Alex Ling is a resident of the Annex but a small business owner of the Ling's Importers, a Chinese Gifts and Accessories shop in Bloor West Village in Swansea. Mr. Ling designed (engineered) Canada's first BIA in Bloor West Village before founding the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas. The Association covers over 50 BIAs making it the largest group of BIAs in North America.
The City of Toronto recognizes the importance of BIAs and values their contribution to the city's economic health and well-being. Toronto Economic Development, through its Small Business and Local Partnership office, delivers a variety of programs and services to BIAs. This includes BIA start-up, development and strategic business planning, as well as financial assistance for street and sidewalk improvements, tree lighting, banners and festivals.
More About Alex Ling
Mr. Ling is a founder of the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA), for which he was honored by Mayor David Miller and Councillor Bill Saundercook with the dedication of the Alex Ling Fountain, located at the northwest corner of Jane Street and Bloor Street West. Mr Ling was head of the Toronto Business Improvement Association for 19 years. Everything started in 1965 when Alex Ling led a movement of businesses to counter the threat of new shopping malls to agree to tax themselves to improve the area. Within a decade, more than 150 BIAs were functioning in the province of Ontario. Later on a similar model was used by the city of New Orleans in 1975 to provide extra police protection, and soon in many other cities in North America.
Other significant people in Swansea
, Lucy Maud Montgomery
, John George Howard
, John Ellis, Mark Coe, William Rennie, James Worthington, William Smith Durie
and Jamie Bell