Press Release:
What’s New in Toronto – Spring 2014

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Contact info + PDF Version

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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 2014.

TORONTO, CANADA (March 5, 2014) – This spring, we will welcome new exhibits at major attractions, a lineup of exquisite restaurant openings by some of Toronto’s top chefs, new tours that will get you excited to get outdoors, and so much more! Toronto is also anticipating much excitement and celebration as the host of this year’s WorldPride 2014 taking place in June.

Get ready for a fun-filled season with new adventures to explore, see and taste. Read on and find out the updates and the latest news in Toronto or visit:


Delta Toronto Southcore Financial Centre is constructing its new property in downtown Toronto, located near Union Station, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, CN Tower and set to open at the end of 2014. Designed to exceed the changing expectations of the modern traveler, Delta will accommodate family and corporate travel. Standing at 45- storeys, boasting 567 rooms and 16 suites, and connected to two office towers of the Southcore Financial Centre, the hotel will feature the latest in sustainable design, high- tech conference and meeting facilities, extensive fitness and spa facilities, as well as wireless capability from top to bottom.

The Thompson Hotel and The Chase Hospitality Group officially announced the opening of Colette Grand Cafe and Bakery in its new location in the King West District. The new upscale eatery will take over Scarpetta’s current location in the Thompson Hotel. The eatery will complement the already outstanding, diverse, and vibrant food and beverage program at the hotel. It will have multiple offerings: Colette, the upscale eatery with seating for 100, and Colette Grand Cafe & Bakery, which will offer quick service dining and a pastry and retail counter with a full array of grab and go options for those looking for on-the-go delicacies. Chase Hospitality Group is a premier hospitality company that develops, manages, and operates The Chase, and The Chase Fish and Oyster in Toronto. The name CHASE, is derived from, CULINARY, HOSPITALITY, ATMOSPHERE, SERVICE, and ENTERTAINMENT. The group was established in early 2013 with a vision to redefine hospitality in North America by combining thoughtful and inspired culinary experiences with genuine, approachable, and humbled service. /

Shopping & Sites

The new pedestrian tunnel and mainland pavilion at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (BBTCA) in Toronto will open in the fall of 2014. The Toronto Port Authority’s innovative project will link the popular downtown airport to the mainland at the foot of Bathurst Street, via an underground pedestrian tunnel. The tunnel will provide a predictable, efficient and convenient access route for the airport’s million-plus passengers to Toronto’s downtown airport.

Vaughan Mills outlet mall and shopping centre comes closer to completing its $87- million redevelopment and expansion project. Once completed, Vaughan Mills will feature 19 major tenants and 250 stores, creating an unprecedented retail mix in Canada within 118,000 square metres (1.27 million square feet) of retail space. The east side of the property will accommodate 50 new retailers and the centre’s interior and exterior architectural appeal will be enhanced. The opening of the expansion in 2014 will mark Vaughan Mills’ 10-year anniversary.

Yorkdale Shopping Centre has partnered with the InterContinental Toronto Centre to offer an exclusive Shopping Package. This package includes a one-night stay in a feature guestroom, breakfast for two at Azure Restaurant and a $50 Yorkdale Gift Card. Guests also receive a Yorkdale Welcome Package which features a Tumi Travel Duffle. Located in the heart of downtown Toronto, the InterContinental Toronto Centre is just steps away from Union Station. If guests are visiting Yorkdale by car, curbside valet service is included, or for guests visiting the shopping centre by public transit, two TTC Subway Day Passes will be provided. Every detail of the Yorkdale Shopping Package is designed to ensure guest’s stays are enjoyable and their shopping experience is memorable.

Attractions & Tours

Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is diving into brand new programming this spring! Visitors can spend the night with the sharks at the Sleepover Programs, dance the night away at Jazz Nights, and exercise their brains while sipping on some suds at the Beer & Lecture Series. Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada opened its doors to the public in October 2013. Containing over 5.7 million litres of water, the 12,500 square metre (135,000 square foot) interactive attraction immerses guests in a thrilling underwater adventure that showcases more than 16,000 marine animals.

A new Visitor Centre at Historic Fort York will open in 2014 featuring an entrance hall; an orientation theatre; an exhibit room for objects of symbolic power and historical mysteries from City of Toronto collections; a changing exhibits gallery; and a Battle of York immersive experience. This innovative space will use video, audio, lighting and graphics to give an impression of the changing dynamics of the battle that occurred just west of Fort York on April 27, 1813. The new building will contain a resource centre for material about Fort York and the War of 1812, complementing a new Toronto Public Library on Fort York Blvd. at Bathurst Street. centre/

The Toronto Zoo’s new Zip Line Ride offers an exhilarating and memorable experience like no other this Spring/Summer 2014! Visitors will get the chance to soar over the Zoo’s award winning Tundra Trek at a maximum speed of 48km/h. The unique design straps one or two people in a seat and is the only zip line where you can ride forward or backwards with a friend. This ride is one you’ll want to ride over and over as it gives you a different view of the Tundra animals including arctic wolves, polar bears and caribou. The Toronto Zoo is also pleased to announce that Da Mao, the male giant panda on loan from China, has won bronze in the category of Favourite Panda Outside China in the Giant Panda Zoo Awards. The awards, held annually, are a great opportunity to raise awareness for important panda conservation work around the world.

In January 2014 the Liberty Entertainment Group led by Nick Di Donato entered into a long term Lease and Operating Agreement with the City of Toronto for Casa Loma. This includes all aspects of the operation of Casa Loma as both a special event facility as well as an attraction. Casa Loma represents an unparalleled opportunity in the city of Toronto and is an iconic historical and heritage landmark. The Liberty Entertainment Group, plans to preserve and make improvements to the facility, enhance the special events and dining experience and integrate new technology for school and cultural programming. /

Experience an authentic Ontario outdoor adventure only a short drive from downtown Toronto at the new Brampton Treetop Trekking. Opening March 2014 for its first full season of operation, the zip line and aerial game park features 6 treetop courses filled with zip lines, wooden bridges, hammock nets and other fun games high in the forest canopy. The Great Blue Heron zip line is this new park’s star attraction where visitors can soar 1,000 ft. across Heart Lake! With mature hardwoods, Hemlock and Pine trees surrounding a scenic lake, it’s hard to remember you’re minutes from downtown Toronto!

For more than 30 years, a familiar darkness has surrounded Wonder Mountain at Canada’s Wonderland. Guests and employees alike have suspected a dark mythical presence hidden within this iconic landmark. In May 2014 the park will throw speculation about these myths aside and blast into Wonder Mountain to unveil a thrilling new, interactive 4-D dark ride. The journey begins with a perilous climb up the side of Wonder Mountain then plummets riders into its core traveling through five different layers of this dimensional world. Riders will encounter mythical creatures as they navigate 1,000 feet of coaster track through a desolate forest, underground lake and Draconian City. The quest culminates as riders enter the dragon’s lair for the ultimate battle with a heart stopping finale that will shock thrill seekers of all ages. This next generation ride will allow guests to experience stunning 3D effects overlaid with 4- D elements: simulating wind, movement and more. Real time graphics and the fastest most accurate targeting system will be installed to create an ultra-immersive interactive experience.

The spring of 2014 brings with it new touring options only available with Niagara Vintage Wine Tours. With over $100,000 in renovations, upgrades and additions to their fleet, the newest addition is a 24-passenger luxury shuttle which provides the opportunity for larger group tours to travel together all in one vehicle. Additionally, they have expanded the capacity for limo and executive transportation for pickup outside of the Niagara Region. These upgrades and updates have also opened the door to offer new tours launching in the spring of 2014 including the Ultimate, Food, Wine and Beer tour. Created for the foodie in all of us it includes a substantial collection of gourmet foods paired with beer, wine, and olive oil at various locations throughout Niagara-on- the-Lake’s wine country showcasing a nice range of all the wine country has to offer.

The Ultimate Canadian Craft Beer Experience in Toronto has recently been selected as a new Signature Experience by the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC). Experience beer from the 1860’s through to the present by visiting a historic brewery and sampling beers made as they were more than 100 years ago. After a three course lunch, move to the present to taste some of the finest craft beers using the most modern technology at two renowned craft breweries in Toronto including a tour of one with the charismatic owner. Finish the tour with a honey brewed beer from the rooftop hives of the Fairmont Royal York.

Festivals & Events

WorldPride 2014 announced partnerships with leading cultural institutions and will welcome Deborah Cox, Martha Wash and DJ’s David Morales and Quentin Harris as the first in a list of premiere international artists to perform at the world’s largest global LGBTQ celebration taking place in Toronto this summer. Taking place June 20-29, 2014, the festival will feature partnerships with major cultural institutions who have come together to support WorldPride 2014 with extraordinary programming during the festival, including: TIFF, Inside Out (presenter of the annual Toronto LGBTQ Film Festival), TD Toronto Jazz Festival, Art Gallery of Ontario, Ryerson Image Centre, OCAD University, the Gardiner Museum and Buddies In Bad Times Theatre. WorldPride 2014 Toronto is an international celebration that incorporates activism, education, and the history and culture of global LGBTTIQQ2SA* communities. WorldPride 2014 Toronto is presented by Pride Toronto, producer of Canada’s largest annual festival of LGBTTIQQ2SA* culture and human rights, under license from InterPride. Pride Toronto is the not-for-profit organization that hosts the city’s Pride Festival, an annual event in downtown Toronto during the last week of June and one of the premier arts and cultural festivals in Canada. It is also one of the largest Pride celebrations in the world with an estimated attendance of over one million people. *LGBTTIQQ2SA is an abbreviation used to represent a broad array of identities such as, but not limited to, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transgender, intersex, queer, questioning, two-spirited, and allies.

Hockey Canada, in collaboration with the Canadian Hockey League, announced Thursday that Toronto and Montreal will co-host the 2015 and 2017 IIHF World Junior Championships. Both cities will host a preliminary round group at each event, with Toronto hosting the medal round in 2015 and Montreal hosting the medal round in 2017. Canada’s National Junior Team will be based in Montreal for the round robin in 2015, and in Toronto in 2017.

The Royal Conservatory presents the inaugural 21C Music Festival at Telus Centre for Performance and Learning, May 21-25, 2014. Featuring the world’s most fearless composers and musicians, the world premiere includes Chilly Gonzales, Uri Caine, Javier Limón, and many others. The 21C Music Festival is made possible through the generous support of Michael and Sonja Koerner.

The Luminato Festival announced the Toronto premiere of dancer/choreographer Pina Bausch’s legendary dance-theatre piece KONTAKTHOF as part of the 8th annual Luminato Festival June 6-15, 2014. Now celebrating their 40th anniversary season, KONTAKTHOF is one of Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch’s signature pieces, offering an evolving commentary on the physical interaction between men and women. KONTAKTHOF, roughly translated to “courtyard of contact,” is a towering achievement, revealing the essence of Bausch’s lifelong exploration into desire, human identity and the endless search for emotional attachment. Created in 1978, KONTAKTHOF has been performed around the globe but has never before been seen in Toronto. Luminato Festival is Toronto’s international multi-arts festival for people open to having art change their outlook on the world. For 10 days each June, Luminato transforms Toronto’s theatres, parks and public spaces with hundreds of events celebrating theatre, dance, music, literature, food, visual arts, magic, film, and more.

This summer, Taste of Toronto will bring the excitement of one of the world’s greatest restaurant festivals to North America for the first time at the Fort York National Historic Site, July 24-July 27, 2014. Featuring specially-created menus and exclusive opportunities with the city’s most acclaimed chefs, the inaugural four-day festival will offer a new and exciting food experience, distinguishing itself from other local culinary events. An international sensation, IMG’s Taste Festivals are held in 20 cities around the world including London, Sydney, Cape Town, Milan, Dubai and Moscow. Participating local restaurants will present foodies with twists on the tastes they love, with each chef creating three new dishes for the event. Confirmed participants for Taste of Toronto include Mark McEwan of McEwan Group, Stuart Cameron of Patria and Weslodge, Carl Heinrich of Richmond Station, Grand Electric’s Colin Tooke, Ben Heaton of The Grove, David Neinstein of Barque Smokehouse, and Damon Campbell of Bosk, with more to be announced soon.

Arts & Culture

The Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China’s Emperors exhibit opens at Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) March 8, 2014. Usher yourself into the Forbidden City’s most private quarters, offering a tantalizing glimpse into the lives of the people who lived within the very imposing, very private, imperial enclave. Through intimate encounters with the luxurious objects they used each day and official accounts of their lives, meet the emperors, their families, court officials, concubines, and eunuchs – all those who paid a price to live within the Forbidden City’s walls. Open until September 2014.

The newly opened AstraZeneca Human Edge permanent exhibition hall at Toronto’s Ontario Science Centre (OSC) explores all the wonders and possibilities of the human body, featuring more than 80 exhibits covering five dynamic themes: in the beginning, mind and body limits, personal limits, pushing past the limits, and outer limits. Opening June 11, 2014, The Science of Rock ‘N’ Roll is an interactive exhibition that provides a fresh look at the history of rock from the perspective of science and technology. See how music has shaped the tools of rock – and how those tools have changed the music.

The Stanley Kubrick exhibition presented by TIFF Bell Lightbox will arrive in Toronto in the fall of 2014. The first exhibition dedicated to the life and work of legendary film auteur Stanley Kubrick, developed in collaboration by the Kubrick estate and Frankfurt’s Deutsches Filmmuseum, draws on extensive archives from Kubrick’s home and workplace and features rare photographs and letters, original props and costumes, screenplays, production materials, and cameras from his nearly 50-year career.

The Aga Khan Museum will open in Toronto in the fall of 2014. The museum is dedicated to the acquisition, preservation and display of artefacts – from various periods and geographies – relating to the intellectual, cultural, artistic and religious heritage of Islamic communities. It will also house the collections of the members of the family of the Aga Khan.

Dine & Entertainment

Global restaurateur HMSHost, in partnership with Toronto’s own celebrity chefs Lynn Crawford, Susur Lee and Roger Mooking, among additional award-winning chefs, will transform Toronto Pearson’s Terminals 1 and 3 into a foodie hot spot, with the opening of more than a dozen new dining locations that will take travellers on a gastronomic journey representative of such a city. The new restaurants will open in three phases, beginning in summer of 2014. Some of the highlights HMSHost will be bringing include The Hearth, in partnership with Lynn Crawford; Asian Kitchen by Susur Lee, in partnership with Susur Lee; Twist, in partnership with Roger Mooking; Paramount, in partnership with Paramount Fine Foods and CEO Mohamad Fakih; and Caplansky’s Deli and Caplansky’s Snack Bar, in partnership with Zane Caplansky. HMSHost will also open Bar 120: Cuisine Transformed with a menu developed by Modern Culinary Academy chef John Placko.

Wahlburgers, the U.S.-based burger concept launched by Executive Chef Paul Wahlberg and brothers, Mark and Donnie, will open its first location outside of the U.S. in Toronto this summer 2014. Inspired by the brothers’ love for the burger and the casual comfort food of their Boston childhood, the menu features fresh made-to-order burgers along with family favourite recipes using locally-sourced, house-made ingredients. The Toronto location will reflect the brand’s philosophy of partnering with local food purveyors, as well as feature signature house-made ingredients such as Paul’s original Wahl sauce.

The summer of 2014 will see Caplansky’s Deli opening at two new locations in Pearson International Airport. “Caplansky’s Snack Bar” will be in Terminal One pre-security and travellers will find a full-service “Caplansky’s Deli” in the post-security US/International departures area. Also, Caplansky’s will open a new Catering facility on Sterling Rd. in Toronto’s west end where their catering, wholesale and food truck will call home. The four flavours of Caplansky’s mustards currently in over 70 stores will be joined by a variety of deli meats, soups, salads, breads and pickles available at grocery stores around Toronto.

Culinary Adventure Company in Toronto will debut a new tour on June 16, 2014 called ‘Gaybourhood Gourmet’ which is a walking food and cultural tour in the Church/Wellesley Village in Toronto. Along the lines of their other walking food tours, this one celebrates the culinary diversity and fabulous history of the area, just in time for WorldPride 2014.

MUZIK BEACH 2.0. premieres in June 2014! MUZIK literally “breaks ground” in the Toronto entertainment scene with the creation of MUZIK BEACH, a multi-million dollar renovation featuring multiple pools, warm wooden cabanas, sculpture gardens, full-service bars and exotic décor – all accented by soft white sand. This three-acre outdoor oasis is located in the heart of Toronto’s historical Exhibition Place, which is home to Canada’s largest trade center. Grand spectacles such as The Honda Indy, Caribana and the CNE draw more than five million patrons to the grounds annually. With the addition of MUZIK BEACH, international adventure seekers can experience a party experience that merges the Vegas aesthetic with MUZIK’s classical 1907 charm. Notorious for its epic Saturday night celebrations featuring internationally acclaimed DJs, MUZIK transitions its 120,000 square foot complex to provide sun-soaked afternoons for guests in summer 2014.

Just Sushi, located at 12A Brookers Line in Toronto, has been labelled the world’s first Ocean Wise 100% sustainable sushi restaurant. Its spare, zen décor, glass-top fridge flush with plump cuts of fish wrapped in cellophane resembles any other Japanese sushi restaurant but closer inspection reveals subtle clues about how this place is a little different: There’s a Bullfrog Power decal at the entrance, an ebicycle is parked out front and the restaurant has small touch-screen consoles brimming with detailed information about the life history and environmental status of each and every fish for sale.

The Keg Steakhouse has upgraded two of its downtown locations, featuring both bar and table seating at their 82-seat patio. Located at 26 The Esplanade, it is bordered by beautiful potted plants with a horseshoe-shaped bar and outdoor TV. With a mixture of high top tables and chairs, an abundance of lower comfortable tables with cushy chairs, the patio is a perfect place for cocktails, appetizers, dinner or a casual drink. Minutes away from The Rogers Centre, Air Canada Centre and walking distance from The Sony Centre, The Keg’s 165 York Street location has renovated its 180-seat patio, which includes 20 bar seats and 160 seats. The dynamic outdoor bar has large outdoor TVs with a state-of-the-art sound system and heated in all areas. There are numerous spacious booths that are covered with automatic retractable canopies, high top tables and large comfortable seats at the bar. The patio also features a unique “living room” style section which is completely heated and covered in a private area; perfect for groups of up to 30 people. The patio is open for both lunch and dinner during the early spring and late summer months.