What is the Fort William Business District Business Improvement Area (BIA)?
The Fort William Business District BIA is a non-profit organization which represents all of the businesses located within its boundaries in the beautiful City of Thunder Bay located at the head of Lake Superior in pristine Northwestern Ontario.
It is governed by a volunteer Board of Management and staffed by a part-time office personnel and full-time maintenance personnel. The B.I.A. is responsible not only for improving the image of an historical area and promoting businesses in the downtown Fort William area, but also for promoting events and lobbying for brown space redevelopment meant to attract new businesses and customers.
The BIA Boundaries are Miles Street in the north from McKellar St to May St. The East side of May Street to Donald St., the North Side of Donald to McKellar St. on the east side and all businesses within that area (excluding Victoriaville Centre tenants).
Our Associate membership boundaries are: Miles Street from Vickers to Simpson Street (Excluding the 100 Block of North Simpson street which is part of the Simpson Street BIA), Simpson Street from Victoria to Arthur Street, Ridgeway from May Street to Vickers Street and Vickers from Ridgeway to Miles and all commercial properties within the boundaries. Victoria Ave & Arthur St. East will extend to Franklin St., businesses on both sides of the street.
Property owners are assessed a levy that is paid with the taxes through the City and then to the BIA to support the mission. Associate members pay a minimal yearly fee directly to the BIA.
The BIA has a two-fold mandate
To promote and enhance the Business Improvement area located in DOWNTOWN FORT WILLIAM and to improve, beautify and maintain public lands and buildings within the BIA.
This statement is mandated by the Province of Ontario.
In support of the mission, your BIA has these initiatives in place:
Market our area as a destination to shop, eat, work, and visit. We have a new website & facebook page. We provide 1/4ly newsletters and email blast to our members. We have designed & printed a new map of all the public parking in our area. We have an annual General Meeting where we invite speakers to discuss member issues (Superior Points, Crime Prevention through Economic Design are just a few). Currently they are located at all of the entrance/exits of Victoriaville Centre and we are working with the Parking Authority to have external signage. Last year we developed a 5 year Strategic plan and met with City representatives to discuss changes to the Official Plan.
We are currently reviewing our promotions and will report back to the BIA the exciting new opportunities heading our way!
We have worked closely with the Thunder Bay Police to ensure we have a safe neighbourhood and contribute to the Eye on the Street Program.
We have a good working relationship with Thunder Bay Police and continue to advocate for safe streets in our area.
Providing customer friendly signage (especially during construction periods) street furniture, planters, hanging baskets, banners, twinkle lights in Parkette.
We provide all the holiday decorations in Paterson Park and on Victoriaville Centre, tree boughs on all of the tree grates, seasonal banners, as well as the angels that line our main BIA boundaries.
We work closely on behalf of the BIA members to ensure that concerns are heard. We have made deputations to Council to encourage them to look at Fort William as an option for the Multiplex. We meet with the Beat Officer and Inspectors to discuss our safety concerns and to learn about upcoming policing initiatives. W also have a BIA representative on the Crime Prevention Council.
Fort William BIA By Laws
Click below to review our by laws. Updated February 2017 (to be ratified at our next General Meeting – Date TBA)