About

The Downtown Guelph Business Association (DGBA) is downtown Guelph’s Business Improvement Area (BIA).

What is a BIA ?

Business Improvement Area (BIA) is an association of commercial property owners and tenants within a defined area who work in partnership with the City to create thriving, competitive, and safe business areas that attract shoppers, diners, tourists, and new businesses.  There are over 300 BIAs in Ontario, representing over 60,000 local businesses.  Read more about the history and role of BIA’s in this handbook written by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

What is the DGBA ?

The Downtown Guelph Business Association (DGBA) is a BIA governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. Created in 1972, the DGBA is one of the oldest BIAs in Ontario and recently expanded it’s borders. There are three full time permanent staff and one seasonal staff member (from May to September) that work for the 500+ members that reside within the boundary.

DGBA Boundary Map

 

Board of Directors

The DGBA Board is composed of twelve voting directors who are elected on a four-year term following each municipal election onto a subcommittee board structure. All BIA members are eligible to put their names forward for election. There are also three non-voting positions representing the Guelph Chamber of Commerce, the University of Guelph, and the City of Guelph. Copies of Board minutes are available by contacting the DGBA office.

Executive Committee

Will Mactaggart, Chair- Richardson GMP

What does sitting on the DGBA board mean to you? Sitting on this board is about giving back to the community and helping to shape a downtown where we can all live, work, learn and play.

What is the vision you see for the future of Downtown? I see a mixed community where diverse people of all socio-economic backgrounds come together to enjoy community, culture, commerce, and great food and good drink.

Doug Minett, Treasurer- The Bookshelf

What does sitting on the DGBA board mean to you? Keeping an eye on the strategic vision for building a multifaceted downtown.

What is the vision you see for the future of Downtown? Great mix of animated daytime and nighttime retail and services.

Kevin Polach- Capistrano Bistro & Espresso Bar

What does sitting on the DGBA board mean to you? While I have many of my own ideas and perspectives the most important aspect of being on the Board is that it provides me with the responsibility and privilege of representing the interests and viewpoints of the membership at large.

What is the vision you see for the future of Downtown? I have long believed that the downtown Guelph is truly the beating heart of the City and needs to be viewed as a vibrant place to live, work and experience. It needs to build on the success it has experienced over the years (while so many other downtown’s have struggled and even died out) and truly become a place that all Guelph citizens can be proud of.

Sandy Clipsham- Ward 1 Studios

What does sitting on the DGBA board mean to you? Being on the board means I get to take an active stake in helping Guelph’s downtown to thrive. For 20 years I have been spending a good chunk of my time here, and my hope is that the decisions that I am part of on the board lead to the next 20 years of businesses having no place they’d rather be.

What is the vision you see for the future of Downtown? Downtown is a place that is the beating heart of the city, where day and night there is always something happening that gets people excited. Its public spaces are people-friendly and seamlessly integrate with its commercial core.

Voting Members

 Leanne Caron – City Councillor, Ward 5

What does sitting on the DGBA board mean to you? Downtown is the beating heart of the city. The health of the city as a whole is reflected in the prosperity and vitality of our downtown. I am honoured to be part of a team that is actively working towards growing and promoting our historic downtown.

What is the vision you see for the future of Downtown? Our city growth plan envisions a thriving downtown to live, work, shop, play and more. I see downtown as a place for everyone – seniors, kids, business, institutions, services, residences, arts and culture. My vision includes heritage preservation, more green space, tree-lined streets, more public art, and inviting public spaces, including our new library.

Dan Gibson – City Councillor, Ward 1

What does sitting on the DGBA board mean to you? Supporting the core mandate of the Business Improvement Area in Downtown Guelph is an important part of representing Downtown on the board as well as on City Council. It is a privilege to serve in this capacity.

What is the vision you see for the future of Downtown? My vision is to see a Downtown Guelph that offers a unique experience for residents and patrons that differs from the traditional shopping and dining outlets. One that draws people and energy to the core of our city.

Greg Elliott- The Co-operators

What does sitting on the DGBA board mean to you? Our downtown is an important cultural and economic engine within Guelph, helping foster a sense of community for those who live, work and visit. Serving on the DGBA board provides an opportunity to collaborate with community partners who seek to create a vibrant, safe and engaging downtown.

What is the vision you see for the future of Downtown? A welcoming and vibrant place where people want to live, work and/or visit regularly given the unique shops, restaurants and attractions that it offers.

Nicole Hogg- Atmosphere Cafe

What does sitting on the DGBA board mean to you? Sitting on the DGBA board means utilizing my knowledge as both a business owner and patron of downtown shops over the last two decades. Through a “learned experience perspective”, I can contribute to matters that affect the downtown business community, thereby encouraging positive change in Guelph.

What is the vision you see for the future of Downtown? I envision downtown Guelph as a thriving and diverse hub of locally-owned, independent businesses; a destination for dining, a place for discovering hand-crafted artisan treasures and a centre with the uniquely “Guelph” vision of a supportive and collaborative community.

Tim Plunkett- Speed River Bicycle

What does sitting on the DGBA board mean to you? A chance to understand why things happen the way they do and a chance to help make Downtown Guelph better for everyone (residents, businesses etc…)

What is the vision you see for the future of Downtown? A place people want to live, want to shop and want to dine. A destination.

Kristel Manes- Business Centre

What does sitting on the DGBA board mean to you? I have the opportunity to represent the many small businesses that have started and expanded in Guelph.

What is the vision you see for the future of Downtown? I would like to see a vibrant downtown with zero vacancy rate, flourishing patios and outdoor interest/activities; interesting and engaging business owners successfully operating sustainable, thriving businesses that both residents and tourists enjoy supporting.

Tom Lammer- Old Quebec Street Shoppes

What does sitting on the DGBA board mean to you? It’s a great experience to work with like-minded individuals who have a passion for downtown.

What is the vision you see for the future of Downtown? Downtown Guelph has the potential to be one of North America’s most desirable and top-performing urban centers. Continuing to add people into the neighbourhood through residential intensification, business attraction and retention, improving all aspects of the public realm and capitalizing on our built form and heritage assets, will establish downtown as a place for unique and authentic experiences for all citizens of the City.

Non-Voting Members

Marty Williams- Executive Director, Downtown Guelph Business Association

What does sitting on the DGBA board mean to you? It’s a chance to hear from really smart and engaged people, get advice and direction, and use that to help make Downtown Guelph an even better place.

What is the vision you see for the future of Downtown? A vibrant, vital place that is welcoming to all, with lots of reasons to live, work, and play here.

Marc Petitpas- Chamber of Commerce

What does sitting on the DGBA board mean to you? It comes with the desire, and responsibility, to have an impact in driving awareness to my favourite part of Guelph, our Downtown.

What is the vision you see for the future of Downtown?

 I grew up in Montreal and saw the vibrancy and beauty of Old Montreal based on the architecture of the buildings. When you add a business, entertainment and curb appeal to the mix people aspire to be there. I see Guelph with the opportunity to be that place in our Area.

John Regan- GM Economic Development City of Guelph

What does sitting on the DGBA board mean to you?

It means being connected to the Downtown core to assist in connectivity between City departments and the Downtown BIA membership

What is the vision you see for the future of Downtown?

 A vibrant community hub that is welcoming, safe, prosperous and accessible for all.

Daniel Atlin- Vice President, University of Guelph

 

Downtown Guelph Business Association

2021 AUDIT

Board Meeting Minutes

2021 Minutes

2020 Minutes

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