"Over the past month, my team and I have had the opportunity to work with local businesses, residents and advocates, as the community has come together in response to the emergency road work."
Councillor Alejandra Bravo was joined by Mayor John Tory and AnaBela Taborda, Chair of the Little Portugal Toronto Business Improvement Area (BIA), while visiting Dundas Street West, to demonstrate the City of Toronto’s support for local businesses. While there, they encouraged Toronto residents to support small businesses in Little Portugal, which remain open despite repairs, and to support local businesses across Toronto while shopping and dining through the holiday season. After weeks of working closely across City divisions, work has will conclude weeks ahead schedule on Monday afternoon.
On November 24, Toronto Water was investigating a blocked sewer on Dundas Street West and discovered a large void under the TTC tracks. Emergency repair work began immediately, resulting in an unexpected street closure between Brock and Sheridan Avenues. Crews have been working around the clock to make repairs as quickly as possible to restore the road and TTC operations and thanks to their diligence, repair work will be concluding ahead of schedule this week. The emergency closure has limited access along the stretch during a key period for holiday shopping, commerce and gathering.
The City has been partnering with the Little Portugal Toronto BIA to assist area businesses while repairs are made to the street. Direct supports are being provided to local businesses through:
- Digital Main Street (DMS): With funding support from the City, DMS Service Squad staff are coordinating with the BIA to visit local businesses. DMS can provide digital advisory services, grants and free online store development. More information is available on the Digital Main Street website.
- Main Street Innovation Fund: Lula Music & Arts, in partnership with the Little Portugal BIA, received a $50,000 grant to host a concert series designed to attract visitors and shoppers for the holiday season. The Main Street Innovation Fund is part of the Toronto Main Street Recovery and Rebuild Initiative (MRRI) funded by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.
- The City offers several programs and services to support small businesses, local entrepreneurs and main street vibrancy, including Small Business Property Tax Sub-Class which provides a 15 per cent reduction in the municipal tax rate for eligible small business properties. In 2022, approximately 29,020 businesses qualified for the sub-class.
- Toronto Main Street Recovery and Rebuild Initiative: To assist small businesses in Toronto in recovering from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada, through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario is providing up to $18 million for six programs, including the Main Street Innovation Fund. More information is available on the Toronto Main Street Recovery and Rebuild Initiative webpage.
- Free business webinars:The City, with support from the Government of Ontario through the Small Business Enterprise Centre program, offers year-round, free online learning opportunities for entrepreneurs and small business owners, from regularly scheduled seminars such as marketing, tax literacy and e-commerce to large networking events.
More information about supports for small businesses is available on the City’s Business Support webpage.
“I am so pleased to announce that thanks to the hard work of everyone involved, the urgent, unexpected repairs on Dundas West will be concluded ahead of schedule this week. I encourage local residents to continue supporting the small businesses which remain open around the repairs here in Little Portugal. I encourage Torontonians to support the vibrant local businesses and restaurants in Little Portugal this holiday season and am thankful for all the work being done to support the businesses near this impacted stretch of Dundas Street West.”
– Mayor John Tory
“Small businesses are a vital part of what makes Toronto a great place to live, work, invest in, and visit. This holiday season, I encourage Toronto residents to support our local businesses and restaurants across the city, especially in neighbourhoods experiencing challenges, like Little Portugal.”
– Councillor Shelley Carroll (Don Valley North), Economic and Community Development Committee Chair
“Little Portugal is a destination: a vibrant community with some of the best local restaurants, bars, and shops in the city. Over the past month, my team and I have had the opportunity to work with local businesses, residents and advocates, as the community has come together in response to the emergency road work. This holiday season I would encourage all Torontonians to come visit the neighbourhood for some holiday shopping and a delicious meal, and to support the many local and independent businesses that make Davenport so special.”
– Councillor Alejandra Bravo (Davenport)
“Toronto’s small businesses employ tens of thousands of people and are critical to safe and thriving communities. I remind everyone to eat and shop local this holiday season. Our small businesses need your support as we recover from the impacts of COVID.”
– Councillor Chris Moise (Toronto Centre)
Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.
Office of Councillor Alejandra Bravo
City of Toronto