Press Release

For Immediate Release
April 2, 2009

Toronto wins major convention
97th Annual Lions Clubs International Convention takes place in Toronto in 2014

Toronto, ON - Tourism Toronto announced today that Toronto has won the 97th Annual Lions Clubs International Convention for 2014. The convention to be held from June 27–July 10, 2014 is expected to draw 15,000 attendees from around the world, representing 35,426 total hotel room night bookings and an estimated visitor spending in Toronto of over $20 million. 

“Toronto’s top-notch facilities, attractions and multiculturalism made it an obvious choice for our international convention,” said Joseph Wroblewski, Chairperson, International Convention Committee. “We anticipate being able to provide our delegates with a unique and memorable experience in 2014 because of what Toronto has to offer.”

Just prior to the convention the District Governors Elect, which is a key group of decision makers for the Lions Club International, will hold its annual convention in Toronto. Then on July 6 to kick off the main convention and welcome the group to Toronto, there will be an International Parade of Delegates running south on University Avenue from Queen’s Park, ending at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Toronto growing in stature as a convention destination
In 2008, Toronto was ranked the number one convention city in Canada by North American meeting planners, and one of the top five in all of North America.1

Last year, Tourism Toronto and its partners booked future conventions totalling 513,621 hotel room nights. This translates to $148 million in visitor spending in the Toronto area and is a 19 per cent increase over the previous year. Among those are 14 citywide (using at least three hotels) conventions, which add up to 196,000 future room nights.

Also in 2008, Tourism Toronto booked its largest convention to be held in Toronto, exceeding 25,000 delegates. The American Institute of Architects’ annual meeting will take place in June 2017 and result in 55,000 hotel room nights and an estimated $24 million in visitor spending in the Toronto region.

“Conventions are a vital component of a strong tourism industry,” said David Whitaker, President & CEO of Tourism Toronto. “They provide a solid foundation of business, booked years in advance. Conventions represent job opportunities for our community and great visitor experiences for our guests.”

Strong start in 2009 with five major convention wins
Despite challenges in the global meetings market, Toronto has shown itself to be competitive as a convention destination. In addition to the Lions Clubs International convention, Tourism Toronto has confirmed four other future citywide meetings thus far in 2009:

  • International Society of Arthroscopy, Knee Surgery & Orthopaedic Sports Medicine – May 2013 with 3,300 attendees
  • American Association for Thoracic Surgery – April 2014 with 4,500 attendees
  • National Medical Association - July 2013 with 6,500 attendees
  • American Society of Plastic Surgeons – October 2020 with 6,000 attendees

Also this year, Toronto will welcome approximately 100 groups of 500 or more attendees. Some of the larger conventions taking place in 2009 are:


Group Date (2009) Attendees
Geological Association of Canada/Mining Association of Canada/American Geological Union Joint Meeting May 24–27 6,000
American Industrial Hygiene Association May 26–June 7 10,000
Society of Nuclear Medicine June 9–20 7,000
North American Roller Hockey Championships July 8–27 12,500
American Podiatric Medical Association July 25–
Aug 3
American Political Science Association Aug 30–
Sep 8
American Psychological Association Aug 3–10 15,000
ASAE and the Centre for Association Leadership Aug 10–21 6,750
Association for Operations Management Sep 30–
Oct 9
American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons Oct 9–18 4,000
URJ Oct 31–
Nov 9

About Tourism Toronto
Tourism Toronto, Toronto’s Convention and Visitors Association, is an industry association of more than 1,200 members established to strategically sell and market the Greater Toronto Region as a remarkable destination for tourists, convention delegates and business travellers around the globe.   For more information on Tourism Toronto, please visit

1. Watkins Research Group, Inc., 2008 Meeting and Convention Planners Survey

For more information contact:
Cathy Riches
Corporate Communications Specialist
Tourism Toronto

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