Policy & Advocacy

IDA Canada

IDA Canada, a national coalition of the International Downtown Association, represents organizations across the country that manage Canada’s business districts, making them vital places in the nation’s identity and key centres of economic wealth. Canadian business neighbourhoods and city cores are varied in form, size and make-up and yet across the country, these business districts play an important role in communities locally, provincially and nationally. The goal of IDA Canada is to unite Canada and lay the foundation of the coalition’s Canadian advocacy and research efforts.

One National Voice: Recovery with Resilience 2020

In One National Voice: Recovery with Resilience, IDA Canada identifies five issues that all downtowns and main streets across Canada face and present program proposals to assist in resolving challenges. The sharing of these documents and the mobilization of all to help address these issues helps to create a clearer, united voice about national issues affecting the downtowns and main streets of Canada’s cities and towns.

Recovery with Resilience (EN) | Pour un Rétablissement Résilient (FR)

IDA Canada Commentary on Proposed Federal Budget 2021 (EN/FR)

2022 Federal Pre-Budget Submission (EN/FR)

One National Voice: Recovery with Resilience is an update to An Urban Agenda 2019 released before the fall federal election outlining five national issues identified as being of greatest importance to all BIAs and SDCs.

2021 Election

IDA Canada believes that business improvement associations and the businesses which comprise them are integral to Canada’s identity. A federal election provides the unique opportunity to pause and ask some important questions to those who are re-offering or allowing their names to stand as MP.

Strengthening Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response
IDA Canada has written to the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers about the value of the downtowns and main streets. Visit the Policy & Advocacy Knowledge Centre library to access past advocacy letters and resources.

Need more COVID-19 updates, guidance and best practices? Visit IDA’s resource page. Additional Canadian-specific resources can be found by logging into IDEA Connection and visiting the National Network of IDA Canada Knowledge Centre library.

National Network of IDA Canada
The National Network provides engagement opportunities, best practice resources and solutions, and advocacy efforts on national matters related to community building and placemaking. Connect with your peers across Canada through a virtual online community and gain access to Canadian-specific electronic resources, toolkits, and best practices. A tiered approach for engagement within the network has been created while transitioning towards full membership with the International Downtown Association (IDA) to capture the passion of placemaking and community building leaders throughout Canada.

To see the benefits of network membership, click here.

Current members of IDA or the National Network of IDA Canada can connect now on IDEA Connection, the global online network of place management professionals. Share best practices, exchange ideas, quickly ask and respond to questions, and connect with peers. To login, use your existing IDA credentials. View this short video for an overview of using the IDEA Connection discussion board and Knowledge Centre library.

If you have questions about becoming active with the National Network or IDA membership, please contact Allison Shashok.

We invite you to view research on Quantifying the Value of Canadian Downtowns and The Value of Investing in Canadian Downtowns and learn about the priorities and strategies of IDA Canada in the Downtown Declaration documents below.


Quantifying the Value of Canadian Downtowns: A Research Toolkit: September 2016
This toolkit is a groundbreaking effort intended to provide a downtown data standard – a common set of data and processes that will help Canadian downtown BIAs/BIDs establish and sustain downtown evaluation and compare progress in downtowns.
Click here to purchase the toolkit


The Value of Investing in Canadian Downtowns Ed. 2: October 2013
The Value of Investing in Canadian Downtowns is a ‘living’ project and the first of its kind examining 17 downtowns across Canada to assess changes in attitudes, perceptions, functionality and performance over time. This project is envisaged to act as a resource for city builders, compiling evidence-based research that illustrates the importance of investing in downtowns. It provides an extensive portrait of the contributions being made by downtown areas across Canada, highlighting innovative approaches to revitalization and efforts being applied across the nation.
Download the report


Downtowns Canada: A Federal Agenda: October 2015
In advance of the 2015 federal election, IDA Canada mobilized 15 cities across Canada to administer an All Candidates Survey. Six cities also hosted Town Hall All Candidate Debates.
Download the report