City council reaches agreement on expansion of Downtown Rideau BIA

Somerset Coun. Catherine McKenney and Rideau-Vanier Coun. Mathieu Fleury proposed a new plan to expand the Downtown Rideau Business Improvement Area (BIA) at city council today, which was approved unanimously.

BIAs are organizations that join together local businesses and property owners, and are dedicated to improving the commercial districts they represent. 

The Downtown Rideau BIA covers part of the downtown core, from the Rideau Canal to King Edward Avenue. That means this particular BIA focuses on improving commercial business in that section of the downtown core, and the plan for expansion proposes that the BIA will cover a larger commercial area.

An older version of the proposal sought to expand the Downtown Rideau BIA to include all of Rideau Street, the NAC, the Bytown Museum and Confederation Park. Coun. Fleury supported this version, while Coun. McKenney did not, and the committee returned to the drawing board, meeting on Mar. 1 to amend the plan.

The new proposal excludes Confederation Park, and sections between George and York Street, and Cumberland Street and King Edward Avenue. Instead, the Downtown Rideau and Byward BIAs will jointly control these areas. Both BIAs are collaborating on a plan on how this joint control will work.

The change also prohibits the Downtown Rideau BIA from approaching any business organizations in Somerset Ward without first alerting coun. McKenney, in order to avoid infringing on territory outside of the agreement.

Link to old proposal map (Document 1):
Note: the new proposal now excludes Confederation Park and the area between George and York Street in the expansion.