Downtown Yonge B.I.A.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Executive Vice President
Executive Vice President &
Economic Development Sector Leader
Toronto is the largest city in Canada and the provincial
capital of Ontario. It is located in Southern Ontario on the
northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. With over 2.6 million
residents, it is the fifth most populous city in North
America. Its greater metropolitan area has over 5.5
million residents. Toronto is one of the world’s most
diverse, cosmopolitan cities with 49% of its population born
outside of Canada. It is consistently rated as one of the
most livable cities internationally by the Economist
Intelligence Unit and the Mercer Quality of Living Survey. Toronto is Canada’s commercial capital and
one of the top financial centers in the world. It is the home to the Toronto Stock Exchange and
contains more corporate headquarters than any other Canadian city (including Canada’s five largest
All great cities must have a strong, thriving downtown. The heart of Toronto’s
downtown core, both geographically and socially, is the Downtown Yonge Business
Improvement Area (B.I.A.). Downtown Yonge is Toronto’s premier shopping, business
and entertainment destination. Toronto takes its name from the Huron Indian word
meaning “place of meeting” and with over 52 million people visiting every year,
Downtown Yonge is the place where people come together. Downtown Yonge includes
over 600 retail stores, 150 bars and restaurants, 8 hotels, 4 theaters, and the outdoor
entertainment hub of Yonge-Dundas Square.
DOWNTOWN YONGE BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT AREA (B.I.A.) -
The Downtown Yonge B.I.A. is an
association of business and property
owners who have established as the
heart of business, shopping and
entertainment in Toronto. The
association was formed on June 26,
2001 as a result of the efforts of the former Yonge Street Business and Residents
Associations. Amongst the B.I.A. communities, the Downtown Yonge B.I.A. is very
unique in its strategic vision and is recognized as a world class B.I.A. across Canada, the
United States and other worldwide countries for its leadership and innovation.
The Downtown Yonge B.I.A. has approximately 2000 members made up of commercial
and property owners and tenants of commercial property owners. The funding to
operate the Downtown Yonge B.I.A. comes from an annual special tax levy that the City
of Toronto collects from the commercial property owners and business owners in the
area. The levy is then turned over to the Downtown Yonge B.I.A. for spending in accordance with the
The geographic area of the Downtown B.I.A. is highlighted on the map at right:
The work of the Downtown Yonge B.I.A. is guided by the following mission statement:
“To provide a range of urban experiences””
The vision of the Downtown Yonge B.I.A. is that of being “the place
for a vibrant range of urban experiences that make you part of the
This is an exciting time for the B.I.A. The organization is into the
second year of a four year Strategic Plan (2011-2014). The B.I.A. is
moving away from a role of “improving” the area to that of leading,
creating, and inspiring. Diversity, leadership, and energy are some of
the words that are emerging to capture the essence of Downtown
Yonge. Initiatives underway include:
Winter Magic – Significant investment in spectacular holiday
décor and well-attended events is positioning Downtown Yonge front and center during the
holiday season. Winter Magic is now ripe for partners to capitalize on the unique experiences and
Focus on Subway Stations – Investment continues to be made in private property development
and ground level streetscape improvements. Subway stations at Queen, Dundas, and College are
primary targets. Resources have been put in place to champion revitalization of the stations in
the short, medium, and long term.
Retail Recruitment – The B.I.A. works closely with prospective retailers in connecting them with
vacant space. The B.I.A. has become a resource to the retail leasing field through its published
listing of vacancies and the use of cutting-edge technology that counts pedestrian and vehicular
Investment in the Public Realm – The B.I.A. recognizes that Downtown Yonge is comprised of
smaller and distinct precincts, each with their own characteristics and offerings. The organization
identifies and manages public space projects that enhance and complement current businesses as
well as new developments in the area.
The Downtown Yonge B.I.A. has a staff consisting of 5 permanent employees, 2-part-time staff and 4
consultants whose expertise supports the various mandates of the B.I.A. The Executive Director
reports to a Board of 14 appointed by the City of Toronto. The current budget is approximately $3
million. Like all B.I.A.s in the City, the Yonge B.I.A. was established by the City of Toronto under a
Municipal Provincial Act. The Downtown Yonge B.I.A. operates under the City of Toronto Council By-
Law in accordance with the Municipal Code – Chapter 19.
DOWNTOWN REFERENCES AND RESOURCES
Downtown Yonge B.I.A. Toronto Chamber of Commerce
City of Toronto Ontario Chamber of Commerce
Ontario Provincial Government Toronto Convention and Visitors Association (Tourism Toronto)
Toronto is a single-tier municipality governed by a mayor-council system. The structure of the
municipal government is stipulated by the City of Toronto Act. The Mayor is elected by direct popular
vote to serve as the chief executive of the city. The Toronto City Council is a unicameral legislative
body comprising 44 councilors representing geographical wards throughout the city. The mayor and
members of the city council serve four-year terms without term limits. The Mayor of Toronto has
appointed 2 councilors who represent Wards 27 & 28 to the organization’s Board of Management.
ARTS AND CULTURE
Toronto is a major scene for theater and other performing arts with more than fifty ballet and dance
companies, six opera companies, two symphony orchestras and a host of theaters. The city is home to
the National Ballet of Canada, the Canadian Opera Company, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the
Canadian Electronic Ensemble, and the Canadian Stage Company. Notable venues include the Four
Seasons Center for the Performing Arts, Roy Thomson Hall, The Princess of Wales Theater, the Royal
Alexandra Theater, Massey Hall, the Toronto Center for the Arts, the Elgin and Winter Garden
Theaters, and the Sony Center for the Performing Arts. The Royal Ontario Museum is a major museum
for world culture and natural history. The Toronto Zoo contains a large collection of Canadian,
European, African and contemporary artwork. The Gardiner Museum of ceramic art is the only
museum in Canada entirely devoted to ceramics. The Ontario Science Center always has new
hands-on activities and science displays which are particularly appealing to children.
Toronto is among the world’s top international tourist destinations. More than 10 million
people overnight in Toronto every year – for pleasure, business or to visit friends and relatives.
Around seven million are visitors from elsewhere in Canada. Toronto Eaton Centre is the city’s
top tourist destination with some 52 million visitors annually. Exciting museums, art galleries,
performing arts venues, cinemas, family restaurants, bars and pubs, events and festivals are all
within easy reach. The direct economic spin-off from overnight tourism spending is almost $2
billion yearly. Same day visits are $12.6 million annually. In downtown Toronto, six new hotels –
including the Ritz Carlton, Living Shangri-La, Trump, Four Seasons, Le Germain and Thompson hotels –
have pushed the number of hotel rooms to 14,000 and 4,235 of these are in Downtown Yonge.
Toronto is a major international center for business and finance and is generally considered the
financial capital of Canada. Toronto has a high concentration of banks and brokerage firms on Bay
Street, in the Financial District. The Toronto Stock Exchange is the world’s seventh largest stock
exchange by market capitalization. The five largest financial institutions of Canada are headquartered
in Toronto as are a majority of Canada’s corporations.
The city is an important center for the media, publishing, telecommunications, information technology
and film production industries. The city is home to Bell Media, Rogers Communications, and Torstar.
Other prominent Canadian corporations in the Greater Toronto Area include Magna International,
Clestica, Manulife Financial, Sun Life Financial, the Hudson’s Bay Company, and major hotel companies
and operators such as, Four Seasons Hotels and Fairmont Hotels and Resorts.
An office located in downtown Yonge enjoys all the benefits of
downtown Toronto’s financial district, at highly competitive
rents. Workers can shop, eat, and enjoy the district’s festivals
and events. The solid and growing office sector in Downtown
North and the Financial Core is a captive market for retailers in
the area. About 17 percent of the office workers in downtown
Toronto are located in Downtown Yonge offices. Some 41,000
people come into the district every day.
The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is the third largest public transit system in North America
after New York City and Mexico City. The TTC provides public transit within the City of Toronto.
The backbone of its public transport network is the Toronto subway and RT which includes three
heavy-rail rapid transit lines and a mainly elevated light-metro rapid transit line. The TTC also
operates an extensive network of buses and streetcars. The Government of Ontario also operates
an extensive interregional rail and bus transit system called GO Transit. Canada’s busiest airport,
Toronto Pearson International straddles the city’s western boundary with the suburban city of
Mississauga. There are a number of municipal expressways and highways that also serve the
Downtown Yonge is located at the heart of downtown Toronto, with easy access via subway,
streetcar or private vehicle. For the 1.1 million Torontonians that take public transit – more than a
fifth of Greater Toronto’s population – it’s a major destination. The three subway stations that
serve Downtown Yonge – Queen, Dundas and College – see annual passenger traffic of more than
52 million people. For inter-city transport, the Toronto Coach Terminal provides a regional transit
hub that serves 1.2 million passengers every year. For private vehicles, the district offers 6,414
parking spaces in Downtown Yonge with an additional 6,107 public parking bays within easy
walking distance of the district for a total of 12,521 available spaces for visitors.
Toronto is the only Canadian city with representation in seven major league sports with teams in the
National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, Canadian Football
League, Major League Soccer, Canadian Women’s Hockey League and W-League. Toronto is home to
the Toronto Maple Leafs, one of the NHL’s original six clubs. The city’s major sports venues include the
Air Canada Center, Rogers Center, and BMO field.
Toronto is home to a number of post-secondary academic institutions. The University of Toronto is the
oldest university in Ontario and a leading public research institution. It is a worldwide leader in several
fields including biomedical research. There are a number of additional degree granting colleges and
universities located in Toronto including Ryerson University which is located in the Downtown Yonge
Students are an active part of both downtown Toronto and Downtown Yonge. Ryerson University is a
distinctly urban university and is reshaping the downtown core of Toronto with new buildings and
community investment. The University of Toronto and George Brown College lie just outside the
district and there are numerous smaller educational institutions in Downtown Yonge including: the
Information Technology Institute, Western Town College and the Centre Francophone. The total
number of full-time and part-time students within easy reach of Downtown Yonge is 115,000 and
student retail spending in the district exceeds $308 million a year, mainly on retail merchandise and
The Toronto District School Board operates 558 public schools throughout the City of Toronto. There
are also a number of private and parochial schools located throughout the city. The focus on
education insures employers an extremely high-quality, well trained, and educated
The Downtown Yonge B.I.A. in partnership with several community organizations,
and with the support of city government, business, and residents has created an
exciting and creative downtown experience. Downtown Yonge is a phenomenal
place to live, work and play and is the heart of downtown Toronto!
Some 130,000 residents live within a 20-minute walk of Downtown Yonge and it’s a
community that is growing fast. Downtown Yonge offers more than a retail hub; it
is also a vibrant and diverse district that offers 24/7 activity. Residents are young and highly educated
with high household incomes and sophisticated tastes. There are currently over 5,100 residential units
recently completed in and around the Downtown Yonge boundary. An additional 6,000 units are
proposed, approved or under construction.
LEADERSHIP AND ORGANIZATIONAL PROFILE
The Executive Director of the Downtown Yonge B.I.A. reports to the Board of Management and is
responsible for planning, directing, coordinating and performing the activities associated with the
organization. The Director functions with considerable independence in job related activities and is
held accountable for results.
The Downtown Yonge B.I.A. is in their second year of a four year Strategic Plan (2011-2014). The
present Board requires an Executive Director who is a strategic thinker and has operational and
planning experience. The next Director must be knowledgeable in budget planning and the reading of
financial statements and possess excellent leadership and communication skills. Further assets for
consideration are urban planning experience, understanding of B.I.A. operations, and previous media
FUNCTIONS AND OBJECTIVES
Under the authority of the association's By-laws, the Municipal Code Chapter 19 of the City of Toronto
and the policies of the Board of Management, the Executive Director shall:
Direct and execute all activities of the association either directly or through delegated authority
Provide leadership in these and other areas:
o The creation of strategic, tactical and financial plans;
o Developing goals and measuring performance to the approved goals;
o Organizational development;
o Liaising with City officials, the public, government, affiliated associations and other
o Engages the community and its members through program development;
o Ongoing professional development of the association staff.
The Executive Director reports directly to the Chair of the Downtown Yonge B.I.A. and is:
A director and officer of the association without a vote.
A non-voting ex officio member of the Board, committees, task forces and other member forums
appointed or established by, and accountable to, the Board of Management.
The representative of the association as the employer of paid staff and solely responsible for
establishing compensation and benefits and the hiring and release of the association's employees.
Provide leadership in the development of the association's statement of vision, mission, goals and
the corresponding strategies, business plans, and budgets to achieve them.
Ensure the development of priority plans, performance measurements, management controls and
critical success factors.
Review approved plans and budgets as part of the annual business planning and budgeting cycle
and present recommendations to the Board of Management.
Develop, working with the Board and Committees, the appropriate policy recommendations for
Ensure that an annual business plan and budget are prepared for and presented to the Board
under the timelines provided by the City of Toronto.
Working with the Chair and the Association Management Consultant, propose agendas for the
Board reflecting issues, opportunities and priorities.
Provide an Executive Director's Report at Board meetings as needed.
Develop and maintain an effective staff organization which provides appropriate policy and
program recommendations for consideration by the Board which delivers services, programs and
information beneficial to the members.
Hire, reward, discipline, terminate, and set the remunerations of all association employees except
for the position of Executive Director in accordance with policy and/or approved budgets.
Advocate and champion the association through the ability to synthesize and communicate
complex issues that are relevant to the association at all levels of government as being the voice
for the B.I.A.
Ensure a strong relationship management with members through communication to stakeholders
what has been done, what is being done and what will be done that demonstrates the value of
Participates personally or by delegation, in community activities dealing with issues of concern to
QUALIFICATIONS: SKILLS SETS AND EXPERTISE
Operational and planning experience.
Internal performance management experience in hiring qualified employees to carry out
administrative and operational functions as well as overseeing all internal operations.
Knowledgeable in reading financial statements and budget planning.
Strategic planning experience.
Leadership skills that include motivating and energizing employees through empowerment of
Excellent communication, presentation and speaking skills.
Able to play a leading role as the governing board develops its leadership capacity through strong
executive support to the Board as a whole and to Committees.
Knowledgeable about various aspects of the function of the BIA is an asset.
Government relations experience.
Urban focus understanding how a city runs.
Urban Planning understanding.
Experience in multiple disciplinary teams.
Media training an asset.
Understanding urban environment.
Understanding diversity cultures that make up a geographic area.
Community involvement experience.
Understanding that associations represent both their own organizational entity as well as a
specific geographic area.
The candidate should possess the following leadership competencies:
Managing People and Performance –Manages people to help them achieve full potential and to
attain exceptional individual and team performance.
Leading and Directing – Inspires and leads through clear vision and directions, organizing and
enabling resources and making critical decisions.
Managing and Leveraging Relationships – Invest in relationships to successfully influence and
build shared goals and achieve optimal organizational solutions and results.
Communication and Presenting – Shares ideas and information across diverse audiences and
entities to drive organizational performance and effectiveness.
Strategic Thinking – Attuned to changing dynamics facing the organization; leverages sharp
organizational acumen to develop opportunities and strategies for organizational success.
Analyzing and Deciding/Problem Solving – Makes sound rational decisions by thoroughly
analyzing all aspects of a problem or issue.
Planning and Organizing – Plans and organizes detailed course of action that ensures successful
accomplishment of organizational initiatives and objectives.
Executing for Results – Drives performance through expert management and execution of
organizational plans and activities.
Fostering Innovation and Change – Embraces and promotes innovation and change as a way to
enhance personal, team and organizational effectiveness.
Maintaining Self Awareness and Impact – Maintains objectivity about own self; manages
impact of self on others, and actively learns from experience to maximize positive impact.
Achievement Focus – Strive to reach challenging work and career goals.
Adapting to Change and Stress – Adapts and responds well to change; manages pressure
effectively and copes well with setbacks.
Upholding Standards – Consistently adheres to and upholds clear professional and ethical
standards that complement those of the organization.
Possess a bachelor's degree in a related field of study. Master’s degree preferred. Minimum of 8 years
of professional experience including responsibility for a budget of at least $1 million +. Non-profit
governance experience preferred.
Salary will be competitive and commensurate with experience and qualifications.
Resumes should be sent to any of the following team members:
Executive Vice President, Toronto
DAVID P. SMITH
Executive Vice President
and Economic Development Sector Leader
APPLICATION DEADLINE: IMMEDIATE OR UNTIL THE POSITION IS FILLED.
Created: June 18, 2012
Approved: June 20, 2012