About The Downtown


Downtown is the heart of the City of Pembroke.

Located in Renfrew County’s business district, Downtown Pembroke welcomes people to more than 150 businesses that range from authentic cultural food to unique shops and professional services. Downtown Pembroke welcomes the spirit of entrepreneurship from business owners that have been at the core of main street to new owners who are thriving with new and creative ideas. It’s a small city atmosphere that offers everything you need.

What is a Business Improvement Area?

A Business Improvement Area (BIA) is an association of business people within a specified district who join together, with official approval of the City, to stimulate local business. This association works to draw more customers to the area by investing in attractiveness and promotion.

The Pembroke BIA established in 1976. Two staff are involved with the BIA, which is governed by a Board of Directors. The BIA runs co-operative marketing programs, organizes beautification initiatives and serves the  members with support on planning and development opportunities.

The Pembroke BIA is a member of the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association and Ottawa Valley Tourist Association. In addition, the BIA is an active participant in many community initiatives with partners that contribute to a great quality of life in the region.

A look at our initiatives

Here are some of the things that businesses in the BIA area enjoy as benefits to their membership:

  • Representation at municipal and regional levels on issues of importance
  • Someone to advocate on their behalf to support improvements in the region of their business
  • Beautification efforts to increase seasonal attractiveness of the Downtown
  • Group advertising initiatives that allow businesses to benefit from key promotion at a reduced price
  • Professional development and introduction of new ideas to benefit member businesses

The Pembroke BIA also produces a member-focused newsletter with marketing ideas and opportunities for joint promotional initiatives that are forthcoming, as well as recognizing achievements of fellow members.

Meet Heather Sutherland: Pembroke BIA Manager

Heather is the Manager of the Pembroke BIA.

Heather has been in the position since 2013. She is the individual who coordinates events in the Downtown while also managing the business matters facing BIA members. Heather serves as the spokesperson for the BIA and reports to the Board of Directors.

Heather joined the BIA after being a reporter for weekly community newspaper for just over two years. Her experience being involved in community events and issues was a perfect fit for her role with the BIA.

A graduate of Carleton University with a Bachelor of Journalism, Heather continues to be involved with the Kidney Foundation and Girl Guides of Canada.