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A Business Improvement Area (BIA) is a provincially legislated association of business people who have joined together to promote, beautify and generally improve the physical area known as the downtown. Those who own/operate a business on commercially zoned property or own a piece of commercial property within the BIA boundary are members of the Downtown Kingston BIA association. The Downtown Kingston BIA was established in 1973. About

2. Who manages the BIA? 

The organization is managed by the Downtown Kingston Board of Management – a board comprised of member businesses, elected by the membership and appointed by the City of Kingston to oversee the BIA's activities. The Downtown Kingston BIA office has 8 full time employees and several seasonal staff that work together to carry out the mandate of the Board. Meet the Board

3. Who funds the organization?

BIA’s are self-funded – activities undertaken by the BIA are funded through a special levy applied to the members of the BIA. Through community partnerships, event sponsorships and multi-level government participation in downtown programming initiatives, the BIA levy is matched by over 4 dollars to every dollar of initial member investment. 

4. How do I become a member?

Membership is based on geography – if you own/operate a business on commercially zoned property or own a piece of commercial property within the BIA boundary, you are automatically a member. Map of the BIA .

5. How many businesses and employees are in the BIA?

We have more than 700 businesses/property owners and nearly 10,000 full and part-time employees. The combined BIA membership is the largest employer in the City, ahead of organizations like CFB Kingston, Queen’s, and KGH. Shop and Dine in Downtown Kingston!

6. How large is the BIA?

We have 5 million square feet of physical space (and growing!) – approximately 4 million is commercial in nature and 1 million is residential. Commercially, Downtown Kingston! is more than two times larger than the Cataraqui Town Centre, the Riocan Centre, the Kingston Centre and the Frontenac Mall combined. Map of the BIA

7. Where do I park?

There are nearly 3000 parking spaces in the downtown core in a combination of on street spaces, surface lots and parking garages, so there are plenty of spots to choose from. Parking

8. Where are the washrooms?

Public washrooms can be found in the Visitor Information Centre on Ontario St. in front of City Hall and inside City Hall itself.

9. Do you accept outside vendors at your festivals?

Outside vendors are not permitted at our festivals as they would be in competition with our member businesses who fund the organization.

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