A non-profit organization, the Yaletown Business Improvement Association (BIA) was established to provide a united, collective voice for our business district. Since 1999 the Yaletown BIA has worked hard to promote and maximize opportunities for the 910 businesses and 536 commercial properties within the BIA geographic area and to ensure that Yaletown remains a clean, attractive, vibrant and safe world-class destination. To accomplish this, the Yaletown BIA organizes its efforts into five key activities:
Keeping the Yaletown business district on a vibrant, economically prosperous course is the Yaletown BIA’s number one priority. The BIA strives to maximize return on investment for both property owners and businesses through advocacy and participation in successful policy and planning partnerships such as the Fair Tax Coalition and the Metro Core Jobs and Economic Land Use Plan (C.O.R.E.). The Yaletown BIA also works with the City to develop by-laws and policies concerning patio operations, extended business hours, protection of commercial zoning, parking enforcement, illegal dumping policies and dumpster management.
The Yaletown BIA and the Vancouver Economic Development Council worked together to put together Vancouver Market Area Profiles. The Yaletown BIA is working on getting a new market profile, which will be posted here when available.
Fair Tax Coalition
The YBIA is an important and vocal member of the Fair Tax Coalition, which represents our members’ property tax concerns to City and Provincial leaders. The YBIA’s participation in the Fair Tax Coalition has created real results for Yaletown BIA members. Consider this:
Impact of the 1% tax shift in 2008
- Businesses will collectively save over $900,000 per year.
- Businesses have already saved $2.14 per square foot in 2005 – 2007.
- Businesses will save $1.05 per square foot in 2008 and beyond.
The Vancouver Fair Tax Coalition (VFTC) is continuing to correct the property tax inequity for business owners in Vancouver. This May, the VFTC is looking forward to Vancouver City Council making the final tax shift. Over the past six years, the VFTC has been active in ensuring commercial property business owners see more equity in property taxes. Since the coalition formed in 2005, more than $136 million in taxes has been shifted.
“There was recognition at City Hall that commercial property taxes were unsustainable and many small employers in Vancouver were being hammered by unfair taxes,” said VFTC co-chair Ed des Roches. “At the same time the tax shift did not dramatically affect residential property owners because tax shifts are spread over a much, much larger number of properties.”
“Our supporters, BIAs, the Vancouver Board of Trade, BOMA, NAOP, private companies and many other organizations realize their support in the VFTC is well placed,” added des Roches.
The VFTC has made Vancouver a better place to live and do business. We believe businesses help define and give character to Vancouver’s neighbourhoods. The VFTC plans to keep working hard on behalf of the business community and the residents of Vancouver to lower commercial property taxes. What’s next for the VFTC? More of the same, that’s for sure! We’ll continue to make sure small businesses are treated fairly.
source: 2011 Vancouver Fair Tax Update
The job of marketing Yaletown encompasses a long list of programs and activities. The Marketing committee of the Yaletown BIA is involved in everything from producing great events and developing targeted advertising opportunities for members, to orchestrating pro-active media relations and producing promotional pieces such as the highly successful Yaletown Map for distribution to locals and visitors.
The marketing program also included the development of the 2010 Winter Olympics Entertainment Zone featuring the Made in Vancouver Performing Arts Festival.
A quick guide to recent marketing successes:
New media efforts to build the “Yaletown community”
- Increased use of social media to connect Yaletown fans beyond the borders of Yaletown
- Google Mapmaker and Apple iOS map business listings
- Continual upgrades to yaletowninfo.com for member businesses to reach new customers
- Long-term media relations activities pay off
Events to attract visitors
- Taste of Yaletown
- Halloween in Yaletown
- CandyTown – A Yaletown Holiday Festival
- Yaletown Shopping Events throughout the year
Industry events to strengthen and create new business relationships
- Restaurant and Hospitality trade shows
- Citywide convention outreach
- Tourism Vancouver Showcase
If you’re in immediate danger or to report a crime, call 9-1-1
Security is a primary concern for the Yaletown BIA in order to keep Yaletown a safe and enjoyable place to work and visit. Through partnerships with Paladin Security, Vancouver Police Department & ICBC, Yaletown remains safe for Yaletown property owners, businesses and customers.
The Yaletown BIA has hired Paladin security personnel to patrol the neighbourhood and to maintain a safe environment. The Yaletown BIA security guards thoroughly scan the activities of the area through Vancouver’s Operation Cooperation. Operation Cooperation is an intelligence sharing group for the Downtown area for the Vancouver Police Department, Transit Police and many security and property management companies.
The Vancouver BIA Partnership and Vancouver Police Department have developed an easy to use manual on business crime prevention. Download a copy: Business Crime Prevention Tips (4MB)
If you have security concerns and would like a security guard to check on your business, please contact the Yaletown BIA at (604) 683-7473.
Please note, the Yaletown BIA’s hours of operation are Mon – Fri, 9am – 5pm.
Beautification is all about keeping the physical environment of Yaletown in great shape to ensure that the area is the best place in Vancouver to work, trade and visit.
In 2011, the Yaletown BIA launched the Heritage Street Furniture Project to commemorate the City of Vancouver’s 125th Anniversary. Utilizing large heritage beams that were recovered from demolition in the Yaletown heritage district, new public art and street furniture is being commissioned for the area to reflect Yaletown’s historic beginnings.
Artists fabricated the street furniture from this reclaimed lumber to showcase the massive size of timber used in this heritage warehouse district. Furthermore, Yaletown’s railway heritage (as the western-most terminus of the CPR and the National Dream) is highlighted in the design of the elements. The incorporation of materials including railway tracks as part of the bench legs, as well as railway spikes, give a visual cue to the neighbourhood’s origins.
Take a stroll down Mainland Street and you’ll discover Chapel Benches, locally designed and manufactured by Wiens Studios. Other benches were designed by Brent Comber Originals Inc and the City of Vancouver Engineering Services.
Yaletown Clean Team
The Yaletown Clean Team are on the streets of Yaletown weekly throughout the year to tidy up around the planters and pick up litter in the area.
If there’s a mess on the streets, please report the issue to the City of Vancouver at 3-1-1. Also, contact the Yaletown BIA at (604) 683-7473 during business hours and we will do the best to accommodate a clean up request within two business days.
Since the Yaletown BIA began in 1999, the street banners program has expanded to cover the entire BIA area. The street banner program includes neighbourhood identification banners (the pink Yaletown banners seen throughout the area), holiday banners in winter and Taste of Yaletown event banners.
Coordinating Filming in Yaletown
Looking to film in Yaletown? Read the guidelines below:
General Filming Guidelines
The City of Vancouver has issued guidelines for filming that all productions agree to follow. These guidelines stipulate film hours as well as a process of notification for the neighbors. A copy of the City of Vancouver Film Guidelines is available from the Vancouver Film Office (604-873-7337) and can be found on the City of Vancouver website here »
Special filming restrictions and late night filming in Yaletown
There are no special or late night filming restrictions in Yaletown. Nevertheless, as Yaletown’s converted heritage district located on Hamilton and Mainland Street between Nelson and Drake Street is both a commercial and residential area, a filming notice to the Yaletown residents affected is required.
General approval procedure
The City of Vancouver Film Office has responsibility for approving film work in any neighborhood of the city. Although location scouts may photograph Yaletown as potential film sites there is no approval granted until an application to film and a location work request has been received and reviewed by the City Film Office. Once the City Film Office gets the application they will ask the Location Manager to get in touch with the Yaletown BIA to discuss the nature of the work to be done.
Yaletown BIA will cooperate with the requested filming activity only if that activity can be proven to not add to already congested streets suffering from construction activity. If the Yaletown BIA has any questions or concerns that cannot be resolved with the Location Manager they should call the Film Office to discuss the issues with the coordinator assigned to the project. The Film Office will make the final decision about the work request.
Ten working days before the day of filming the Yaletown Business Improvement Association as well as Yaletown residents/merchants within and adjacent to the filming location have to be informed by a notification letter. The date, time, and specific areas of filming have to be clearly stated in the letter. If any street space is required the filming companies are bound to contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a Yaletown Street Use Request Form. The form has to be sent to the Yaletown Business Improvement Association at least ten days before the filming takes place.
Yaletown Filming Guidelines
Considering that the old loading docks primarily act as giant sidewalks and provide entrance to many businesses and outdoor patios, it is imperative that filming does not disturb the daily activities of that area. Service vehicles and residents must have access to stores during filming. Delivery areas must not be impacted, so normal business can continue. According to city guidelines police have to be present during the filming to ensure filming takes place in a manner that is safe and non-disruptive to the area. Only Police or others designated by Police have authority to undertake traffic control duties. Police must be on location for:
- Road closures (temporary or long-term)
- Temporary lockups
- Any filming that will affect or interfere with vehicular or pedestrian traffic unless authority has been given to block and detour
- Any other situation where public safety is a concern.
Please notice that street closures due to other major construction projects going on in the Yaletown area may affect the approval of filming applications.
As a thank you to the neighborhood for allowing the film work to occur, the production is encouraged to make a donation to the Yaletown BIA Beautification Fund. This allows the whole area to benefit from the street cleaning, planters and hanging baskets that will be in part paid for by film productions.