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!

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.

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”

BOOST ATTENDANCE WITH OUR TOOLKIT

Congratulations, you’ve selected Toronto, Canada’s largest city, as the host destination for your next meeting or event! We are committed to helping make this your best event yet so you’ll find plenty of useful resources on the Business Events Toronto site. From our meeting planner tool, to up-to-date travel information and a calendar of events, you’ll find everything you need to make your event a smashing success.

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Continue reading “BOOST ATTENDANCE WITH OUR TOOLKIT”

STAFF PICK: INTERNATIONAL RESTAURANT

My Favourite International Restaurant: Lee

Lee Restaurant: 601 King Street West. susur.com/lee

I entertain clients from around the world and one surefire restaurant for every palate is Susur Lee’s namesake restaurant, Lee. It’s located in the heart of Toronto’s coolest nighttime playground, great for before and after dinner activities! Don’t leave without trying Chef Lee’s signature, 19-ingredient Singapore Slaw and pick up a set of autographed, custom-designed chopsticks by the master himself.

By Mark Crawford, Director, International Business Development, Tourism Toronto.