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Tourism Now - October 10, 2012
This summer marked a strong travel season for Toronto. In year-over-year measurements, July and August saw positive results in room nights sold with increases of 1.8% and 2.8% respectively. As can be observed below, over the two months 1,704,331 total room nights were sold, which is 39,166 more than the same two months last year.

Room Nights

Source: Smith Travel Report

Relax, Recharge, Renew reaches a milestone
Last month, our signature Relax, Recharge, Renew program turned four years old! As many of our members and partners know, RRR is a centrepiece of our Corporate Social Responsibility program that provides weekend breaks to parents of children with special needs, every week throughout the year. We couldn’t do it without the generous contributions of our partners in the hospitality community. Recently, we heard from one of the parents who went on a weekend and we want to share it with everyone, so we can all be reminded of how truly appreciative and deserving these parents are:

I just wanted to thank you and Tourism Toronto, for giving my husband and I a wonderful weekend.

The program: "Relax, Recharge, Renew" was such a pleasant surprise, to actually have been a lucky receiver of such a weekend made us feel very grateful. As parents of 11 year old Autistic twins, who were born premature by 3 months, with many, many health issues to follow; it has been a very busy 11 years.

We celebrated our first wedding anniversary, with the boys in the NICU. It was perfect that your weekend fell on our 12th wedding was such a lovely gift to have time alone to enjoy each other's company, laugh, relax, and not have to do anything for anyone.

The hotel location was great. We love the St. Lawrence Market, but can't go as a family, as our son Jack finds something about that place very upsetting. I think it is the acoustics, and the heavy crowds certainly don't help. We enjoyed being able to walk from the Novotel to the market, without any worries or needs needing to be met. The market was bustling with happy shoppers, and Jason and I just enjoyed taking everything in.

The R.O.M. was great - so nice to see the exhibits I'm interested in (I've had my fill of dinosaurs). It was great to ponder and read everything without being dragged here and there, or worrying about losing one or both children.

Dinner at Joe Badali's was very nice. The waiter was very sweet and attentive. It was so nice to have some wine with my meal......we can only go to Swiss Chalet or McDonalds with our boys....they have many texture & food issues, and cannot sit still, so we haven't graduated from these places yet. Hopefully soon.

After dinner, we walked over to see the Mirvish production: "Warhorse". I haven't been to the theatre since the kids have been born. This seems crazy, considering Jason helped found a theatre company in his twenties, that is still producing live theatre. It was great to be out and about with only my husband's hand to hold, on our way to see a show. The puppets were incredible! I found the way the horses were so realistic to be absolutely entrancing....I was so impressed.

Lastly, being driven to and from made a difference as well, as it allowed us to have no responsibilities whatsoever.....I didn't have to think about anything, just enjoy and relax.

We returned home to our children who had also had a great weekend. All in all a very successful weekend - for everyone.

Many thanks to everyone for their kindness and generosity, putting this weekend forward to the disabled community, and Respite services. As parents, we are constantly thinking of, worrying about, advocating for our kids; it's nice to have someone do something for us. Our whole family benefits when Mommy and Daddy are better-rested.

Jason and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts.


You can learn more about the RRR program and how to participate via our website or by contacting Cathy Riches.

New packages launched
TT has developed two exciting new hotel/event/shopping packages for the fall.
  • Grey Cup packages that include hotel and game tickets are now on sale at TT is the only official source for tickets + hotel for this 100th Grey Cup championship on November 25!
  • The Priceless Cities program is a global program for MasterCard (first launched in NYC, London and Toronto), offering cardholders unique privileges while travelling. TT is offering three packages under the partnership: Stylicity (coincides with World MasterCard Fashion Week), TOeats (dining program) and MLSE (Raptors).

Packages will be promoted via the TT consumer e-newsletter, search engine marketing, dedicated e-postcard, social media and our website:

Also, TT is currently developing packages for the upcoming Torontoland Holiday campaign. Click here for the online form for submitting your rates.

Breezing through the Windy City
Team Toronto was back in Chicago last week as TT’s Media Relations team and six members hosted an evening with 25 targeted travel and lifestyle writers, editors and producers including the Chicago Tribune, Windy City Times and several local TV shows.

Glamourous Toronto
TT’s Media Relations team hosted the U.K. version of the popular fashion magazine, Glamour, in early September. The piece explores TIFF, Toronto’s vintage fashion scene, Edgewalk and more.

Brazilian coverage
As a result of a visit pitched by TT during a media mission to Brazil, O Globo ran an extensive blog piece that focuses on Toronto’s culinary story and other highlights, then later ran this slideshow that looks at a range of new and established spots. O Globo is a major daily Brazilian newspaper based in Rio de Janeiro with a print circulation of: 300,000 and online page views of 70 million monthly.

Celebrate Toronto
The American Airlines’ first class in-flight publication, Celebrate Living magazine noted Toronto among its Hot Cities to Visit (and Eat In) Now. Written and designed exclusively for American Airlines’ First and Business Class customers, Celebrated Living is a quarterly available to over 2.6 million discerning customers.

Southern Ontario does family fun
A Waterloo-based writer was recently hosted by TT with her family in tow for a story on the city’s beaches and waterfront. The feature appeared on the cover of the Waterloo Record, as well as in print and online for the Guelph Mercury.
What leaves from Toronto stays in Vegas
A Tourism Toronto Sales team and members are taking Las Vegas by storm during IMEX America from October 8-12. The week started with sponsoring the MPI Hosted Buyer reception where over 250 clients experienced a virtual Yonge-Dundas Square via a floor to ceiling mockup of this Toronto landmark. In total, 40 one-on-one buyer appointments are taking place over three days generating numerous corporate and association leads for our community.

Upcoming Meetings & Conventions (400+ Delegates)

Dates Meeting/Group Name Attendees
Oct 12-21 Licensing Executives Society 1,200
Oct 14-17 Canadian Wind Energy Association 3,000
Oct 14-18 Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers 1,000
Oct 15-17 International Council of Shopping Centers 2,500
Oct 17-28 American Concrete Institute 1,500
Oct 21-25 Canadian Red Cross Society 400
Oct 26-31 Canadian Cardiovascular Society 4,100
Shop the World
October 15 is the date for the Shop the World Tourism Conference, an educational and networking program designed for shopping centre professionals, tourism professionals and retailers who want to learn about working together to capitalize on attracting visitors to their business.

Over the Rainbow
The CBC has conducted a nation-wide search to find the perfect girl to take on one of the most iconic roles of all time - Dorothy, in Andrew Lloyd Webber's new theatrical production, The Wizard of Oz, presented by Mirvish Productions beginning this December.

Tourism industry staff can be in the live studio audience at CBC for its Over the Rainbow show, airing weekly, to choose the final Dorothy. Shows run Mondays at 7:00 on October 15, 22 and 29 at the CBC Building. Contact for details.
Canada’s Hotelier magazine has announced the Pinnacle Award winners for this year – a prestigious honour among the hospitality and food service industry – and Heather McCrory, Regional VP for Central Canada, GM of the Fairmont Royal York and Vice Chair of Tourism Toronto’s Board of Directors, is among that group of special honourees. She has been awarded Hotelier of the Year. The awards will be given out at the annual Pinnacle Awards luncheon on December 7. Congratulations to Heather and her team at the Fairmont Royal York!
Mark your calendar for the Annual Holiday Celebration
TT’s big holiday event for members will be December 17 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Watch for your formal invitation in your inbox soon!

Grab the spotlight
After the summer break, Member Spotlights are back and booking up fast! This is your chance to come in to present your business or service to TT staff so they can, in turn, represent you to clients and media. We want to hear about you, so please email Michael Persaud at for the next available dates.

Welcome new members


Meeting Services
Akrey-Event Planning

Drum Café

Jack Astor’s – St. Lawrence Market

Rosewood Chinese Cuisine

The London Tap House

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Facebook logo Partner page

Facebook logo See Toronto app

Consumer e-Newsletter Consumer e-News

"These days as you dine out among the young gastronauts, it’s clear that Toronto has embraced an era of culinary adventure."

— from "Toronto Gets Hot" Bon Appetit
Events page »

Update your listing »

Tourism Toronto 2011 Annual Report »
Oct 12-14
Global Cabaret Festival
Young Centre – Distillery District

Oct 13-Nov 4
Toronto Chocolate Festival
Various locations

Oct 14
Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon
Nathan Phillips Square finish

Oct 17-21
imagineNATIVE Film & Media Arts Festival
Various venues

Oct 18
Jully Black
Living Arts Centre

Oct 18-28
International Festival of Authors
Harbourfront Centre

Oct 22-26
World MasterCard Fashion Week
David Pecaut Square

Oct 24-31
Church Wellesley Village

Nov 1
Bettye LaVette
Winter Garden Theatre

Closes Nov 4
War Horse
Princess of Wales Theatre

For a complete listing of events, please go to our online events calendar.

Test your knowledge of GTA trivia! With fall and a change in weather upon us we want to know: When the top light in the weather beacon atop the Canada Life Building is flashing red, what does it mean?

Please send your answer to

The photo fans who answered correctly last time were:

Ellen Muir - Residence Inn by Marriott Downtown Toronto
Pamela Brohm - Hampton Inn and Homewood Suites by Hilton, Toronto Airport Corporate Centre
Anne Cunningham - Greyhound Canada
Alysone Will - Absolute Conferences & Events Inc

They all knew that the famous Torontonian in the photograph from the Black Star Collection was the late pianist, Glenn Gould.


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Tourism Toronto is an industry association of more than 1,200 members established to sell and market the greater Toronto region as a remarkable destination for tourists, convention delegates and business travellers around the globe. Tourism Toronto operates in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Culture as Regional Tourism Organization 5. For more information please visit


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