BIA Word Map


Mission Statement

To promote Downtown Kingston! as the hip, vibrant, authentic, and healthy commercial, retail, residential, and entertainment centre of our region, attracting more people to live, shop, work, and gather.


Strategic Plan – July 2017

Downtown Kingston! is a Business Improvement Area (B.I.A.) as described in Sections 204 to 215 of the Municipal Act (Province of Ontario). It is governed by the Board of Management – a Board of the City of Kingston. All property owners and businesses operating within the BIA boundaries (downtown business area) of the City of Kingston are members.

Goal 1 – Marketing

Implement customer-driven programmes that effectively market Downtown Kingston!

(Ex. cooperative advertising, Kingston Buskers Rendezvous, Limestone City Blues Festival, Music in the Park, Pewter Ornament Collectibles, Santa Parade, Movies in the Square, Princess Street Promenades, Art After Dark, Feb Fest, Santa in the Square, social media promotions,  DK! website, retail promotions, Night/Holiday Hours, Canada Day, Shop After Dark, Chef Cooking Demos, #DKShopFest, support of 3rd party community events, Ambassador program, partnerships with Grand Theatre, Rogers K-Rock Centre etc.)

Goal 2 – Municipal Liaison

Effective liaison between member businesses and City Hall.

(Ex. newsletter, minutes, letters to Mayor and City Council, meetings with City Staff and membership, presentations to City Committees and Task Forces – Downtown Action Plan, Big Dig, North Blocks, Kingston EcDev, Tourism Kingston, Chamber of Commerce, Kingston Accommodation Partners, First Capital Place, Springer Market Square, Local Food/Local Chefs, Rogers K-Rock Centre etc.)

Goal 3 – Downtown Environment

Ensure downtown is physically attractive, liveable and "user friendly".

(Ex. flags, flowers, banners, winter decorations, downtown maintenance, beat cop liaison, graffiti program, police volunteers, summer street maintenance crew, liaison with City staff re: walkability, parking, transit, Keep it Clean program etc.)

Goal 4 – Economic Development

Encourage and support economic development initiatives that benefit Downtown Kingston!

(Ex. business growth, retention, recruitment, market studies, residential intensification (Economic Impact Study), land use inventory, property owner liaison, member services, Lure Kit, e-newsletter, solicit participation in DK! programming etc.)

Goal 5 – Advocacy

To be the voice of businesses located in Downtown Kingston! and represent their interests.

(Ex. issues identification, member surveys, liaison with Chamber of Commerce, Kingston Accommodation Partners, Kingston EcDev, Tourism Kingston, Ontario BIA Association, International Downtown Association, City of Kingston, Province of Ontario, Government of Canada etc.)

Goal 6 – Organizational

To operate a professional, accountable, transparent, and credible member driven association.

(Ex. representative Board, broad based Committee structure, member surveys and focus groups, Annual/Spring General meetings, “Round Table” discussions, progressive human resources management - featuring sucession plans, knowledge transfer and talent retention strategies, volunteer management, member communications, strategic planning, continuous improvement, DK! Dashboard measurement, community partnerships etc.)


1. What is a BIA?
A Business Improvement Area 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.

2. Who manages the BIA?
The organization is managed by the Downtown Kingston! Board of Management – a board elected by the membership and appointed by the City of Kingston to oversee the BIA's activities. Downtown Kingston! BIA office has 8 full time employees that work together to carry out the mandate of 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. Downtown Kingston! BIA also receives funding through government grants.

4. How do I become a member?
Membership is based on geography – if you operate a business or own a piece of commercial property within the BIA boundary, you are automatically a member. Map of the BIA  For BIA Members

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. Getting Around

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. You run a number of events in the city – are you looking for volunteers?
Absolutely! Please see Volunteering under the Employement section of the site for details.

10. 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.