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Photo: Medieval Times


  • Tourism Toronto's Relax, Recharge & Renew program wins prestigious North American award
  • The Insider debuts at
  • Toronto makes top five spring destination list
  • 2010 Business Activities Calendar now available

Hotel data for the month of January 2010 has been reported by Smith Travel Research and is showing stability and incremental increases.
  • Occupancy was 53.8 per cent, up 0.1 per cent over January 2009
  • Room nights sold are up 1.9 per cent, from 589,538 in 2009 to 601,014 in 2010
  • In January Toronto again retained its 10th place ranking in hotel occupancy among the top 28 North American destinations tracked

Tourism Toronto Wins Major Corporate Social Responsibility Award
PR News recently handed out its prestigious CSR Awards in front of hundreds of international journalists and public relations professionals at a ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Tourism Toronto was ecstatic to be chosen for its Relax, Recharge & Renew program from among six U.S.-based finalists in the Community Affairs category, which recognizes organizations for outstanding corporate citizenship efforts and partnerships. Award recipients in other categories included companies such as Oracle Corporation, The Allstate Foundation and Pepsi Bottling Group.

The Relax, Recharge & Renew program is a collaborative effort between Tourism Toronto and its many generous members who contribute hotel room nights, tickets and restaurant meals so deserving families with special needs children can have a weekend break. We are extremely proud of this unique program and the support we have received from over 150 members since the program began a year and a half ago. So we are thrilled that our international colleagues have also recognized its merit with this prestigious award and are mindful that we are making a real difference in our community. In the past months the program has also been recognized by the Destination Marketing Association International as one of its Destination Champions for 2009 and won the Tourism Innovator of the Year award from the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario.

Showing Our Insides
Tourism Toronto recently launched a new feature for visitors on its website. The Insider serves as an extension of Toronto Magazine, and takes visitors deep into the heart of the city where locals who know Toronto inside and out share their best-kept secrets. A few tidbits that can be found are:
  • A recipe for Field & Forest Mushroom Chowder with Royal York Honey, from one of Toronto's top chefs;
  • DJ Numeric lets us in on a few of his favourite nightspots;
  • Photos and videos of celebrities from the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival;
  • Where to find "kid-friendly" restaurants;
  • Listen to the winning song from the Toronto Song Competition
Visitors can also request a print copy of the 2010 issue of Toronto Magazine from the home page of The Insider or view the online version.

Mountain Greenery
The Green Meetings Industry Council annual meeting in Denver from February 9-11 was an excellent opportunity for TT to interact with a variety of industry colleagues from around the world. The theme "Inspiring Sustainability" lived up to its name as ideas, experiences and challenges were shared. TT's green visitor and MC&IT web pages continue to evolve as we focus on elevating the profile of our city and of our "green" members and continue to challenge ourselves to reduce our carbon footprint and support meeting and event organizers who look for environmentally friendly services and resources for their meetings. For more on these initiatives please visit or

Toronto a Top Five Destination This Spring
An article that resulted from a recent TT-hosted press trip ran on both and the online travel section of USA Today. Toronto was the only Canadian destination listed and Air Canada's new service to seven U.S. cities is one of the reasons cited for its inclusion. receives 750,000 unique visitors per month and receives more than nine million unique visitors per month.

Courting Provincial Sports Organizations
Tourism Toronto's Sport sales team, along with four members, hosted 10 provincial sport organization clients at the Toronto Raptors Game vs. Portland Trailblazers on February 24 at the Air Canada Centre. It was a great evening of networking to bring more business to the Greater Toronto Area.

Toronto's History Draws Media
In partnership with OTMP, TT's Media Relations team hosted a group of writers on a Black History Month press trip at the end of February. Influential publications such as Port of Harlem Magazine, Pathfinder Travel Magazine, Philadelphia Sun Newspaper, Liquid Magazine and Baltimore Times were represented on the excursion that took in a range of Afri-centric culture and heritage in Toronto and tracing the Underground Railroad through Southwestern Ontario. Media also attended a reception/celebration co-hosted by the Ontario Science Centre on February 25. Also in attendance were a dozen select media planners representing Black-centric organizations.

Voyagers From Spain
In July 2009, TT's Media Relations team hosted Viajeros magazine on a press trip that resulted in an 11-page article in the December issue. Viajeros is a travel and tourism-focused magazine based in Madrid with a circulation of 45,000. This article has an equivalent advertising value of over $83,000.

Gastronomic Glimpse from Gayot
Coverage continues to accumulate from a TT-hosted press tour in October 2009. recently featured sumptuous depictions of Canoe and One Restaurant. is an online "guide to the good life" that receives over 200,000 unique visitors monthly.

Toronto Has a Knack for Reaching Belgians
In late October, TT hosted a writer from Knack Weekend magazine from Belgium. A seven-page article resulted in this lifestyle magazine that features fashion, food, travel and leisure and reaches over 138,000 readers. A similar article is expected to run in another highly-regarded Belgian publication, Gastromania magazine, read by both professional chefs and foodies.

Scaling New Heights at the Toronto Sports Summit
Tourism Toronto and the Toronto Sports Council team up again to host the 4th Annual Toronto Sports Summit on March 6 at the Hilton Toronto. Speakers include David Crombie, Ian Troop, the new CEO of Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games and TT's David Whitaker. The event will be host to sport leaders, local sport club executives and City of Toronto Parks and Recreation employees. We are expecting a sold out crowd of 250 people to join us for the 1/2 day session of brainstorming, guest speakers and networking.

New York's in a Toronto State of Mind
On March 10, TT will interact with association leaders in NYC as the New York Society of Association Executives hosts its annual "We Love New York Day." Staying top of mind with association leaders in this important east coast hub continues to be a priority as we work to grow our share of this vital market.

Picture TT in Texas
From March 10-12, Experient will hold its annual ENVISION Conference in Ft. Worth, Texas. This internally-focused conference allows for important interaction between Experient's account managers and industry supporters. Tourism Toronto and the Canadian Tourism Commission are strategic partners in supporting this leading meeting planning organization and continue to work to deliver more opportunities from them to the Toronto community.

Media With a Mission
TT's Media Relations team, in partnership with OTMP, heads to London, England for a media mission from March 3-5, then on to the Travel Media Association of Canada's (TMAC) annual conference and media marketplace in Wales. Afterward, the team heads to Berlin for the ITB travel tradeshow for media appointments during the show.

Upcoming Meetings & Conventions (900+ Delegates)

Dates Meeting/Group Name Attendees
Mar 1-8 Skate Canada - Synchronized Championships 3,000
Mar 5-7 Athletics Ontario 1,200
Mar 10-20 McKinsey & Company 1,260
Mar 11-14 LifeWay Christian Resources 2,000
Mar 15-20 National Karate Association of Canada 900
Mar 22-27 Baycrest-Rotman Research Institute 1,000
Mar 27-Apr 3 National Society of Black Engineers 5,000

In the last issue of Tourism Now we ran an item about The Delta Chelsea Hotel being recognized by the LivClean Eco-Stay Program. The hotel actually offset 109 per cent of its annual carbon footprint. We apologize for our error and again congratulate the Delta Chelsea.


This week's hidden gem from Les Clef's d'Or is by:
Monika Grossenbacher
Renaissance Toronto Hotel Downtown
Apprentice Member, Les Clefs d'Or Canada

Hidden Gem - Toronto Irish Famine Memorial
Toronto's Harbourfront area is one of the city's most modern and vibrant neighbourhoods. However if you head to its westernmost end, at the foot of Bathurst Street, you'll find a small park filled with some of the most hauntingly beautiful sculptures in the city.

Toronto's Irish Famine Memorial is a little known gem that really is hidden. If you don't know it's there, you'd never think to look for it behind the derelict Canada Malting building. Less than a decade old, it is also one of the newest parks in the city.

From 1845 until 1851, Ireland suffered its worst famine in history. The Great Famine destroyed a way of life and caused the death of over one million Irish and the emigration of two million more. During this time nearly 40,000 desperate Irish immigrants came to Toronto, a city whose population at the time was barely 20,000. It was an influx that forever changed the face of Toronto.

Most of the immigrants first arrived at Reese's Wharf and were initially accommodated in "fever sheds" near Bathurst and Front Streets, only a couple of blocks from where the park is located today.

Designed by architect Jonathan M. Kearns, the Irish Famine Memorial is not your typical Toronto Park. Instead it is meant to stir emotions and memories of destitute ancestors arriving from a ravaged land in hopes of a new and better life. The stark, stone architecture intends to recreate the bare landscape that was left behind and to show the contrast of hope versus devastation. Sculptures include, "The Woman on the Ground," "The Orphan Boy" and "The Apprehensive Man."

The Toronto Irish Famine Memorial is open year round. For further details you may also see the website.

Connect With Your Fellow Members
The Tourism Toronto 2010 Membership Directory has been published and delivered to all primary and secondary contacts in our member database. The directory is a very useful tool for connecting and networking, so we encourage members to take advantage of this desirable benefit.

2010 Business Activities Calendar
TT's Leisure Trade and MC&IT marketing activities for the coming year are available in the 2010 Business Activities Calendar. Plan ahead and join in as we showcase our destination!

Welcome Tourism Toronto's Newest Members

Meeting Services
Howard Lopez Music Group

Shopsy's Delicatessen

Tourism Toronto: Toronto Convention & Visitors Association
  Mar 3-7
Disney on Ice
Rogers Centre

Mar 4
Joan Rivers
Living Arts Centre

Mar 5-7
Toronto Golf & Travel Show
Metro Toronto Convention Centre

Mar 6 & 7
Haru Matsuri (Spring Festival)
Japanese Canadian Culture Centre

Mar 10-14
Canadian Music Week
Various locations

Mar 13-21
March Break at the Zoo
Toronto Zoo

Mar 15-21
Toronto Spring Fest
Downsview Park

Mar 16-21
Spring Fling 2010
Rogers Centre

Mar 17-21
Canada Blooms
Direct Energy Centre

Mar 18
Karrin Allyson
Old Mill Inn

Mar 21
International Tourist Guide Day
Nathan Philips Square

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

"The good news is that dining in Toronto doesn't have to involve fast food. Instead, we opted for an experience that promised more than just food: Medieval Times in downtown Toronto."

— From "Family-Friendly Adventures in Canada" -





Did you know? The Toronto Zoo has the largest polar bear exhibit of any zoo in Canada.
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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.