TORONTO’S SEASON OF CHANGE

TORONTO’S SEASON OF CHANGE

Par-Tee like it’s 1989! Toronto’s latest experiential venue is an interactive adventure fittingly called Par-Tee Putt. An indoor mini-putt with 27-themed holes, it’s as fun as it’s Instagrammable with scenes right out of the 80s and 90s. Most holes are replicas of pop-culture icons like E.T., Seinfeld, and even The Price is Right, while local attractions like the CN Tower and Exhibition Place are also featured. Serving food, beverages and upbeat tunes, Par-Tee Putt has all the ingredients for a unique event filled with laughs (capacity: up to 200 people).

Save room for dessert. The KitKat Chocolatory, a make-your-own chocolate store, is coming to Yorkdale Shopping Centre this fall. Later on in 2019, Eataly is opening its first Canadian location with a 50,000 sq. ft. food hall that sells everything from Italian eats to high-end Italian clothing. Parlour, an upscale multi-level pub that seats over 300, recently opened its doors in a historical piano factory. Finally, Real Sports Bar & Grill’s renovations are completed with a new pedestrian bridge that connects to Scotiabank Arena and the PATH.

The latest in hotel news. Opening in 2020, the Drake Hotel’s expansion includes 32 added guestrooms. The Park Hyatt Toronto is reopening with 220 guestrooms, 9 meeting rooms and over 14,000 sq. ft. of space, by late summer 2020. Also for next summer, the former Thompson Toronto is transforming into Canada’s first 1 Hotel, a one-of-kind eco-friendly, luxury property. Novotel Toronto Mississauga Centre Hotel is independently operating as Mississauga Centre Hotel until its conversion and re-flagging to Delta Hotels by Marriott Toronto Mississauga.

Honey, they shrunk Canada! Sort of. Arriving in 2020, Little Canada is the latest attraction that’s set to open at Yonge-Dundas Square. Explore 45,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space that showcases the nation, on a miniature scale. Canada’s the 2nd largest country in the world, and now you can easily experience it in its entirety! The attraction will be opening with 5 major Canadian destinations: Little Niagara, Little Toronto, Little Ottawa, Little Quebec, and Little Golden Horseshoe. Other major Canadian destinations are planned to follow.

Here to stay. Since the 2015 Pan Am Games, the Toronto Sign has become one of the city’s most photographed attractions. Originally, it was created solely for the Pan Am Games and wasn’t made for durability. Due to its popularity, it’ll be replaced with a more durable, weather-resistant version of itself by end-of-year. Toronto wouldn’t be the same without the sign’s iconic glow, so it’s staying for good.

It’s the season of change for Toronto’s greenery, but also for some of the city’s venues. The Sony Centre for the Performing Arts is now called Meridian Hall (Main Stage capacity: up to 3,191). Likewise, The Toronto Centre for the Arts has also been renamed Meridian Arts Centre. It includes 4 stages, with largest being able to hold 1,036 people at capacity.

TORONTO IS HOME TO CANADA’S TOP EVENTS

TORONTO IS HOME TO CANADA’S TOP EVENTS

Earlier this week, BizBash released its list of the top 100 events in Canada for 2019. The list includes an incredible 47 events that took place in Toronto this year across several categories including tradeshows & conventions, festivals, sporting events and more. As Canada’s largest and most visited destination as well as economic engine, it is not surprising to see so many of the city’s top events, festivals, galas recognized here.

Toronto had a particularly strong showing in the Trade Shows & Conventions category where seven events made the list including:
1. Canadian National Exhibition
2. Canadian International Auto Show
4. Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
5. Toronto International Boat Show
7. P.D.A.C. International Trade Show, Convention and Investors’ Exchange
9. National Home Show and Canada Blooms
10. Fan Expo Canada

Both Toronto Pride and Caribbean Carnival were recognized in the Festivals & Events category ranking first and third respectively. The Music Events category featured Toronto events including the Toronto Jazz Festival and Beaches International Jazz Festival, as well as the Junos, which recently announced that it will return to the city in 2021. The Canadian music awards will be celebrating their 50th anniversary at Scotiabank Arena on Sunday, March 28, 2021.

This annual events list is based on several factors, including economic impact, buzz, innovation, its prominence within the community it serves.

Congratulations to everyone who made the list! See the entire list here.

WHY YOU’LL LOVE YOUR EVENT AT LOVE CHILD SOCIAL HOUSE

WHY YOU’LL LOVE YOUR EVENT AT LOVE CHILD SOCIAL HOUSE

Have you been to any tropical oases lately? Luckily, there’s one located smack in downtown Toronto, on King Street West. And it’s the new hotspot for talk-of-the-town corporate gatherings. A co-op working and meetings space by day, an event and party spot by night; Love Child Social House easily transforms itself into whatever you need it to be.

IT’S GOT THE LOOK
Relating Love Child Social House to a tropical oasis is no exaggeration. The first thing you’ll notice about the venue is its tastefully curated décor with a mid-modern century vibe. Vintage, lush furniture, pastel prints and accents, bright neon signs, and the best part, lots of breezy palm trees and ferns. Beachy meets trendy meets inspiring.

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The venue itself is designed with connection and collaboration in mind. It’s open and spacious, with an in-house café for your caffeine needs. Throughout the space there’s comfy sofas and the ability to section off multiple areas, adding privacy and catering to the diverse clients Love Child Social House attracts. Independent entrepreneurs can use the locale for meetings, or brainstorms and creative collaborations. Big brands for product launches and experiential activations. Corporate clients for speaker events, panel discussions, or workshops. Whatever you’re planning, it’s got something for everyone. Including an impressive bar with even more impressive cocktails. Yes, please!

SHINY HAPPY MEETINGS
Did we mention there are games? Work meets play in Love Child Social House’s Games Lounge. Here, you can escape drab corporate boardrooms, and meet in cheerful, colourful spaces that encourage creativity and lightheartedness. And their recreational arsenal is impressive, with corn hole, Connect 4, Nintendo, Xbox, foosball, chess and maybe beer pong, depending on the type of meeting you’re having.

On the technical side of things, there’s lots that Love Child Social House offers in-house:

  • Complimentary AV equipment
  • 7 flat-screen televisions with streaming capabilities
  • 16×16 ft. elevated stage
  • 2 wireless microphones
  • 2 projectors and screens
  • High quality sound system
  • iPod plug-in
  • Full DJ set-up

You’ll end up saving quite a lot of money with these in-house tools at your event’s disposal.

HOSTS WITH THE MOST
For a venue that’s relatively new (the space opened in November 2017), it has already garnered a ton of experience in executing successful and trendy events. Aside from their jam-packed Wild Child Fridays and Love Saturdays, where big crowds of local party-goers dance the night away, they’ve also hosted a variety of exclusive gatherings from product launches to experiential socials.

Some notable brands they’ve worked with are: Beatties Vodka, Microsoft Xbox, Tweed, Adidas Adicolor, and American Apparel’s re-launch. On the flipside, they’re also experienced in hosting intimate events like corporate meetings, weddings, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, charity galas, speakers and more. So if you want a super fun space that’s also fully-equipped with technology, games, and a beachy-chic atmosphere, then this is the venue for you. With a convenient location in the heart of the city, you can’t lose. In fact, you’ll probably have to increase your RSVP capacity.

Want to know more? See for yourself in detail what you can look forward to when you plan your next meeting at Love Child Social House.

REIMAGINING THE IMAGINARIUM

REIMAGINING THE IMAGINARIUM

Disrupt and deliver, was the goal of the Business Events Toronto team and members attending PCMA’s Convening Leaders last week in Pittsburgh. This annual conference brings together Business Events professionals from around the world giving our sales team the opportunity to sell Toronto as the destination of choice for meetings and events.

The Business Events Toronto team has been putting on the Imaginarium inside the convention at PCMA Convening Leaders for more than 10 years. As leaders in this space for the last decade, many destinations have been catching up with their own programming during the conference, making this a perfect chance to reimagine the Toronto experience.

The reimagined Imaginarium debuted for more than 120 U.S. based association clients breaking out of the convention centre mould while continuing to celebrate the creativity, imagination and innovative spirit of Toronto. Moving to an outside venue allowed the team to focus their time on engaging with clients, prospecting and selling Canada’s Downtown to these important U.S. clients.

The Imaginarium: Reimagined took place at Ten Penny restaurant during PCMA Convening Leaders. Located just steps away from the Pittsburgh Convention Centre and one of the host hotels for the conference, the restaurant was the ideal location to draw attendees to the new experience.

Drawing inspiration from a pop-up experience, the Imaginarium was top of mind and got people talking when it appeared the morning of the event. Helping to build buzz for the event were large window wraps on the restaurant’s exterior floor to ceiling windows that announced that Toronto  had arrived and it was not to be missed! The visuals and messaging helped to evoke the sense of intrigue and pique interest of PCMA attendees, not to mention many locals passing by who didn’t miss that Toronto was front and centre for the day.

Continuing on the theme of mystery the entrance was transformed with an oversized keyhole that transported attendees to the Imaginarium. To attend the pre-qualified guests had to receive a digital key from the sales team in advance, which ensured access to the event. After arriving at the event they also received a physical key that would be used for accessing a VIP lock box that they needed to unlock a special gift waiting in the space.

After entering the space, guests were transported to Toronto, and immersed in a 360 degree view of the skyline of the city that filled the interior windows throughout the restaurant. After entering the space, one of the first activations guests experienced was a simulation of the CN Tower’s iconic glass floor, offering a perfect opportunity for pics and selfies to remember the night.

Thanks to everyone who joined us at this year’s Imaginarium and we look forward to continuing to change the game in the year ahead!

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CANADIAN TOURS INTERNATIONAL LEADERS IN DESTINATION MANAGEMENT

CANADIAN TOURS INTERNATIONAL LEADERS IN DESTINATION MANAGEMENT

If you want to gift incentive travellers with the ultimate Canadian experience, you’ll want to do it right. And doing it right means engaging the services of a destination management company who knows what they’re doing. In fact, why not take it up a notch and work with a company whose reputation precedes them? Incentive travellers deserve what’s best and the right DMC will give them just that – especially when they’ve won awards in their field and have over 35 years of experience.

SO, WHO YOU GONNA CALL?
Toronto’s very own Canadian Tours International (CTI) Destination Management. Since 1979, their multilingual team has served over 150,000 travellers in a variety of travels from group tours, to specialty tours, to individual travel, and of course, incentive programs. They’ve got it all with a reputable service that includes an innovative team of planners who know Canada, and likewise Toronto, inside out. What does that mean for your incentive group? A perfectly planned trip, suited to your team’s interest that includes organized meals, venues, transportation, logistics, entertainment and more.

YOURS TO ENJOY.
Canada is the 2nd biggest country in the world and Toronto is its largest city. Take a while to let that sink in and you’ll realize that the opportunities for your incentive travels are endless. With Canada’s vast landscape and Toronto’s thriving culture, you won’t know where to start. Luckily, CTI always does. With a goal to inspire, entice and motivate incentive travellers within their personal and professional lives, some past programs included:

  • Canoe races
  • Chartered flights to Canadian landmarks
  • Unique sightseeing tours
  • Winter activities like snowmobiling, dogsledding, heli-skiing
  • Whitewater rafting
  • Technical programs
  • Exclusive lodges
  • Winery tours
  • Out of the box gala evenings

CIRQUE INSPIRED TOUCH!
This past spring 2018, CTI was tasked with putting together a 5-day itinerary for an incentive group of 300 attendees from Mexico, during Toronto’s most blossoming season. The itinerary included iconic Toronto experiences like dinner atop the CN Tower, tours of Toronto’s prominent neighbourhoods and attractions, VIP evenings at the city’s trendiest bars, a catered celebration at the Royal Ontario Museum, an exclusive winery tour, and to top it all off, an elegant dinner at Toronto’s Ritz Carlton Hotel.

The final evening’s dinner included a private Cirque inspired performance by performers from Cirque-u-l’air. This performance act which is in the style of Cirque du Soleil style with mythical costuming and ethereal musical accompaniment is something that most would like to cross off their bucket lists. Brought right to their dinner tables, the group was wowed by aerial acrobatics, a pixel poi performance, and balancing artists. It was a feast for their stomachs and their eyes. It was also a rare experience that stayed with attendees well after they went home. And it was all brought together by the hardworking team at CTI.

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CTI truly knows how to build a seamless experience and program, and execute it effortlessly.

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.

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!

GLOBAL DIVERSITY PROVIDES OPPORTUNITY IN TORONTO

Farah, an advocate for advancement of women and girls in developing countries, talks about Toronto’s unique mix of diversity and how it provides opportunities for businesses to thrive, build and succeed.

FARAH MOHAMED Founder, G(irls)20

Toronto has an amazing mix of diversity—and I mean socio-economic diversity, cultural diversity and financial diversity. It is literally the playground that G(irls)20 works in internationally, but all represented here, in one place.

Girls and women are part of the fabric of Toronto in a big way. You don’t have to squint too hard to find girls and women succeeding in this city. We’ve got a premier who’s a woman, and look at all the women running in elections. Many CEOs of massive organizations in Toronto are women. We have major hospitals run by women, and our social-profit sector and academia feature women. Toronto is an incredible place for girls and women in all sectors. If I had a summit in Toronto, as we did in 2010, one of my biggest challenges would be deciding whom to put on the podium. There are so many accomplished women here.

If people want an education in global diversity and opportunity, Toronto is a great place to come and figure that out. The combination of our financial, academic, health-care and social-profit sectors provide opportunity for anyone from anywhere with any background to participate in some way in Toronto. We’ve got a thriving social sector, our volunteer sector is unbelievable, and people are civically engaged. I’m not being naive. We have challenges, but we are addressing them. People see this as a place to succeed, thrive and build. And they’re right.

G(irls)20 is a Toronto-based social-profit with a big mission: the economic and educational advancement of women and girls in the developing world. The organization’s annual summit is held in that year’s host G20 country, with young delegates attending from all G20 nations, as well as the European Union, African Union, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the MENA region.

Choose Toronto for your next event!

Toronto is the top Canadian domestic business travel destination and the most popular choice for U.S. sponsored association meetings outside the U.S. Famous for its diversity, Toronto may be the world’s most global city, with 50 per cent of the population born outside of Canada.

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”

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