MAKE WAVES AT RIPLEY’S AQUARIUM OF CANADA

MAKE WAVES AT RIPLEY’S AQUARIUM OF CANADA

What’s big, watery, and filled with fish? More like 20,000 of them, including invertebrates and two green sea turtles. And no, it’s not Lake Ontario. Instead, you’ll find all these eclectic sea creatures happily swimming along the vast water-filled habitats of Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada. With nine galleries of salt and freshwater environments, there are aquatic specimens from around the world and Canada that live here – including sharks! The Dangerous Lagoon (where sharks reign), is the largest exhibit with 2.9 million litres of salt water. Rainbow Reef, just as colourful as it sounds, is the most diverse exhibit with over 100 different species of tropical fish.

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SEA AND BE SEEN
The masses just can’t get enough. Who doesn’t love petting string rays and taking selfies in front of a giant wall of glowing jellyfish? Earlier this summer, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada surpassed 10-million visitors after opening its doors to the public just four years ago! From day one tourists and locals line up to see and be seen with the aquarium’s exotic and photogenic marine life, conveniently located in Toronto’s downtown core, near most iconic attractions. It’s become a vital Toronto landmark in attracting both tourists and business to the city. One of Toronto’s most popular spots on social media, it’s a sought-after corporate event venue for galas, celebrations, fundraisers, holiday parties, meetings and more.

UNDER THE SEA AND OVER THE MOON
Plan the corporate event of a lifetime, leaving your delegates in constant awe of their surroundings. In between cocktails and bites, guests can roam fish-filled tunnels, play around with over 100 interactive exhibits, and fill their brains with fun facts from the aquarium’s knowledgeable education team. When it comes to events, Ripley’s goes above and beyond in creating a truly unique experience for guests.

For larger events with a capacity of up to 1,200 people, the Aquarium Rental is ideal as it gives delegates full access to all exhibits. Rental times begin at 7 PM from Sunday to Thursday, excluding late June, July and August. Event planners can customize the space to their liking with food stations and bars throughout, and ample space for varied entertainment opportunities. The possibilities are endless. For a more formal vibe, the lobby can host seated dinners of up to 200 guests, with intimate dining options available in the Rainbow Reef and Ray Bay galleries (up to 80 and 60 guests respectively).

DRINK WITH THE FISHIES

On Thursday, September 27 from 8pm-12am, Ripley’s is hosting their annual Octo-berfest where beer aficionados can raise a stein of craft beer and enjoy live music, all under the magic of charming sea creatures. The ten local breweries taking part in the festivities are: Steam Whistle, Cowbell Brewing, Nickel Brook Brewing Co., Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company, Great Lakes Brewery, Lost Craft Brewing Co., Muskoka Brewery, Railway City Brewing Co., Lake of Bays Brewing Co., and Collective Arts Brewing. Admission costs $30+HST and you must be 19 years old or older to attend. The evening includes Bavarian entertainment by Matt Lebar Ensemble, food, and of course, lots of fun! Purchase your tickets here.

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Top Ten Reasons to Meet in Toronto West

2018 Toronto West Business Events Guide
2018 Toronto West Guide for Business Events planners

The 2018 Toronto West Guide for Business Events planners has arrived, delivered to more than 34,000 business events professionals across Canada. The guide is designed to educate and inspire planners on all that the Toronto west region has to offer for their meetings and events.

The Toronto West guide offers a dual platform (print and digital) guide on the region. The guide was distributed with the Ignite Magazine February / March 2018 issue this week to more than 34,000 corporate, association, government and third party meeting, conference and business event planners.

Toronto West is a destination within the region for groups looking for convenience, great accommodations, a wide variety of versatile meeting space and lots of dining options. It is ideally suited for fly-in meetings where local staff can interact with colleagues from across the country. Two large convention centres, as well as large conference space within a number of hotels in the area are conducive to sales meetings or product launches.

It’s all about connectivity in Toronto West – a great place to hold your next meeting and event. Inspired by the launch, here are the Top Ten reasons to plan a meeting here:

  1. Connectivity:  The Toronto West region connects all of Canada through Toronto Pearson International Airport. It’s also at the conjunction of four major highways that connect the Greater Toronto Area with all compass points from the surrounding region.
  2. Downtown Close: The UP Express is the easiest way to get groups downtown in total comfort. After meetings are done, shuttle the group to Pearson for the 25 minute direct line to Union Station and the rest of Toronto.
  3. Affordability: While almost all airport hotels have recently renovated, you’ll be spared the higher cost of downtown hotels. Check out the refreshed meeting space, rooms redesigned with the business traveller in mind and great amenities.
  4. Culinary Mastery: Area hotels feature fresh farm-to-table menus and utilize local ingredients. The trend for sharing and small plates mean more mingling and an opportunity to network with colleagues from around the country.
  5. Focused Meetings: Keeping your group together—away from distractions—is another plus for area hotels. With combined meeting space and guest rooms, and large convention centres close by, getting business done has never been easier.
  6. Sports Hub: The nearby Hershey Centre features OHL and the Raptors 905 games, a great group activity for the evening. And local ice rinks are perfect for sports tournaments.
  7. Move to Wellness: Keeping fit on the road is a snap, with updated and modern gym  and pool facilities.
  8. Shopping and Entertainment: Sherway Gardens and Square One feature high-end retail.
  9. Business Hub: Mississauga is home to over 60 corporate headquarters in the pharmaceutical, financial, medical research and food and beverage industries.
  10. Relaxation: During the summer months, take advantage of the nearby Woodbine Racetrack for a night of thoroughbred racing entertainment or treat your group to a golf tournament at Royal Woodbine Golf Club, only minutes away from area hotels.

Visit the Toronto West Multi-Media Destination Hub for more interactive content including videos, photo galleries, articles, and links to our social media feeds.

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STAFF PICK: SPORTS BAR

Toronto is a major sports town. After all, it’s home to seven professional sports teams and two of “Canada’s teams” (the Toronto Blue Jays and Raptors proudly represent all of Canada in the MLB and NBA, respectively). If you’re hosting an event in Toronto and can’t get tickets to a game, we’ve got the next best thing. Shelley Crawford is an Account Director on our Sports Events team, so she knows her away around this scene. Check out her favourite sports bar below or see our list of Toronto’s top sports bars.

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My Favourite Sports Bar: Real Sports Bar & Grill

15 York Street Real Sports Bar & Grill website

If you’re taking in the Leafs, Raptors, or Rock games or just excited about sports, The Real Sports Bar & Grill at Maple Leaf Square is perfect for a pre-game drink or meal. Great place to socialize with lots of energy. Book ahead, especially for larger groups and on game nights, as it fills up quickly.

By Shelley Crawford, Account Director, Sport, Tourism Toronto

CASA LOMA TAKES HOME BEST VENUE AWARD

Toronto’s Casa Loma was named Best Venue for Weddings and Events at the BizBash Event Style Awards on November 15, 2016. The BizBash Style Awards honour the event and meeting industry’s best across North America, with over 1,000 submissions received this year. Casa Loma was the only Canadian finalist included in their category.

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Completed in 1914, this historical landmark is one of North America’s only castles, making it a top tourist attraction and event venue in Toronto. It welcomes more than 350,000 visitors and plays host to more than 250 events annually.

The venue offers a one-of-a-kind backdrop for any event, featuring 60ft-high oak beamed ceilings in the Great Hall and several other unique event spaces on the main floor, all decorated in traditional early 1900’s elegance, rich wood finishes and marble flooring.

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An outdoor terrace offers a magnificent view of the five-acre estate gardens below and the city skyline. The estate also features sparkling fountains, unique sculptures and an expansive collection of rare florals.

For more information on venue rentals and events, visit the Casa Loma website.

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!

5 IN 5: Metro Toronto Convention Centre

As part of a new series, we’re stepping outside the doors of Toronto’s convention centres, meeting spaces, and hotels to explore some of the new and noteworthy spots to check out! 5in5-MTCC-04.png

So, you’re going to a conference at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Think that means you won’t have a chance to see anything else in Toronto? Here are 5 things within a 5-minute walk from the MTCC that you can check out during a break or after the conference.

  1. Indulge Farmer’s Market (David Pecaut Square at Wellington & John Street). Get a little taste of the country in the heart of the city at David Pecaut Square. Every Thursday from May until October, hundreds come to the square to pick up local fruits and vegetables, grab lunch and baked goods from the many food vendors, and listen to live music.
  2. Deq Terrace and Lounge (181 Wellington Street West). When the day is done you’re only minutes away from a refreshing, hand-crafted cocktail with stunning surroundings. Head north to DEQ, an urban terrace with an open-air firepit and a view of Simcoe Park and the CN Tower.
  3. Woodpecker Column. Just outside the south entrance to the MTCC, look up to check out the Woodpecker Column, a 1997 sculpture by Dai Skuse and Kim Kozzi from the Canadian artist collective, FASTWURMS. The giant pair of woodpeckers, perched on the side of a 30-metre tall column full of holes, adds a little nature and whimsy to the downtown core.
  4. Steam Whistle Brewing Roundhouse (255 Bremner Boulevard). Just steps away from the MTCC is the Steam Whistle Brewing Roundhouse. The former Canadian Pacific Railway repair house was built in 1929. Note the 120-foot turntable to get cars in and out. Today, the red-brick structure is home to one of the city’s best local breweries, known for its Pilsner.
  5. Lick It (250 Queens Quay West). Head south for a cool, tasty treat at Lick It. It features freshly made gelato flavours every day, from decadent chocolate hazelnut to refreshing lemon rosemary. Walk across the street to the WaveDecks and watch the planes take off from the island airport while you enjoy your delicious scoops.