Welcome to Fairbank Village
Where community meets…
Since 2007, the Fairbank Village BIA has been committed to making the neighbourhood a more welcoming and successful place to live and do business. In just a few years, the BIA has attracted new business, beautified the area, and created family-friendly events to bring the neighbourhood together.
A culturally diverse neighbourhood filled with shops and restaurants representing flavours and styles from continents such as Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Europe, Fairbank Village is the area along Eglinton Avenue West from Dufferin to Chamberlain, and from Hunter Avenue just South of Eglinton up to Schell Avenue.
The neighbourhood is a short bus-ride away from the Eglinton West subway station, and easily accessible by Black Creek Drive, the Allen Expressway and 401 thoroughfares.
See our upcoming summer event
The BIA is overseen by a voluntary board who take pride in their community and pledge to preserve the neighbourhood through beautification, events, and to promote local businesses. Comprised of approximately 150 local business members, the Fairbank BIA is a collective voice that represents the unique needs of the community, and aims to create a happy and safe environment.
What is a BIA?
A business improvement area is an association of business owners and tenants in a specific area that work in partnership with the City of Toronto to represent their specialized community needs. Through this partnership, BIA’s can effectively attract new, competitive, and thriving business.
By working collectively as a BIA, local businesses have the organizational and funding capacity to be catalysts for civic improvement, enhancing the quality of life in their local neighborhood and the city as a whole.
The first BIA was established in Bloor West Village in 1970, and since then Toronto now boasts 81 BIA’s across the city, representing more than 35,000 businesses, and bringing in a combined $30 million in funding.
What are the benefits of a BIA?
The city of Toronto offers a number of assistance programs to BIA’s to implement mural projects, community festivals, strategic business plans, commercial facade improvements, as well as funds to beautify streets and sidewalks, create marketing and promotional campaigns, and develop crime prevention strategies.
One of the more successful programs offered by our BIA office is the Capital Cost-Share Program, which provides matching funding to our BIA partners for streetscape beautification projects aimed at taming our busy streets and improving the shopability and quality of life in our neighborhoods.
Each BIA throughout the city are members of an umbrella organization called the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA), which encourage the exchange of information, experiences, and ideas among BIA’s. TABIA also advocates on behalf of BIA’s to influence government policy, help obtain funding for programs, and offers discount and savings programs for it’s members, such as preferred Merchant Visa and MasterCard rates.
The village of Fairbank has come full circle in the last 150 years. Starting as a farming village and becoming a booming centre for retail business, we’ve now come back to our roots as a neighbourhood community.
Fairbank Village began in 1835 when 19-year old Matthew Parsons purchased farm-land that encompassed the current-day boundaries from Eglinton to Glencairn, and Dufferin to Keele, and named it Fairbanks Farm. It was here that he started a family and successfully developed the land, so that by the 1860’s families had purchased land from Parsons to create their own farms and homes.
As the community grew, a one-room school house was erected for the community children, and by 1874 the neighbourhoods first community building and business was opened; a post office. Shortly thereafter, a number of hotels and taverns were also built, establishing the need for further local business. By the 1880’s, Fairbank was declared a suburb of Toronto, named “The Highlands,” after it’s steep and winding streets.
Nearing the end of that decade, in 1889, the Toronto Belt Line Company began the development of a commuter railway. Operations started in 1892, but only ran for two and a half years before ceasing all operations. The only remaining reminder of this endeavor is the Beltway Bridge at Yonge and Davisville.
Fairbanks oldest building that remains to this day was built in 1889, the Fairbank Methodist Church, now the Fairbank United Church at Dufferin and Wingold. Neat Fact: The Fairbank Village BIA Logo was depicted from a carving in the brick on the side of the building.
As residents flocked to Toronto’s suburbs in York Township, businesses sprung up along Eglinton Avenue to support them, and in November 1924, the Oakwood Streetcar operated by the Toronto Transit Commission began running from the Gilbert Street Loop (just west of Dufferin) to St. Clair and Oakwood. By 1954, the Eglinton subway station was finished, attracting even more development.
Prior to the subway opening, in 1953, York Township became a recognized part of Metropolitan Toronto, linking all of Toronto’s former suburbs. Since then, the area has changed designation to “The Borough of York,” in 1966, and was absorbed into “The City of York” in 1983. By 1998, the area was amalgamated under the Megacity, which joined all outlying neighbourhoods to the governmental reign of The City of Toronto. The City of York was abolished, and area Members of Council elected into what we now know as the current system of governance. The City of York council and administrative buildings still stand as the York Civic Centre on Eglinton between Keele Street and Black Creek Drive.
The Fairbank Village BIA was formed in 2007 as a way to brighten up the neighbourhood, and has great plans for the future. After the first Flavours of Fairbank summer festival in 2008, where a small number of vendors set up shop in a parking lot, to a partial road closure of Eglinton in 2010, we’ve seen it grow to an entire street closure full of rides and vendors. Flower planters brighten the neighbourhood, and the BIA is regularly attracting new businesses and making Eglinton a destination for everything our residents need.
Board of Management
A property owner in Fairbank Village BIA, Enzo has returned for the 2015 term. He Chairs Board Meetings, overseas various BIA activities and sits ex officio on all Committees.
Taso joined the Board in 2015 as Vice-Chair and has a dream of making Fairbank a community that fosters shopping local. As owner of Stefano’s Sports Bar, Taso has lived in the community most of his life and now sits on the Annual Events and Website, Marketing & Promotions Committees.
Luisa Maria Cancelli
As a first term Treasurer of the board, Luisa is actively trying to move the community forward. A property owner and landlord, she spent most of her young life in Fairbank, and now sits on the Annual Events, Beautification/Streetscaping, Property Owners’ Meeting, Website, Marketing & Promotions committees.
As a founding member of the board, Alex is committed to maintaining the vibrancy of the area for the growing number of families in the community. She is a long-time property owner, and sits on the board as Secretary and the beautification committee.
As a first term member of the board, Vito is determined to learn how to give direction to the future of Fairbank from the inside. He has been in real estate in the area since 1983, and through Vito Auciello Real Estate and Design, he brings his creative mind to the Board to deliver inspiring ideas for the community and aims to keep everyone up-to-date on property development.
Damiano has grown up and owned businesses in Fairbank for most of his life, and now joins the board for his first term. As the owner of Ambassador Carpet Cleaning, and previous owner of Quick Cleaners, Damiano cares about the community and wants to see it thrive by attracting new business and beautifying the area. He sits on the Annual Events and Beautification / Streetscaping Committees.
Councillor Cesar Palacio
Councillor Cesar Palacio of Ward 17 sits ex officio on the Board.
Councillor Josh Colle
Councillor Josh Colle of Ward 15 sits ex officio on the Board.