The Danny BIA Brand Expression


A rapidly evolving, 3-kilometre long strip of businesses in Toronto makes up the Danforth Mosaic Business Improvement Area (BIA). The BIA was facing a number of challenges related to encouraging more people to frequent its businesses, yet at the same time, a swiftly gentrifying neighbourhood that surrounds the business strip was looking for a more appealing shopping and dining experience.


We began by understanding of the perspectives and hopes of the wide range of audiences – business owners, residents, and local politicians. It became apparent that what was needed was not just a logo and website, but also a new brand expression, a manifesto for change and a communications platform to encourage dialogue and connections.


Looking to the past we brought back the name “The Danny” from the neighbourhood’s history to use as a marketing moniker. Using this new persona, we crafted a brand story and messaging platform: “Welcome to the Danny. You’ll love what you find here.” A message designed to encourage people to explore the hundreds of independent businesses throughout the BIA.


To help illustrate the wide breadth of businesses that make up the BIA, we took the concept of “mosaic” and reinterpreted it visually. The Danny is represented as a vibrant and dynamic marketplace of hundreds of different goods and services on offer. The communications program was based around building a vibrant online community using a social media-first digital platform, connecting everyone through a new portal website.  With the new tools and communications platform, businesses will have even more ways to let their customers know what they do and, more importantly, that they do it with love.


Brand Activation, Brand Articulation, Brand Auditing