Press Release:
What’s New in Toronto – Spring 2013

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Contact info + PDF Version

We’re here if you have any questions.
Contact Tourism Toronto Media Relations:
Phone: (416) 987-1736
Fax: (416) 203-6753

Download a PDF version of this press release: What’s new in Toronto – Spring 2013 (PDF).

TORONTO, CANADA (March 18, 2013) – Spring into the new year with spectacular new developments, events, festivals, restaurants, and more in Toronto. This season brings new attractions that are sure to keep Toronto a must-see destination. Visit Toronto’s Islands and see the ever-changing skyline bloom with skyscrapers, condominiums and hotels; experience the excitement happening throughout the city. Join us for our amazing and colourful festivals and events.

Experience some of Toronto’s newest attractions. Discover Canada’s first LEGOLAND Discovery Center, welcome Pandas to the Toronto Zoo, and be a part of the world’s largest celebration of video games as Game On 2.0 makes its first Canadian appearance at the Ontario Science Centre. Read on and find out the updates on the latest news in Toronto or visit

Don’t forget to request a copy of Tourism Toronto’s newly released Toronto Magazine 2013: featuring compelling editorial, rich photography and thoughtful perspectives on Toronto.


Drake Hotel Properties, 1150 Queen St W, Toronto, welcomes Executive Chef Ted Corrado as the newest addition to its exceptional culinary team, as the company’s first-ever Corporate Executive Chef. Corrado won Chef of the Year in 2008 from the Compass Group Canada and was named a Top 10 Chef in Toronto for the Gold Medal Plates competitions between 2009 and 2011. Whether guests stop by for a grab-and-go blueberry scone, a Drake burger and a beer, some Après Work sushi, or to sip on a seasonal cocktail, the constants in Drake dining will continue to be celebrated with Corrado at the culinary helm.

Metropolitan Hotel, in downtown Toronto located at 108 Chestnut St, Toronto, is one of Canada’s luxury boutique hotel operators who completed the sale of the Metropolitan Hotel Toronto to Bayview Hospitality Group on January 10, 2013. In addition, the hotel will become downtown Toronto’s first DoubleTree by Hilton with an anticipated opening of summer 2013. With extensive refurbishment to the hotel, the new design direction and upgrades will bring a heightened level of comfort and a sophisticated, urban look and feel to the full service hotel.

Delta Meadowvale’s extensive $10-million renovation of its 374 guestrooms showcases not just a new guestroom product but a new experience. Every new guestroom offers a large SmartDeskTM with built-in power and connectivity dock with four power outlets exclusively for guests’ use, a large-screen HD TV as well as High-speed wireless and wired Internet access. The new spa-like bathrooms feature large under-mount sinks with European hardware and flattering and energy-efficient “spa glow” lighting.

Among the city’s new luxury venues and hotel spaces will be the opulent, two-floor hospitality suite launching in the architecturally-inspiring and centrally located One King West Hotel & Residence. The spring 2013 launch of the $1.2 million, 2,500 square foot space including the outdoor terrace, features a markedly lush suite with a self-contained executive meeting centre and exclusive space perfect for private events, executive training and VIP accommodation.

The Radisson Admiral Hotel is pleased to announce the opening of its new Conference Centre. Featuring a contemporary look and feel, the glass-enclosed Atrium is equipped with state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment, private washrooms, a bistretto and a large open foyer suitable for exhibits or receptions. In addition, this exquisite space is complemented by two additional boardrooms – Cove and Retreat – each outfitted with mondo boards, guaranteed to enhance the meeting experience. In addition to the new Conference Centre, the Admiral Ballroom has undergone a complete makeover designed to complement any décor! 2013 brings an exciting new lobby renovation, remodeled guest rooms and a new retrofit to the guest elevators.


Against the Grain Urban Tavern is a new bar and restaurant in the heart of Toronto in Leaside Village. A multi-million dollar space with 3 bars, 2 patios and 436 seats, the new space welcomes you with a warm and contemporary décor. Its beverage line up is comprised of 18 craft and micro brews on tap and 2 rotating cask ales for the beer aficionado. It offers an extensive wine list with eclectic local and international finds and over 20 available by the glass. Its menu features classic favourites such as its ATG signature burger, Smoked Pork Ribs and Steak Frites, but also finds global inspiration in its Lemongrass-cured Trout, Duck Confit and Kimchee Tacos and Thai Red Curry Mussels. Multiple big screens ensure that every seat is the best seat in the house for sporting events and on weekends its house DJ kicks old school and top forty upstairs. Seasonally, its two patios are the perfect place for relaxing with a cocktail or pint.

Opened in the summer of 2012, Bar Milano has a patio that is a two level, 250 seat patio located on the boardwalk at the Harbourfront with every seat offering a perfect view of Lake Ontario and Toronto Islands. It also offers the “Lounge at Bar Milano” with Scandinavian-inspired architecture and couches perfect for whiling away the day with a martini, and of course an indoor dining room with panoramic views of the lake should the weather not co-operate. Its trattoria style menu features gourmet thin crust pizzas, tempting pastas, Panini’s and seasonal salads. From the bar it offers an eclectic wine list with many local and international selections by the glass. Birra Sophia, an Italian-style lager made exclusively for Bar Milano by Mill St. Brewery, is on tap and it also has an extensive cocktail selection.

The new Toronto Pearson International Airport dining options are open to the public. First up, health food take-out stand Cibo Express, which opened in January 2013 in Terminal 1, followed by Heirloom, a new health-conscious bakery café from Devin Connell (Delica, Paulette’s) and Massimo Capra’s Italian restaurant, Boccone. In February 2013, Mark McEwan’s Fetta Panini Bar opened, and by this summer, look for Marathi, a casual curry- meets-street-food spot from Hemant Bhagwani of Amaya.

The Stone House Lounge has now opened at the historic Glenerin Inn & Spa. A fully licensed lounge located off the lobby of its charming Inn, the Stone House Lounge features comfortable contemporary leather bench seating a cozy fireplace and warm comforting service. Enjoy views of the Saw Mill Valley while sipping on your favorite cocktail or enjoying a light snack. Its intimate lounge is perfect for a business lunch or after work cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. The 1,200 square foot space underwent a $25,000 renovation which includes new furniture, new art pieces and a new bar.

Extensive renovations, including a third patio, were done last year to make Murphy’s Law, The Beaches neighborhood pub, a more amazing place to visit. Of its three patios, one is a rooftop patio that overlooks the neighborhood area. Its second floor (“The Loft”) is a cozy spot for families to enjoy a wonderful time with hearty food and drinks. Larger groups can reserve the spot for their own personal gathering.

Appetite, 722 Queen St. E, has added $30,000 of renovations and upgrades which gave the space a fresh and invigorated look with tangerine accents and more seating space, which invites customers to stay a while when eating their delectable array of homemade classics. The restaurant showcases their wares through bright and beautifully arranged side shelving, and front display fridge tempts you with all the mouthwatering goodies that they have for offer.

The highly anticipated opening of Tabule at 810 Queen Street East is set to open at the end of March 2013. This restaurant has made many headlines this year including: Top 100 restaurants on Joanne Kate’s list, 15 most anticipated openings of the year, Toronto Life’s top 400 restaurants in the city, and the City’s top delivery. With a $500,000 transformation of a former medical clinic, in addition to tantalizing taste buds, owners Diana Sideris and Rony Goraichy, are developing a new atmosphere, which will also impact your senses. The owners are bringing on designers from Commute Home to help them create a warm wood rich unique space for the restaurant that will seat 70 people inside and 40 people outside on a back patio.

Turf Lounge brings the excitement of horse racing to Toronto’s Financial District. The recently renovated 2,000 square foot, $500,000 bar area features a new elegant stone bar complete with beautiful beer draught towers, leather banquettes, high top tables, leather bar stools, two 70-inch and one 80- inch LCD televisions displaying sports and business news of the day. Overall, Turf Lounge operates within a 7,000 square foot space, including three private dining rooms complete with I.T. support such as screens and Internet access. The venue can accommodate groups up to 270 and is equipped to host private events for seasonal celebrations, receptions, private dining, presentations, and much more. Visitors to Turf will have the unique opportunity to enjoy the excitement of horse racing during their visit. More than 60 televisions located in-bar and in the dining lounge deliver simulcast Horse Racing from across North America along with stock market updates and other sporting events. Live tellers and automated wagering terminals are located throughout the facility and onsite wagering assistance is available.

Located in the heart of Toronto’s historic Distillery District in the original Gooderham and Worts Tankhouse, Mill Street Brew Pub recently renovated this year to include a newly expanded 100 seat patio complete with a comfortable lounging area and bar. Offering free daily pub tours, beer-tasting and a retail store where Mill Street’s full selection of beers along with a wide range of great merchandise can be purchased, Mill Street Brew Pub is one of Toronto’s premier tourist destinations. Tours of the brewery are at 4pm from Monday to Friday, and 3pm and 5pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

Opening in May 2013, Cibo Wine Bar will offer a truly authentic Italian experience in a contemporary yet soulful environment in the heart of Toronto’s King West District. This new $2.5 million, 8,000 square foot Italian eatery and wine bar located at 522 King Street West, will bring the successful Cibo Wine Bar concept to Toronto. Cibo Wine Bar’s wine cellar will feature an acrobatic wine angel who retrieves wine bottles from the 3,000 bottle wine cellar. Guests can enjoy a private tasting in the wine cellar while the wine angel glides above. The menu will offer guests a true taste of Italian cuisine, featuring both traditional classics and modern staples. Like the food, the space itself will be warm and inviting with stone and glass walls, rustic wood finishes, exposed brick and butcher block table tops. This rustic elegance will make Cibo Wine Bar ideal for a casual relaxed meal yet sophisticated enough for a special night out.

Smoke’s Poutinerie has re-vamped its already incredible menu to now offer over 30 types of mouth-watering Poutines. Smoke’s Poutinerie has even added another Toronto location at 772 College Street, right In the Little Italy district.

Hudson Kitchen 800 Dundas Street West, opening in spring 2013, will reinvent food with experiences that incorporate taste, texture, visual pleasure and interactivity. The multi- faceted business includes full-service seated dining room, outdoor patio, private room, bar, boutique ready-made goods and a catering and special events component for discovery and enjoyment.

Parkette Kitchen and Bar, a ‘Modern-European’ restaurant, located at 874 West Queen Street, is proud to announce the launch of its new concept and direction under the command of both Chef Trevor Ross and Chef Ashley Haydon. Parkette, opened in February 2011, offers seasonally influenced menus with a special focus on handmade products. Ashley and Trevor both come from extensive careers throughout Ontario and the United Kingdom, and have joined forces in this new location. Precision cooking methods mixed with handmade techniques has formed a casual yet refined dining experience where one can indulge affordably. Every two months, Parkette displays the work of one local artist in the dining room. Hosting this rotating art exhibit not only benefits the community, but also makes the dining room an exciting new place every other month.

MuvBar by Marché Brookfield Place Toronto, located at 181 Bay Street in the spectacular Gallery, was opened as an independently operating Bar in January 2013. It has become a favourite place for downtown businesses to have corporate events, cocktails and receptions with gourmet hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. MuvBox by March&eacute Brookfield Place Toronto is a warm weather concept in the open air, it will re-open in April-May 2013 weather permitting. This unique patio gives a great opportunity to have a corporate function in the open air for the businesses located close-by. The atmosphere is lounge relaxing, the customer service is premium and the music goes along with it.

Festivals & Events

Canada Blooms theme for 2013 is “The Magic of Spring”, in celebration of the special time of year when Canadians celebrate a time of revival, rejuvenation, regeneration, romanticism, growth, hope, gardening, beauty, and colour. This special theme was also chosen as it provides an excellent canvas for The Toronto Flower Show and spectacular gardens created by the members of Landscape Ontario. Canada Blooms 2013 features free lectures, gardening demonstration, dazzling displays and so much more. Spring 2013 takes place on March 20th in the middle of our 18th annual celebration. Canada Blooms 2013 will be presented from March 15 – 24, 2013 at the Direct Energy Centre, Canada’s largest Convention Centre in Toronto, Ontario.

Water’s Edge Festivals & Events is proud to announce the TALL SHIPS® 1812 Tour. A pan provincial event that will travel throughout Ontario during the summer of 2013, commemorating the Bicentennial of the War of 1812. Culminating in the famous “Parade of Sail” across Toronto’s waterfront on June 20-23.


Canada’s first Lego attraction is officially open. Parents and kids can explore the Legoland Discovery Centre at the Vaughan Mills mall north of Toronto. The 34,000-square-foot indoor facility includes a 4D movie theatre, a Lego Master Builder Academy, a MINILAND Lego replica city of Toronto, and so much more.

Located in the heart of downtown Toronto next door to the iconic CN Tower, the Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada – a $130 million facility now under construction – is a major family attraction set to open in summer 2013. The highly anticipated aquarium is expected to draw nearly two-million visitors each year and will feature more than 13,500 exotic sea and freshwater creatures, a unique 96-metre-long (315 foot) moving walkway through an acrylic tunnel deep below the 2.84-million litre Shark Lagoon, a tropical reef tank, and a Marine and Freshwater Education Centre with dedicated classroom space.

Wine Country Ontario is awarded “Best Generic Wine Body” – Drinks International Wine Tourism Awards for 2013. They competed for this award with wine regions around the world and were honoured to be selected as the best from amongst these nominees.

With a quarter of a million dollars in renovations, La Casa del Habano introduces its new spacious 1,700 square foot store located on Yorkville Avenue. This new location has a large front patio for customers to get together and enjoy a famous Habano, while looking at life in the center of Yorkville neighborhood. As you are invited into the interior, a few steps below the street level, you will find a completely new and larger cedar humidor, elegant glass panels, coffee bar, fireplace and a discreet ambiance.

Pink House in Yorkville Toronto is the home of Jeanne Lottie, a Canadian brand since 1985, specializing in stylish but affordable fun handbags and accessories. Renovated last spring with outdoor purses floral arrangements and all year round green grass entrance, the Jeanne Lottie boutique is whimsical and colorful inside out, beautiful vintage inspired deco with antique crystal chandeliers and furniture.

With a $7 Million Provincial investment, The Niagara Parks Commission announced that the next phase of its redevelopment project at Table Rock Centre is now underway to upgrade the Falls Incline Railway. The new Railway improves the link between the Niagara Parks attractions at Table Rock and the Fallsview Tourist Area, including hotels and the Fallsview Casino Resort. The Railway will allow riders to easily reach the “Bridge of Flowers” pedestrian crossing over the Niagara Parkway into Table Rock. This major development will meet accessibility standards, providing visitors with disabilities, and families with strollers, full and safe access to both levels of Table Rock. The new Falls Incline Railway is enclosed and will operate year-round. Opening is anticipated for spring, 2013.

Two loveable black and white giant pandas are coming to the Toronto Zoo mid-May 2013. The Toronto Zoo will soon welcome the arrival of the two five-year old giant pandas Er Shun and Da Mao. Giant panda Er Shun is coming to the Toronto Zoo from Chongqing Zoo, China. The male giant panda Da Mao is coming from Chengdu. The new Giant Panda Exhibit is situated at the former Amur tiger exhibit in the Zoo’s Eurasia section. In addition to the Giant Panda Exhibit, which opens May 2013, there will be a new Panda Interpretive Centre that will engage visitors and educate them about the giant panda as well as the importance of the world wide effort in the conservation of this important species.

Places & Venues

It has been an incredible year of transformation for Harbourfront Centre, including the opening of its new $25 million underground parking facility and new surface landscape. Located at the foot of Queens Quay and Lower Simcoe Street, the new 300-car underground parking garage is now open to the public. Proceeds go towards programming at Harbourfront Centre. Even more exciting things are in store with the opening of the $20 million Canada Square and Ontario Square. The surface between York Quay Centre and Queen’s Quay Terminal will be dramatically re-envisioned with two forest-inspired public squares and cultural landscape ready to enjoy by summer 2013. Harbourfront Center has also redesigned and renovated its main art gallery to make exhibits more accessible to the public, offering a truly inviting experience for viewers. The newly designed gallery features $75,000 of work that has been developed specifically for the space, highlighting the integral cooperation between the artists, the curator, and the built environment. Through newly installed windows visitors now have the opportunity to see art at Harbourfront Centre 24/7.

For memorable and exciting corporate events, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) is the ideal event centre, opened in the 2012 summer. CTMP offers a variety of unique event opportunities, whether you are looking to build or maintain your customer relationships, strengthen company team spirit or simply entertain clients. Its new state-of-the-art event centre houses a large ballroom/conference room, intimate lounge, boardrooms and a lower level meeting space that may be utilized in multiple configurations to suit your needs. If you are seeking a custom or pre-designed event either on its world renowned track or multifunctional event facility its team is ready to assist in creating a turn-key and memorable event. CTMP is a world renowned racing facility that offers unique viewing capabilities of its 4km Grand Prix circuit, coupled with its events facility and placed magnificently amongst stunning views of Lake Ontario.

The International Centre 6900 Airport Rd Mississauga, ON, is pleased to announce details of its largest renewal plan. The exciting $4.5 million renovation will dramatically enhance the one million square foot facility and incorporate sleek, modern design elements. The renewal plan further demonstrates the International Centre’s commitment to enhance client and visitor experiences, complimenting the over 450 events held annually. Sleek stone flooring, dramatic architectural features welcome guests to this modern, dynamic space. Slated for completion in Fall 2013, this new lobby area will provide versatility for a multitude of events, facilitating everything from a product showcase to an elaborate reception. A new structure will be built to improve connectivity between Hall 5 and the balance of the facility. Merging functionality, versatility and design, this space will have the flexibility to accommodate registration, receptions, booths and displays, and lounge areas for food and beverage. As the leading exhibition and conference venue in North America, the renewal plan demonstrates the International Centre’s commitment to provide an exceptional venue for its clients.

Beasley Amusements is thrilled to announce the awarding of a contract by Toronto City Council the operation to run Centreville Amusement Park through 2022; which now includes Far Enough Farm. Located on Toronto’s Centre Island, Centreville looks forward to continue offering first-rate customer service, excellent value, and endless summer fun for years to come. Season opens May 4, 2013.

Move & Groove

Welcome Cyclists Network has expanded to Toronto –Visitors coming to the city with their bikes will now be able to find certified bicycle friendly accommodations in Toronto with secure overnight bike lock-up and other amenities provided. Other visitors interested in touring the city by bike can easily access information on cycling tours, rental locations, BIXI bikes, cycling events, city, street and trail bike network for self-guided tours.

Providing both pick up and drop off service for all Niagara Vintage Wine Tours, guests will visit and tour Niagara’s wine country in style and comfort with classy new vehicles. The $150,000 investment increases and upgrades its fleet of vehicles, offering its tours in new luxury Mercedes-Benz Sprinters. These spacious new vehicles are available for private group functions as well as our daily tours. The individual bucket seats offer each guest comfortable personal space while travelling in the vehicles and the high top design will allow most guests to stand up in the vehicle for easier entry and departure along with the fully sliding door and side step to increase accessibility for most any guest.

Sky Zone Toronto opened its doors on March 1, 2013. Boasting over 15,000 square feet of patented walled trampoline playing courts, Sky Zone has something for everyone in its brand new $1.5 million facility. Leap on the main court, fly into the giant foam pit, and soar on the Sky Slam court where everyone can dunk a basketball. How about dodgeball in 3- D? Sky Zone Toronto has three all-trampoline dodgeball courts, where you can take the game to a whole new level of fun and excitement. Skyzone also offers some amazing programs including SKyRobics classes, Toddler Time, and Sky Jam. An excellent venue for birthday parties, team parties, corporate and team building events Sky Zone is all about active fun for all ages.

Toronto for Photographers is a unique new tour in its first year, that helps visitors tell the story of their trip with photographs. They take you off the beaten track to the best places to shoot Toronto, and they provide teaching and coaching along the way.