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  • Toronto a hit at PCMA
  • Canada gets recognition as destination
  • Black History Month events

Toronto retained its 10th place ranking in occupancy performance among North America's top 28 cities, up from 13th place two years ago, according to year-end data released by Smith Travel Research. In addition, Toronto retained its 8th place ranking in Average Daily Room Rate, within that same group of 28 cities.
Hotel Occupancy Jan-Dec 2009
City 2008 2009 Change 2008 Rank 2009 Rank
New York 81.9 77.2 -5.7 1 1
Oahu Island 75.0 73.3 -2.3 3 2
San Francisco/
San Mateo
75.3 71.6 -4.9 2 3
Miami-Hialeah 71.4 65.2 -8.7 4 4
Washington 67.0 64.9 -3.1 12 5
L.A.-Long Beach 71.1 64.3 -9.6 5 6
Vancouver 70.1 64.3 -8.4 6 6
Santa Ana
68.7 64.1 -6.7 8 8
San Diego 69.5 63.3 -8.9 7 9
Toronto 67.6 62.3 -7.8 10 10
Boston 66.5 62.2 -6.5 13 11
Philadelphia 65.3 61.7 -5.5 15 12
Seattle 67.9 61.6 -9.3 9 13
Orlando 65.8 60.7 -7.8 14 14
Canada 63.9 59.0 -7.7    
Montreal 62.4 57.9 -7.1 19 15
Denver 63.1 57.9 -8.2 17 15
New Orleans 62.9 57.7 -8.3 18 17
Chicago 63.3 56.6 -10.6 16 18
St Paul
61.9 56.1 -9.4 20 19
Houston 67.3 55.8 -17.1 11 20
USA 60.3 55.1 -8.6    
Nashville 60.4 55.0 -8.9 21 21
St Louis 58.6 54.7 -6.7 25 22
Virginia Beach
55.0 53.2 -3.3 28 23
Atlanta 58.8 53.0 -9.9 23 24
St Petersburg
56.7 52.7 -7.1 26 25
Phoenix 59.4 52.4 -11.8 22 26
Dallas 58.7 51.5 -12.3 24 27
Detroit 55.1 48.0 -12.9 27 28
Source: Smith Travel Research

Mexican Media Take in Wintry Delights
A group of six journalists from Mexico are in Toronto February 3-6 and 9-10 on a joint press tour hosted by Ontario Tourism and TT. The media outlets represented boast a terrific mix of upper-income readers including the major daily newspaper Reforma, Elite magazine,, Open magazine, National Geographic Traveler magazine out of Mexico, and Travesias magazine. The media group will experience Toronto's WinterCity festival as well as arts, culture and shopping.

PCMA Annual Meeting
From January 10-13 Toronto once again dominated the conversation at the PCMA Annual Meeting in Dallas, Texas. Toronto's signature black "Imagine" shirts were impossible to miss as was our highly visible sponsorship and active philanthropy. In its fourth year, the Imaginarium, Toronto's exclusive hospitality suite, played host to over 400 meeting planners. Toronto remains the talk of the show for our unified, visible presence and creative client engagement.

Bollywood Star Draws Massive Media Attention
In mid-December, TT co-hosted an Indian press group with the Canadian Tourism Commission to highlight Bollywood star Akshay Kumar's Olympic torch run in Toronto. Multiple articles in major centres such as New Delhi and Mumbai amounted to total print circulation of over 4 million. Over a dozen television spots also resulted, reaching a further several million people.

The Grey Cup of Conventions
On January 28 Ottawa played host to the annual Canadian Society of Association Executives gathering and Team Toronto was there to work the crowd of association decision-makers and identify new business opportunities. As a Gold Sponsor of the annual CSAE/MPI Dinner, Team Toronto hosted two tables full of clients and members front and centre at the event.

Meetings and Events Media Take Notice
As a result of hosting Mid-Atlantic Events magazine in fall 2009, an article on Toronto's meetings facilities, dining hot spots and cultural attractions has been published in the latest issue of the magazine. The industry publication is read by 26,000 event and meeting planners in the U.S.

TT partnered with the CTC to host Meeting & Incentive Travel magazine at the end of January to tour a range of events spaces and take in attractions and museums. The U.K.-based niche publication appeals to a carefully targeted audience of corporate and association event organizers.

Building the Momentum at Mowat Block
The downtown government hotel sales managers and TT started 2010 off with sweet success at our 4th "Sweet Temptations" Mini Trade Show on January 14. The 100+ government meeting planners in attendance thoroughly enjoyed the interactive event and are looking forward to our return, as we build relationships and their knowledge of Tourism Toronto and our partners.

Association Business Development Goes to a New Level
From February 1-4 the Washington, DC sales team partnered with a number of Toronto facility and hotel General Managers for three days of focused sales calls and key client events. A select group of 20 association CEOs joined TT and the Deputy Head of Mission at the Canadian Embassy Canada for an impressive dinner. The following evening 150 association meeting planners and executives were treated to an evening at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. Elevating the traditional sales mission to the CEO/Executive Director/GM level should provide new inroads into the DC association marketplace.

Hosting Daily News Not for Nothing
TT's Media Relations team recently hosted a New York Daily News writer for a culinary tour of Toronto. The first article published features a recipe from Far Niente's winter menu and an article taking a broader look at Toronto's culinary scene is expected out soon. The Daily News online receives nearly 6 million unique visitors every month.

Canada Wins 2009 Top International Destination of the Year
TT, along with other Canadian CVBs and the CTC, has recently returned from attending the 2009 HelmsBriscoe Annual Business Conference in Las Vegas. With record-breaking attendance of 1900 people, the conference was an action-packed two days of industry networking and recognition. The highlight of the conference was the awards ceremony, which recognizes top HelmsBriscoe associates and industry partners. Canada took home the coveted award of Top International Destination of the Year.

Black History Month Events
Tourism Toronto is again this year presenting a special exhibit of artifacts and photos celebrating generations of African-Canadian heritage in Toronto. The exhibit, curated by historian Dr. Sheldon Taylor, runs from February 10 to March 2 at the Ontario Science Centre in the Proctor & Gamble Great Hall. Admission to the exhibit is included in admission to the Science Centre.

On January 24, the Ontario Black History Society hosted a brunch to kick off Black History Month. For the second year, Tourism Toronto purchased a table and invited local corporate clients to attend and enjoy the event. Approximately 1,000 people attended, including meeting planners in the financial and insurance industry, so the event was an opportunity to build on TT's presence within this market.

Team Chicago Stays Super
On February 7, TT will host its 3rd Annual Super Bowl Party at the ESPN Zone in downtown Chicago. This event is growing in popularity and success, as member participation remains strong and client attendance continues to grow. The family-oriented approach to this event makes it unique in the Chicago market and reinforces the relationships that we are developing among TT, clients and members.

Deep in the Heart of Association Management
From February 10-12 Tourism Toronto will participate for the first time in the AMC Institute Annual Meeting in San Antonio, TX. This gathering of top Association Management Company executives represents an important opportunity for TT to gain a better understanding of AMC client needs and operating trends.

Upcoming Meetings & Conventions (800+ Delegates)

Dates Meeting/Group Name Attendees
Feb 7-9 Allstream - Sales Conference 800
Feb 10-15 Pulse Dance workshop 1,000
Feb 12-14 T.E.C. Inc 1,000
Feb 14-16 Ontario Bar Association 1,800
Feb 27-Mar 5 GeoTec Media 800
Mar 1-8 Skate Canada - Synchronized Championships 3,000

Order of Ontario
CEO of the National Post and Tourism Toronto Board member, Paul Godfrey, was recently named to the Order of Ontario. Known chiefly for leadership in municipal governance and the creation of the Herbie Fund, Mr. Godfrey was bestowed the honour in a ceremony on January 28 at the Ontario legislature. Congratulations from your friends at Tourism Toronto!


This month's hidden gem from Les Clef's d'Or is by:
Georgina McCormick
Four Seasons Hotel
Member of Les Clefs dOr Canada

Hidden Gem - Leslieville
As a visitor to a new city, isn't it just wonderful to have the opportunity to immerse yourself in a local neighbourhood? Blending in and being warmly welcomed, being able to go home and brag about the inside scoop you personally experienced and to have first-hand knowledge about the best spots to visit, for a true reflection of the people?

This can easily be accomplished by visiting one Toronto neighbourhood, Leslieville. Visitors to Toronto and residents alike can enjoy a ride on the streetcar, local architecture, unique independent retail, environmentally-minded shops and a great brunch spot all in one afternoon!

Leslieville is one of the latest in a long line of downtown Toronto neighbourhoods to undergo gentrification. Fifteen minutes east of the downtown core via the 501 streetcar that runs along Queen Street (tick another one off the bucket list for a mere $3, exact change payable to the driver) is the place to start your journey of this neighbourhood in transition.

Be enticed immediately by the sense of community. This area has drawn independent-minded business entrepreneurs, all fiercely loyal to the refurbishment of one of the city's oldest communities and supportive of each other. Businesses rally together to organize art walks and pub crawls and local artisans are featured front-and-centre in many of the historical storefronts.

Sample a seasonally- and regionally-inspired menu created by one of the fabulous chefs at one of the over fifteen brunch spots frequented by the locals as you wander Queen Street. Stop in organically-favoured home shops, explore consignment and vintage stores, local art galleries and Toronto-based designer boutiques. See the city's famous multiculturism represented from window to window and mingling on the sidewalks as people plot their next event together, smiling warmly as they encourage you to join in the conversation.

After a day of assimilation, perhaps turn north on Broadview Avenue as you decide whether you've experienced enough and a taxi will do, or if you've got enough energy left to walk up to the Broadview subway stop. As you travel north, look left and pull out your camera to get the best view of the Toronto skyline available! Now you can officially say you've been to Toronto!

Show Your Pride
The 2010 Proud Member Decals are now available. The electronic decal was sent to all the primary contacts of every member listed in our database, so watch for it in your inbox. The decal can be posted on your website to identify your affiliation with Tourism Toronto. If you would like a version of the decal for your email signature please contact the Member Care department at

Welcome Tourism Toronto's Newest Members

Meeting Services
Carte Blanche Design Planning Inc.

Bloor Village Grill House
Nota Bene
Prego Della Piazza

This Is London

Tourism Toronto: Toronto Convention & Visitors Association
  Jan 27-Feb 28
Little House on the Prairie
Canon Theatre

Jan 29-Feb 11
Wintercity Festival
Various locations

Feb 4
If You Could Read My Mind - Gordon Lightfoot & Gord Downie
George Weston Recital Hall

Feb 6-7 & 13-14

Feb 10-Mar 2
Northern Lights: African-Canadian Stories
Ontario Science Centre

Feb 11-13 & 18-20
Dracula: A Love Story
Casa Loma

Feb 12-13
David Clayton-Thomas w/ the TSO
Massey Hall

Feb 12-15
Love Bugs
Toronto Zoo

Feb 13-15
Family Day on Main Street

Feb 19-20
Masala! Mehndi! Masti!
Harbourfront Centre

Feb 19-28
National Home Show
Direct Energy Centre

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

"This city is permeated with so much rich Black heritage, creating an ideal destination for convention and meeting planners, tour operations and savvy weekend getaway travelers."

— from Black Meetings and Tourism magazine, June 2009




Did you know? In 1979, Toronto became the first municipality in Canada to proclaim Black History Month through efforts of many individuals and organizations such as the Ontario Black History Society.
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Tourism Toronto is the sales and marketing organization for Greater Toronto's diverse and compelling tourism experiences, representing 1,200 member businesses. Visit us at

Tourism Toronto is located at 207 Queens Quay West, Toronto, Ontario, M5J 1A7.