Kevin Currie is the Recipient of TABIA’s 2022 Community Builder Award
We are proud to share that our Chairman Kevin Currie was the recipient of the 2022 Community Builder Award from the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA).
The award recognizes commitments made by members of the business community to their Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) and is named after Michael J. Comstock, a long-time board member of the St. Lawrence Market BIA.
The story of Kevin Currie and the waterfront began in the early 1990s.
Rollerblades were a fast-growing trend.
Kevin asked his high school friend Bruce if he wanted to buy a couple of pairs and go out rollerblading. Instead of buying two pairs, they wrote up a business plan on a napkin and bought a couple of hundred pairs.
They started renting rollerblades for visitors to use along the waterfront. Three decades later, Kevin and Bruce are still on the waterfront with their bike shop, Wheel Excitement.
By 2005, Kevin was a well-known businessperson in the area.
He had thoughts on how the business community could be better represented in consultations on several new park and streetscape proposals coming forward for Queens Quay – proposals that would eventually become HTO Park, the Martin Goodman Trail, and Sugar Beach, among others.
When Kevin walked into businesses and told them they needed to start a BIA, they did what he said.
He became the Chairman, and he’s still serving in that role 17 years later.
The Waterfront BIA started as the Queens Quay Harbourfront BIA and focused on the area around the Ferry Terminal and Harbourfront Centre.
With the growth of the area’s business community, the BIA through boundary expansions now represents all four kilometres of Queens Quay – from Bathurst Street to Cherry Street.
The BIA has been a leader in supporting the addition of new festivals, events and public art to the area to draw new visitors.
Other events and festivals over the years that have happened with BIA support have included Gangways Open, the Waterfront Artisan Market, Winter celebrations that included Ice Breakers and Winter Stations, Sugar Shack, an artist-in-residence program, multiple sites for the Cavalcade of Lights, Singing Ambassadors, and this year’s new Smorgasburg Food Market.
The BIA has been the voice for the business community that Kevin wanted it to be. Through its strategic framework work that won a TABIA Award in 2017, the BIA has been a leader in supporting the improvement of underutilized spaces.
Just this year, advancements have been made in planning toward an Under Gardiner Corridor Plan building on the BIA’s Waterfront ReConnect underpass visions and pilots.
And Mayor Tory has added the new Bathurst Quay Signature Waterfront Park at Spadina as a downtown park priority this year – building on work the BIA has done to highlight and promote the possibilities of the Canada Malting Silos and surrounding area.
On the behalf of the whole business community, we thank Kevin Currie for his time and commitment here! And we congratulate him for being TABIA’s 2022 Community Builder of the Year!