What We Do
The Bank Street Business Improvement Area (BIA) is a 15 block shopping district and community that strives to make the area cleaner, safer, and more vibrant. The Bank Street B.I.A. is leading a new spirit of cooperation among property owners, businesses, and the community by providing a range of programs including maintenance, marketing, economic vitality, and physical improvements.
We work with our members to enhance our community. Our initiatives are designed to retain, expand, and attract businesses and investment to improve the downtown environment. We strive to be seen as the premier business, cultural and entertainment destination in the Ottawa Area.
A Brief History
Back in the 19th century, Bank Street, the lively heart of merchant trade, was known as Esther Street, named in honour of canal builder Colonel John By’s wife, Esther. Esther Street was later renamed to Bank Street as it ran between the banks of the Ottawa River and the shores of the Rideau River.
At 70 km in length, Bank Street is the longest street in all of Ottawa and is home to many unique, diverse neighbourhoods. Bank Street is also home to two BIAs!
The Bank Street BIA was founded in 1977, making us the oldest BIA in the city of Ottawa.
Bank Street was revitalized with major reconstruction beginning in 2006.
We’re the proud home of Ottawa’s Village! We officially became the designated Village in 2011. It begins at Nepean and ends at James St and is marked by street signs.
Up until 2013 we used to be called Bank Street Promenade, however we rebranded to better represent the Centretown community and our diverse members.
In 2014 we held Ottawa’s largest free street festival Glowfair! It’s one of Ottawa’s largest outdoor festivals, and spans 10 city blocks and features two main stages. We did it again in 2015, bringing music, art, and fun to the downtown core for our amazing festival! (Psst! We’re planning 2017)
The BIA has 3 full time staff, a board of directors, and a variety of committees made up of our members.
We work in partnership with a variety of non-profits to help improve the quality of life for residents and members. Our latest partnership is with Operation Come Home, who works with, “homeless youth to keep them from becoming homeless adults.”
Representing history, culture, and growth, the Bank Street BIA connects the downtown core to real life. With its close proximity to Parliament Hill, famous Canadian museums and heritage sites, the community of Bank Street attracts residents and tourists alike. We’re a bold and vibrant community, and we’re proud to celebrate our heritage.