POSTER CHILDREN

Two brothers demonstrate how Torontonians are changing the world.

Toronto has a reputation for creating some of the most influential and inspiring innovators across the country and the world. And nowhere is that more true than in brothers, Craig and Marc Kielburger.

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They are the founders of Free The Children, an international NGO designed to help kids help other kids. Through programs like Adopt a Village, We Act, and We Days, more than 8,000 schools and youth groups in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. have partnered with the organization to end global poverty. We chatted with them about how Toronto inspires them and what they love about the city!

Cabbagetown has a special place in our hearts. Our grandfather immigrated to Toronto from Germany during the Great Depression, and after working a number of jobs, he and my grandmother saved enough money to open a small grocery store in Cabbagetown. They were open for 23 years and only closed for one day, to take the family to Niagara Falls.

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 Now the city is growing in amazing ways, which makes it an exciting place to grow an organization like Free the Children—we’re in fantastic company here. Torontonians love their city and are engaged on so many different levels. Whether it’s a neigh-bourhood issue or something that spans the entire city, Toronto’s citizens want to be involved.

 Toronto is a city of neighbourhoods. You can go from one end of the city to the other and feel like you’ve travelled the world! I love how easy it is to connect with the entire world from our office in Toronto.craig-and-marc-4

 Research shows that people—especially young people—care about their communities and about making a difference in the world. The way we see it, our job is to provide them with the tools, resources and platform to make a difference.

 Now that we have We Day events across North America and in the U.K., we spend much of our time working with teams across Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. We are so proud to live and work in a city as vibrant and diverse as Toronto, where we have the opportunity to meet and learn from people from all around the world.

 Find out how you can get involved with Free the Children.

ALISON’S WONDERLAND

Passion, creativity, and wonder go into every event planned by our newly award-winning event planner extraordinaire Alison Owers-Graham.

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Alison Owers-Graham

Tourism Toronto superstar Alison Owers-Graham was the very deserving recipient of the “Planner of the Year” award at the PCMA Canadian Innovation Conference in St. John’s, Newfoundland last week.

Ever humble about her win, Alison says, “It was pretty special because I was in such fantastic company.”

Masterminding nearly 20 major events each year, she always aims to up the ante.

Of her dedicated event planner, Julie Holmen, Director of Sales, Corporate and Incentive at Tourism Toronto, says, “Whether it’s tracking down artists and performers, working with our members for news ideas, or bringing her own love of Toronto to life, Alison’s passion always shows!”

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PCM-YAY!: Alison accepting her award at the PCMA CIC in St John’s last week.

Where does she get her endless inspiration for her work?

“It comes from loving what I do. I get to create something different every single day, whether it’s a theme, a menu, or décor. Each and every thing makes me happy!” she says.

And planning events in Canada’s Downtown makes her job a little easier: “There is so much diversity in everything that is Toronto, you could easily have an event every day of the week and each one would be completely unique.”

Congratulations to Alison from everyone at Tourism Toronto!

KIDS’ STUFF!

If you’re coming to Toronto for a business event or convention, turn the trip into one the whole family will love. From bumper cars to fearsome sharks, there’s no end to the fun designed for kids and adults alike. Here are a few of our favourites.

ripleys-aquariumRIPLEY’S AQUARIUM OF CANADA 

Something fishy is going on! From a giant octopus and glowing jelly fish to stingrays you can pet, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is jaw-dropping in every way.

 

ontario-science-centreONTARIO SCIENCE CENTRE 

Electricity, outer space, wildlife, gravity: find the answers to all the mysteries of this planet…and even a few others at the Ontario Science Centre. It’s always a hair-raising adventure.

 

romROYAL ONTARIO MUSEUM 

Yep, it has dinosaur, but that’s just the start! Mummies, meteorites, suits of armour, and even a bat cave await you at the ROM.

 

playdiumPLAYDIUM

There are video games. And then there’s Playdium, complete with every arcade game you could want to play, a Laser Maze, and go-karts!

 

 

legolandLEGO LAND 

They should really call this Lego Heaven instead. Watch a Lego action movie in a theatre that snows, visit miniature Lego cities, and build with more bricks than you’ve ever seen. Lego Land has it all.

to-zooTORONTO ZOO 

This huge, sprawling Toronto Zoo has nearly every animal you can think of… and a bunch more you never knew existed! Be sure to say hello to the baby Pandas before they return home to China.

 

For more fun things to do with your kids when you visit, check out Yo-Toronto!

COMING TO CANADA’S DOWNTOWN

The next year promises to be one of the most exciting yet for Canada’s Downtown. With new places to stay, visit, eat, and celebrate, here are some of the must-sees and cant misses for 2017!


HOTELS

Hotel X Toronto, Opening 2017
The only hotel property in Exhibition Place, Hotel X will be a unique lakefront urban resort bringing a cutting edge mix of hospitality, sports and entertainment. hotelxtoronto.com

X MARKS THE SPOT: The Skybar at Hotel X

Bisha Hotel and Residences, February 2017
Bisha is the newest private-label boutique brand to originate in Toronto since the 60’s. Rising 44 storeys, the Bisha flagship property will be situated in the heart of the Entertainment District on Blue Jays Way. bisha.com Continue reading “COMING TO CANADA’S DOWNTOWN”

HAUNTING GROUNDS

In the spirit of Halloween, we’re exploring some of Toronto’s most lavish and exciting venues that are also home to some of the city’s most fascinating ghost stories. We hope you don’t spook easily!

College Park

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FOOTSTEPS IN THE PARK: Who roams the halls of art-deco College Park?

Hear footsteps on the 7th floor of Toronto’s art-deco gem, home of The Carlu? Then you might be having an encounter with the College Park ghost. She apparently favours the auditorium and the staircases, where the footsteps, whistling, and a woman’s voice are often heard. Some think it’s the ghost of Margaret Beattie, the wife of Eaton’s company founder, Timothy Eaton, who died in 1933.

Casa Loma

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TUNNEL VISION: Keep you eyes and ears open in the underground tunnels of Casa Loma

With a fascinating story in and of itself, it’s no surprise that, Casa Loma, Toronto’s iconic castle has some spooky goings on. Deep inside the underground tunnels of the monolithic 1914 Gothic Revival structure, built by Sir Henry Mill Pellatt, there have been reports of the unexplained sounds of horses trotting.

University College

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DIABOLOS: The diabolical story behind University College’s gargoyles

There’s an eerie story of love, betrayal and murder behind the gargoyles hanging over an entryway at the University of Toronto’s University College building. During construction in the 1850s, two stone masons working on the building, Ivan Reznikoff and the aptly named Paul Diabolos, were competing for the love of the same woman. After they discovered the infidelity, an axe and dagger battled ensued, ending in the death of Reznikoff at the hand of Diabolos. To this day, creaking and banging can be heard at night, said to be the ghost of the jilted lover. Read the whole gruesome tale here.

Royal Ontario Museum

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IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE?: The original director of the ROM, Dr. Charles Currelly, sill roams its halls.

Dr. Charles Currelly, the original director of the Royal Ontario Museum, dedicated his life’s work to creating its collection of Egyptian artifacts. So it would make sense that he wouldn’t want to leave it all behind. Today, his ghost is said to wander the halls of the East Asiatic section, wearing his nightshirt.

Historic Fort York

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HOLDING THE FORT: Some refuse to leave the historic battle site

Fitting that Fort York, the site of one of the War of 1812’s bloodiest battles, is also home to a number of ghost stories. A mysterious woman roams the officers’ quarters and soldiers in uniform walk the grounds at night, along with other creepy goings on.

Get more Toronto ghost stories here!

TEAM SCREAM

Nothing brings people together like being scared! Here are some of the city’s most spine-tingling events happening this Halloween, perfect for your company’s team building activities!

teambuild-newHAUNTED WALKS
Toronto has a long, storied history…and not all of it is good. Experience some of the city’s most disturbing stories from award-winning storytellers. These terrifying real-life tales take you into the haunted tunnels of a 19th century fortress, working gallows, and a haunted apartment building that drove its occupants mad. hauntedwalk.com/toronto-tours/

 

SCREEMERS
Screemers dares guests to “live the fear,” where all manner of creepy, scary and down-right mortifying are on the prowl! Located on the historic grounds of Exhibition Place, Canada’s most popular indoor scream park includes an asylum for the criminally insane, a haunted castle, a 3D nightmare, and a terrifying maze!  screemers.ca

 

ESCAPE ROOMS
Team work, resourcefulness and smarts are the only way to find your way out of Toronto’s most challenging and terrifying escape rooms, including a time-travel laboratory, a mysterious secret society, and the deceptively simple “red room.” realescapegame.ca

 

LEGENDS OF HORROR
AT CASA LOMA
Over 1.5 bone-chilling kilometres through the bowels of Toronto’s historic castle, Legends of Horror is an immersive, theatrical interpretation of classic horror figures, featuring Dracula, The Invisible Man, and Frankenstein’s Monster brought to frightening life. legendsofhorror.ca

With Halloween just around the corner, we’re on a candy kick! Toronto is home to some sweet candy stores full of delicious gifting ideas for your meetings and events. Here are just a few of our favourites!

SWEET TEMPTATIONS

Experience candy flashbacks at Sweet Temptations by Sugar Mountain, in the heart of the PATH, downtown Toronto’s underground shopping network. It offers up nostalgic candy treats including Pink Elephant Popcorn, Pop Rocks, and Popeye Candy Sticks, along with German and U.K. imports. 130 King Street West (The Exchange Tower) Concourse Level, 416-364-1461

 CHOCOLATES X BRANDON OLSEN

Chef Brandon Olsen and his fiancé, artist Sarah Keenlyside, are the co-owners of CXBO, offering  colour-splattered chocolate creations with unique flavor combinations like Yuzu Sake, Cinnamon Brown Butter, and Lime Ginger Black Pepper. What began as Olsen’s hobby became a full-time gig since opening their storefront location, with Keenlyside taking on marketing, packaging and design. 1132 College St., cxbo.ca

THE CANDY BAR

Since 2012, The Candy Bar has brought a sugar high to Canada’s Downtown. It offers swag bags, candy buffets, and gift baskets, full of award-winning chocolate bars, imported licorice, and all forms of gummi candy, for special and corporate events. 416-532-0123, thecandybar.ca

SWEET ADDICTIONS CANDY CO.

The latest candy store to hit Toronto’s streets is right beside Dundas West mainstay, Lakeview Lunch. Sweet Addictions offers unique candy, sodas, chocolates, chips and cereals from all over the world. 1134 Dundas St W.