Cleanliness, Amenity, and Maintenance

It’s the little things BIAs do that help define a neighbourhood

By Andrew Seele, November 15, 2019

Photos by Henry Lin, Cameron Bartlett, Antonella Nicaso

Most of Toronto’s neighbourhoods have a subtle, identifying hum to them. Call it a frequency; one that’s there in the street furniture, in the banners that grace the streetlight posts, and planters passed daily without a glimpse – the flowers that get taken for granted and holiday lights in the winter.

It’s a frequency that is set by the businesses and people that call a particular stretch home. But it’s the BIAs that are the curators, quietly updating the cityscape with banners, cleaning unplanned graffiti, shuffling flowers, and grooming the sidewalks, an often tireless exercise in preservation.

“I think it’s important that we make visible changes,” says Carol Jolly, Executive Director of The Junction BIA. “The neighbourhood needs to see these changes happening.”

But subtle. The goal is to create a cohesive look, explains Jolly, who joined the Junction BIA as Executive Director in December after a decade at the Waterfront BIA. She kicked off her tenure with a design contest to replace the hydro pole banners. And this fall the BIA rolled out new tree guards with room for flowers – it’s a new design for the neighbourhood, one that very much fits within the overall “vibe” the Junction is known for.

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