The shops of Queen Street need their own brand

On behalf of our BIA’s Board of Directors, I am excited to share our new name with you: The Beach Village. Please rest assured that we are not renaming our cherished neighbourhood – the Beach is still, very much, the Beach.

The Beach Village was launched to create a distinct identity for the business and shopping district along Queen Street East. This new brand comes at a time when our members need our support the most.

We all enjoy and appreciate the natural features in the Beach: our stretch of Lake Ontario, beautiful parks, bike paths and green ravines. There is no shortage of reasons to be active in such a vibrant community.

At The Beach Village BIA, we want to remind people that the Beach has more than great homes and outdoor fun. We have an amazing variety of retail shops, restaurants, health and wellness providers, and professional services at the neighbourhood’s doorstep. We want to encourage residents to rediscover what’s available here.

We are proud to be part of a neighbourhood with a local culture and charm like no other in Toronto. It’s a remarkably friendly place rich in heritage.

Representing more than 300 businesses along Queen Street East, from Lockwood Road to Neville Park Boulevard, this is the longest shopping district in Toronto – covering 23 blocks!

Queen Street East has been formally recognized as one of the best “main streets” in Ontario for its small village feel within our huge city. It’s what attracted many of us to the area; and now we have a new way to talk about it. The places on Queen Street East where we go to shop, eat, feel better, and do business: that’s The Beach Village.

The brand reflects our purpose and renewed commitment to serve the needs of our BIA members, many of whom also live in the Beach. We are passionate about seeing our main commercial area thrive by welcoming residents and visitors alike to experience our unique charm and style.

This brand refresh was not done on a whim. We partnered with BIA member Top Drawer Creative, an ad agency here on Queen Street East. Top Drawer conducted in-depth research, including interviews and surveys with focus groups made up of both BIA members and Beach residents.

The creative strategy behind our business area’s new identity may not have been established in 1793 like the neighbourhood, but it has been crafted with care and reason.

In the coming weeks, you can expect to see and hear more about The Beach Village. By now you may have seen our ad in Beach Metro News, the pressure-washed Beach Village logo on sidewalks created with eco-friendly green graffiti stencils and fold-up maps of the business listings (delivered to local residents and available at retail shops). We will refresh the banners located at major intersections and continue promoting The Beach Village throughout the holiday season.

Stay in touch for the latest news on our website and Facebook page at facebook.com/TheBeachVillageBIA.

Residents are our number one supporters and we recognize your important role in sustaining a healthy economy here in The Beach. Experience the eclectic, diverse offerings of the merchants, restaurants and businesses of The Beach Village. You’ll find absolute treasures in every nook and cranny (along with the happiest dogs in the city).

 

Rick Gabriele is Chair of the Beach Village Business Improvement Area


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11 comments

” Brand refresh”, “Beach Village”, what nonsense is this! This is the Beach. We live in an urban neighbourhood, not a village. It’s not a brand. Please, no logos on my sidewalks or eco-friendly graffiti! How about lower rents for small business operators on the north side of queen? Or less predatory parking enforcement. Beach Village!!!

You want to see businesses thrive? Cut taxes, cut red tape and spending, clean up the streets, clean up the grafitti, give people places to park, let businesses invest in their businesses without having to pay WSIB premiums and city hall bureaucrats to approve their plans and drink coffee, increase the flow of traffic in the city by getting rid of streetcars and replacing them with busses and subways. Get rid of all of the David Miller mess. This initiative is certainly not going to do it.

It won’t stick. It will always be known as the “Beach”.
It didn’t need rebranding.
I’ve been here, in the Beach, over 50 years, and this stuff comes and goes……….and so did BIA’s

This is infuriating! After decades of arguments over if it was The Beach or The Beaches why did we have a vote if someone could just change it without permission from those who live here? They call it a rebranding however Tourist Kiosks downtown are handing out The Beach Village postcards/brochures so people who don’t know better will think that is the areas name and it’s not! If anyone asks me where The Beach Village is I’ll inform them that Toronto has no such neighbourhood!

Can anyone imagine if people in the Bronx or Greenwhich Village woke to find their neighbourhood name had changed on signs, banners and tourist guides?!

I hate the name Beach Village! It isn’t a village! It’s the Beach. How could you change it without asking input from the people that live and shop here? Boo to you!

Well, after a few years of seeing the signs for “Beach Village” along Queen Street, I have to say it’s done the opposite of growing on me. Subconsciously, it seems it’s been almost a year since I shopped on Queen (maybe just to avoid those unfortunate banners) which only recently came out while having coffee with friends when the question was posed ‘when was the last time you shopped on Queen’? Unfortunately, none of us could accurately remember…
The re-branding feels like the Beach has become a cookie cutter neighbourhood, brought to you by the same corporate minds behind Bloor West Village, Davisville Village, Harbord Village, Mirvish Village, etc. You get the picture. I’m actually stumped as to why anyone would think that in making the area sound more generic and manufactured, it would be more attractive.
The Beach has a strong sense of identity and a unique neighbourhood name and this whole situation seems to beg the question, why is money being spent trying to fix what isn’t broken? The Beach BIA has a healthy operating fund, and the money could go to a lot of better uses, so please just give us back the ‘Beach’ we love. Thank you.

The BIA has a poor record of consulting the nearby residents in to their plans or meetings… the proposed changes to Kew Gardens are the best example of this, and there have been a lot of letters in the Beach Metro about this project which is now costing over $1 million dollars, some of which comes from the businesses but most is from the City’s and our taxes.

The BIA is also been pusinh for a review of bylaws on queen to allow more and bigger restaurants and bars…

Don Mills Shopping Centre was renamed “The Shops of Don Mills” – I would like to propose that if they do not want to use the title “The Beach BIA” then advertise “The Shops of The Beach”… and get rid of the dog mascot except for events with kids.

The BIA has a poor record of consulting the nearby residents in to their plans or meetings… the proposed changes to Kew Gardens are the best example of this, and there have been a lot of letters in the Beach Metro about this project which is now costing over $1 million dollars, some of which comes from the businesses but most is from the City’s and our taxes.

The BIA is also been pushing for a review of bylaws on queen to allow more and bigger restaurants and bars…

Don Mills Shopping Centre was renamed “The Shops of Don Mills” – I would like to propose that if they do not want to use the title “The Beach BIA” then advertise “The Shops of The Beach”… and get rid of the dog mascot except for events with kids.

– See more at: http://beachmetro.com/2013/11/21/shops-queen-street-brand/#comment-406391

You added the word “village” that is absolutely NOT NEEDED. It is the Beach. Plain and simple. BEACH. Why was there not a discussion with residents about this? We live here but we are obviously not respected. I have always shopped locally before I think about shopping in other neighbourhoods. I am seriously rethinking this now. If the BIA doesn’t care about our preferences and ideas, we should just go elsewhere with our money. The BIA should have been exploring how to keep our businesses from leaving the Beach.(high rents,etc.). I am so sick of seeing empty storefronts along Queen and Kingston. This should be a priority, NOT a stupid name that no one wants.

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