffares, Nadine Bariteau, Calen Schaub, and the Wiggly Artist Collective – featuring five large-scale exhibits, thanks to the support of many local businesses and volunteers.
RIVERSIDE BIA FACADE IMPROVEMENTS completed in 2017 are making the community a brighter place, thanks to investments by Riverside BIA member businesses and the City of Toronto. For example, the BIA celebrated with long-time member, Baird MacGregor Insurance LP, which received a $12,500 grant from the City to support their over $100,000 investment in their facade renewal (pictured above is Baird MacGregor CEO Philomena Comerford at middle, with Councillor Fletcher and BIA Chair Mitch). The City will be inviting a new round of Facade Grant Applications in early 2018 – stay tuned for details!
RIVERSIDE HALLOWEEN was super popular (as always!) and big thanks to Nell & Natasha’s Real Estate Homeward, Jimmie Simpson Rec Centre and all the Riverside businesses that take part to make this an always super fun event (pictured above is David from The Arts Market in Ghostbuster gear)! Can’t wait to see all the creative costumes when the Kiddie Costume Parade is back on October 27th, 2018!