What We Do


The Roncesvalles Village Business Improvement Area (RVBIA) serves to improve business conditions for its members on Roncesvalles Avenue through street beautification, property maintenance, and marketing and promotions. Members include over 270 businesses along Roncesvalles, as well as commercial property owners.

Under the purview of marketing, the RVBIA hosts a fall festival annually:  the Roncesvalles Polish Festival held over two days each September that attracts upwards of 350,000 visitors in a weekend, which now also includes Roncy Rocks! a hyper local event previously run for almost 10 years each June which welcomed around 10,000 attendees.

What is a BIA?


A Business Improvement Area (BIA) is an association of commercial property owners and their commercial tenants within a defined area who work in partnership with the City to create thriving, competitive, and safe business areas that attract shoppers, diners, tourists, and new businesses.

Business Improvement Areas are funded via Commercial Property Taxes:  Commercial property owners (and commercial tenants) located within an established BIA catchment are automatically BIA members. 

By working collectively as a BIA, local business have the organizational and funding capacity to be catalysts for civic improvement, enhancing the quality of life in their local neighbourhood and the City as a whole.

BIAs were first created in Toronto. The world’s first BIA was the Bloor West Village BIA, founded in 1970. (The Roncesvalles Village BIA was created in 1984.)

At the 40th anniversary celebration of BIAs, then mayor David Miller declared BIAs to be “Toronto’s greatest export.” There are hundreds of BIAs in Canada, over 3200 BIDs (Business Improvement Districts) in the United States, and the BIA model is employed in some fashion in dozens of countries around the world.

Who We Are


Our Board of Management is made up of volunteer business owners and commercial property owners along Roncesvalles Avenue. It is supported by community advisors and one staff. Members who are not on the board, but would like to participate are encouraged to join a sub committee.

Roncesvalles BIA Board of Management 2019-2022

Updated July 2022.


Head shot of David Neinstein.

David Neinstein

Chair
HR Committee Chair
Roncesvalles Village BIA

Owner, Barque Smokehouse
299 Roncesvalles Avenue

Adam Langley

Vice-Chair
Streetscape, IT,
Roncesvalles Village BIA

Owner, Welcome Pharmacy
137 Roncesvalles Avenue

Gabby Ouimet

Secretary
Member Outreach Co-Chair
Roncesvalles Village BIA

Retail Manager, Village Juicery
99 Roncesvalles Avenue

Vacant

Treasurer
Roncesvalles Village BIA

 

Andrew Chomentowski

Roncesvalles Polish Festival Committee Chair, Chair Emeritus
Roncesvalles Village BIA

Property Owner
281 Roncesvalles Avenue

Derek Vaz

Social Justice and Anti Racism Committee Co-Chair
Roncesvalles Village BIA

Owner, DVXD
119B Roncesvalles Avenue

Guillermina Buzio

Member Outreach Committee
Co-Chair
Roncesvalles Village BIA

Co-Owner, Bar Bacan
369 Roncesvalles Avenue

Vacant

Roncesvalles Village BIA

Vacant

Roncesvalles Village BIA

Vacant

Roncesvalles Village BIA


Councillor Gord Perks

Board Member ex officio,
Roncesvalles Village BIA

Ward 4, Parkdale-High Park
100 Queen Street West

Community Advisors


Head shot of Rev. Anne Hines.

Rev. Anne Hines

RVBIA Community Advisor
Roncesvalles United Church

Brian Bertrand

RVBIA Community Advisor
Branch Head, High Park Library

Ned Sabev

Roncesvalles Village BIA Advisor
Toronto BIA Office

Sarah Davis

Digital Producer and Social Strategist

Social Justice and Anti-Racism Committee Co-Chair

Tony Cauch

Chair Emeritus
Roncesvalles Village BIA

John Wakulat

Founder and Chair Emeritus,
Roncesvalles Village BIA

Meet Our Staff


Daniele Stoddard

Manager
Roncesvalles Village BIA

Recent Projects


RVBIA History


The Roncesvalles Village BIA was one of the earlier ones established in Toronto. It was formed by the merger of the High Park BIA and the Roncesvalles BIA, each of which covered a few blocks of Roncesvalles Avenue.

The Roncesvalles Village BIA was the result of this merger, which occurred in 1986. The BIA’s founding chair, John Wakulat, served as chair well into the late 1990s and now is Chair Emeritus.

Under the leadership of BIA chair Tony Cauch, the RVBIA’s boundaries expanded to include all of Roncesvalles Avenue and a few nearby properties in 2007.

Beginning in 2003, the Roncesvalles Village BIA created Roncesvalles Renewed, a group comprised of BIA members and interested community members under the leadership of Beautification Committee Chair John Bowker. This group had dozens of meetings with City of Toronto staff in planning the general design of what we see on Roncesvalles Avenue today. The streetscape has been hailed by the New York Times as making Roncesvalles Avenue “one of Toronto’s most engaging strolls.”

John Bowker became chair of the Roncesvalles Village BIA in December 2013. After he stepped down in October of 2015, Vice-Chair Len McAuley assumed the Chair in December 2015 and served until July 2020.

RVBIA Committees


BIA committees are made up of volunteer business and commercial property owners.

Streetscape Committee

This committee is responsible for graffiti removal, gardens, mural creation and general street beautification on Roncesvalles Avenue.  This committee also manages BIA-owned movable assets, such as tents and other event hardware as well as pedestrian lights and other fixed assets on the street. 

Marketing and Promotions Committee

This committee is, dedicated to promoting our businesses, our main street, along with some of the amenities and activities within and nearby Roncesvalles Village. The Roncesvalles Polish Festival (which now also includes Roncy Rocks!) planning committee was formed under the leadership of Andrew Chomentowski, who has chaired the committee for many years.

Member Outreach Committee (MOC)

This Committee strives to update our members on initiatives, grant programs and critical information as it relates to the BIA, small business and the neighbourhood.  In addition to the Member Updates and other emails sent by staff, the MOC schedules regular walks down Roncesvalles where members are invited to join in informal discussions regarding any initiatives in progress or general information the BIA might help with. 

Social Justice and Anti-Racism Committee (SJAR) 

This committee mission is to help remove barriers to equity, diversity and prosperity in our community, particularly for BIPOC, LGBTQ2S+ and other marginalized groups. By creating tools for local businesses, providing access to support and information, and elevating the voices of our marginalized neighbours we hope to continue to build Roncesvalles as a neighbourhood that celebrates unique voices and stands up to racism, hate speech, and social injustice. Co-Chairs Derek Vaz, Sarah Davis and the entire committee are happy to welcome any community member who wishes to participate or provide support; working together is how we achieve these goals.  Learn more…

South End Construction Mitigation Sub-Committee

In anticipation of the reconstruction of the south end of Roncesvalles below Harvard Avenue to maintain TTC tracks and both overhead and underground infrastructure, this committee is working to mitigate the impacts on our businesses.

Strategic Planning Committee

The Strategic Planning Committee identifies goals, objectives and key actions needed to fulfill the mandate of the RVBIA and focus on the most pressing priorities during each four-year term.

Finance Committee

This committee is chaired by the Treasurer of the RVBIA. Its primary responsibilities are managing the BIA’s accounts and developing the BIA’s annual budget. Executive Committee members of the Board of management are members of this committee.

Administration Committee

The Administration Committee is responsible for the following:

  • Human Resources, managing our paid staff
  • IT, preparing and monitoring existing technology, research options and determine best options for future technical needs
  • Volunteer Recognition, honour our many community minded volunteers and engage the community to enlarge and maintain this group.
  • Member and Community Relations, overseeing stakeholder communications, and participating in outreach with our Members and the community, manages newsletters, promotes meet and greets with our Membership.

Contact Us


Phone: 416-537-2701
Emailinfo@roncesvallesvillage.ca


Roncesvalles Village BIA
9 Neepawa Avenue
Toronto, ON Canada M6R 1V1

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