Starting this weekend, the 109th annual international Rotary convention arrives in Toronto, bringing 24,000 Rotary club members from over 175 countries to the city. This will be the largest convention that Toronto has hosted in the past five years, as well as the largest multi-cultural gathering based on the country of origin of attendees. It is expected that an estimated $48.5 million will be injected into the local economy.
This will be the fifth time that Rotary has chosen to host their meeting in Toronto, and the first that the city has hosted since 1983. Rotarians will get to experience a much different city this time around, while still experiencing the Canadian hospitality that helps the city stand out.
Often described as a “mini-United Nations”, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and Air Canada Centre will be transformed into a cultural mosaic as the organization’s global network of volunteers gather to exchange ideas on how to improve lives and bring positive, lasting change to communities around the world.
At a time when there is a tremendous amount of political and cultural tension around the world, the meeting presents an opportunity to encourage conversations about how individuals can impact positive change in their communities – and within Toronto.
Rotary clubs address community needs at home and connect with clubs abroad to promote peace, fight disease, provide clean water, support education, save mothers and children and grow local economies. The Rotary convention will exhibit innovative and lasting solutions to these and other humanitarian challenges and inspire others who share a passion for enhancing and improving lives around the world.
Organized by Rotary in conjunction with the Toronto Host Organizing Committee, the convention provides registrants with opportunities to savor the many tourist attractions in Toronto. An ideal location based on its diversity, inclusivity and the safety of the city, Rotarians will have the opportunity to experience Toronto’s hospitality throughout the four day event with events taking place across the city including at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, the historic Distillery District and Exhibition Grounds.
Perhaps one of the most unique and welcoming concepts of the conference will see Rotary members around the city will be hosting dinners in their homes, at their hobby clubs and at their favorite restaurants to welcome fellow members that come from away and learn more about their lives and cultures while breaking bread. 2,400 people are participating in these dinners around the city sharing, laughing and learning over a good meal.
A portion of the convention will highlight Rotary’s top priority, the global eradication of polio. This paralyzing yet vaccine-preventable disease is now 99.9 percent eliminated from the world and is poised to be only the second human disease ever to be eradicated. The Rotary convention will feature international health experts and Rotary members from around the world who have immunized children in developing countries.
On June 26th, Toronto Rotary members will host fellow members to Rotary Fest at the CNE with food, drinks and entertainment. This celebration demonstrates how people from all walks of life can unite through common interests and good food.
With the spirit of true Canadian hospitality, a warm welcome to Rotarians from around the world to experience everything Toronto has to offer this week!