AirQ Sensors to Measure Air Safety in Roncesvalles Village Businesses

by Digital Main Street   |   February 17, 2021   |   Share this:  

Digital Main Street, in partnership with Roncesvalles Village BIA, is pleased to announce that AirQ has been selected to pilot its air safety monitoring solution as a part of the Digital Main Street Lab program. Funding for this pilot is made available through the Digital Main Street Future Proof program, with support in part from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario). 

As part of the pilot project, AirQ will complete over 400 air quality measurements and 30 air quality audits for the small businesses in Roncesvalles Village BIA. Twenty-five businesses will have their air quality permanently monitored through the installation of custom sensors developed by AirQ. These sensors collect live air safety data, measuring the amount of exhaled air present and can trigger fans or alarms if air safety drops. The presence of exhaled air, measured as CO2 parts per million, can inform businesses of the risks related to aerosol transmission of COVID-19 particles. This pilot will leverage these indoor air safety measurements to support the success and recovery of Roncesvalles local businesses. Businesses with outstanding air safety will be featured on AirQ’s online map.  

The Digital Main Street Lab seeks to pilot projects that help main street small businesses find innovative ways to attract customers. Preliminary air quality testing performed by AirQ has shown that 93% of main street businesses have highquality air. At a time when both staff and customers are hesitant to enter indoor spaces as a result of the risk of COVID-19 transmission, AirQ’s sensors and measurement capabilities provide a data-enabled manner by which to measure and manage the risks caused by poor air flow. While no setting can be deemed zero-risk, ongoing monitoring of air quality is an important step towards the identification of low-risk indoor settings and the ultimate goal of a safe return to indoor activities.   

“The Government of Canada is pleased to support the Digital Main Street platform and see innovative technology pilot studies, like this one with AirQ, to help ensure health and safety and build confidence in our main street businesses,” says the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario. “We are proud to work with Digital Main Street partners including the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA), Communitech, Invest Ottawa and the Regional Innovation Centres to help our innovation ecosystem grow stronger.”   

COVID-19 has presented tremendous challenges to main street businesses. Monitoring air quality could be an important part of the recovery process and we’re excited to test it out through this new partnership with AirQ.”  – John Kiru, Executive Director at the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas 

About Digital Main Street 

Digital Main Street is a program that helps main street businesses achieve digital transformation. The program is built around an online learning platform, structured training programs, and our Digital Service Squad, a team of street-level team members who help main street businesses grow and manage their operations through technology.  

Digital Main Street was created by the Toronto Association on Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) with direct support from the City of Toronto. Digital Main Street is also supported by a group of strategic business partners, including Google, Mastercard, Shopify, Microsoft, Facebook, Intuit QuickBooks, Square, and Yellow Pages. A $42.5-million investment from FedDev Ontario and an additional $7.45 million from the Government of Ontario brought together the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas, Communitech, Invest Ottawa, and the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association to expand the Digital Main Street Platform in order to support more businesses to go digital as a response to the impacts of COVID-19. 

About the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) 

The Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) is a non-profit umbrella organization working with the 85 Business Improvement Areas within the City of Toronto, who in turn represent more than 90,000 business and property owners. 

About Roncesvalles Village BIA 

Roncesvalles Village is an urban community with a unique village vibe that manifests most delightfully along its main street, unexpectedly named after a battle site in Spain. What’s most remarkable is the wide array of well-tended shops and gardens along its 1.8 km stretch; the many marvelous places to meet and eat, and the goodwill among neighbours and shopkeepers that makes awesome things happen here. 

About FedDev Ontario  

For more than 10 years, FedDev Ontario has worked to advance and diversify the southern Ontario economy through funding opportunities and business services that support innovation and growth in Canada’s most populous region. Learn more about the impacts the Agency is having in southern Ontario by exploring our pivotal projects.  

About AirQ  

AirQ is a Toronto-based startup focused on indoor air quality measurement to help companies reduce the infection risks of indoor spaces, and support their back-to-work planning. Launched in August 2020, AirQ has rapidly developed an all-in-one sensor that continuously measures and logs 10 different variables that impact indoor air quality and safety. 


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