By Sean Delaney
As Emery Village grows and matures, time will inevitably bring change to our area. Many don’t know that a group of individuals from our business community continually volunteer their time to help with wide-ranging policy discussions and decision-making recommendations. This incredible collection of civic and community-minded individuals, together with the local City Councillor, as the city’s representative, serve as directors of the Emery Village Business Improvement Area Board of Management. And whether they be Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, or a Board Member, they all play a vital role in this legal and chartered entity, funded mainly through the almost 3,200 businesses in Emery.
As a background, BIAs partner with the City of Toronto to help enhance and promote business areas as safe, vibrant places to do business, unique tourist destinations, and focal points for neighbourhood activity. The administrative oversight and strategic management of a BIA are the responsibility of the BIA Board. Among their duties, BIA Boards oversee the improvement, beautification, and maintenance of municipally-owned land, buildings, and structures in the business improvement area, promote the business improvement area as a business, employment, tourist, or shopping area and undertake safety, security, and crime-prevention initiatives, prepare strategic plans to address BIA issues, and to advocate on behalf of the interests of the BIA businesses.
The list goes on, and these are no small tasks.
Twenty years ago this year, the Emery Village Business Improvement was formed. Its purpose was to help make added improvements to the area, such as beautification enhancements, but, more importantly, to create a Master Plan to support the Emery area and stay focused on shared principles and standards regarding roads, lighting, transit, and development, etc.
The Emery Master Plan was completed and registered with the City of Toronto twenty years ago and has guided and assisted the BIA Board and City planners ever since. And for many of the past years, critical behind-the-scenes meetings and negotiations helping to ensure that our new LRT will serve our residences and BIA member businesses to the fullest extent.
The Emery Board of Management is always fluid in the moment of time, as elections to the Board take place every four years to coincide with Toronto’s municipal election cycle. This year will see some long-term Board members, some with 10 to 20 years of service, saying goodbye. At the same time, we are pleased to welcome the new Board members to the Board and to congratulate the returning members.
So, with much thanks and gratitude, we bid adieu to these long-serving Board members: Tim Lambrinos, BIA Chair- Sylvio Carnovale - BIA Vice Chair, Ralph Shepherd - BIA Treasurer, Harbhajan Dhillon, Tony D’Aversa and Paolo Ricci. With their exemplary contribution, dedication, and long-term commitment to the BIA’s growth and success, there is no parallel.
Volunteerism is one of the most unselfish acts that one can do for our community. These parting gentlemen have always gone above and beyond to help make Emery a better place to work, live and play. And for their guidance, leadership, and vision, we thank them all from the bottom of our hearts.