In the late 1960s the Bloor-Jane-Runnymede Businessmen’s Association concluded that the chief problem it faced was in the raising of funds to carry on its services to the local business community. It developed a scheme whereby the business taxpayers in the area would invite the municipality to collect on their behalf an incremental part of their business taxes and hand it over to the Association to be used by it to improve the local streetscape and to promote that area as a good place to shop.
The Ontario Municipal Act was amended and the Association proposed to the City of Toronto that certain lands in its area become Bloor West Village Business Improvement Area
On September 16, 1970 the City of Toronto, with the approval of the Ontario Municipal Board, accepted the application. thus was created the first Business Improvement Area anywhere in the world. By its 40th anniversary in 2010 there were more than 70 BIAs in Toronto, 240 in Ontario and 400 throughout Canada as well as in some 10 other countries.