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Get to Know Us Focused on the downtown core for decades

Our Mandate

The mandate of Downtown St. John’s is to make the downtown core a more attractive place to live, work, shop, and visit while preserving and enhancing downtown as the dominant commercial centre of St. John’s. We strive to recognize the important balance between the office, retail, hotel, service, and industrial sectors of the area while working to preserve its historic and traditional character. A volunteer board consisting of business owners from our membership directs the activities of the organization to ensure they adhere to our mandate and the board is assisted by our full-time staff.

Our History

Formed in 1966 as a non-profit corporation, and governed by a Board of Management composed of downtown business members, Downtown St. John’s has since been involved in projects with the Heritage Canada foundation and the city of St. John’s (Main Street program from 1985 to 1988). It also played a key role in the development of the Business Improvement Area (BIA) in September 1989. The BIA was established as a self-help mechanism to be organized and operated by the local business community and administered by Downtown St. John’s.

Today, we continue to work with our members to ensure our mandate, as well as their needs and expectations, are met.

Our Funding

The organization is funded by a special tax or levy placed on all business located within a defined boundary known as the BIA or Business Improvement Area.

For more information please view the Downtown St. John’s Bylaw on the City of St. John’s website http://www.stjohns.ca/city-hall/about-city-hall/laws-and-regulations Click on the BIA Downtown Bylaw tab.

Our Constituency

Our membership consists of the following:

  • Accounting: 1.36% by number.  2.85% by assessment by $8,535
  • Associations: 0.05% by number. 0.25% by assessment $750
  • Banking: 3.41% by number. 14.01% by assessment $42,030
  • Bars & Restaurants: 23.60% by number 11.7% by assessment $42,300 (Bars/Lounges $15,600; Restaurants/Pubs $26,700)
  • Education: 0.5% by number. 0.39% by assessment $1,170
  • Hotel: 2.04% by number. 8.25% by assessment $24,750
  • Industrial: 1.36 by number. 4.22% by assessment $12,660
  • Legal: 7.3% by number. 8.99% by assessment $26,970
  • Office: 33.2% by number. 33.68% by assessment $101,040
  • Retail: 20.70% by number. 7.22% by assessment $21,660
  • Other: 6.13% by number. 6.02% by assessment $18,060

For more information on our members, please see our Directory.

Why Downtown St. John’s? Because….

DTSJ Why Downtown Digital