Press Release:
What’s New in Toronto – Winter 2014/2015

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

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
Email: media@torcvb.com

Download a PDF version of this press release: What’s New in Toronto – Winter 2014/2015.

TORONTO (December 4, 2014) – Toronto is cooler than ever this season with savory restaurants, new outdoor markets and activities. The city is soaring above the rest with the brand new Delta Hotel and adding to its growing diversity with the opening of the Aga Khan Museum.

Visit Toronto and experience newly renovated spaces, exciting exhibits and shows for the holiday season. Join in on the new adventures that Toronto has to offer with outdoor winter excitement, theatre and dining!

Hotels

Canadian brand hotel, the Delta Toronto Hotel, is opening its doors on November 27, 2014. Toronto’s new and tallest hotel is challenging you to expect even more! Delta Hotel’s new Toronto flagship property is located between the Air Canada Centre and the Rogers Centre and directly connected to the PATH, Metro Toronto Convention Centre and Union Station. All 567 oversized rooms offer unbeatable views of Toronto and its hottest new neighbourhood, Southcore (SOCO). Guests can enjoy complimentary wifi throughout the hotel and access to the private gym and indoor pool. Canada’s newest four-star hotel is complete with the SOCO Kitchen + Bar restaurant, unique Canadian Whisky Bar and 17,000 sq.ft of technologically advanced meeting and conference facilities featuring floor-to-ceiling windows and an outdoor terrace. deltatoronto.com

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. will embark on a $90 million renovation of the Sheraton Centre Toronto, resulting in a floor-to-ceiling transformation of the hotel’s 1,371 guest rooms and suites. The revival of the Canadian flagship Sheraton property began in early November bringing a fresh look to guest rooms with rich colors, graphic patterns and clean lines inspired by Sheraton’s brand design, and a new energy efficient HVAC system. This comprehensive refurbishment is slated for completion in 2015. The completed renovation will include full guestroom and suite refurbishment, as well asreplacement of all floor and wall finishes in public corridors and hallways. As a part of the re-design, the hotel will add two new guest rooms bringing the total room count up to 1,373. After completion of the renovation all guestrooms and suites will feature new case goods, seating, lighting, mirrors and window treatments. During Summer 2014, the hotel completed a $13 million retrofitting of all guest room windows helping to reduce energy consumption and making the hotel more energy efficient overall, further reinforcing the hotel’s commitment and focus on reducing energy consumption by 30 percent and water consumption by 20 percent by the year 2020. Additionally, the hotel recently completed renovations to its meeting space, refurbishing the meeting rooms on the Mezzanine and 4th floor as well as expanding to more than 130,000 sq. ft. with the addition of the Provincial and Willow Ballrooms. sheratontoronto.com

The Westin Harbour Castle, Toronto announced the appointment of nationally celebrated Chef Corbin Tomaszeski as Chef Corbin at The Westin Harbour Castle. In his new role, Chef Corbin works with the culinary team to elevate and enhance the food and beverage experience at the hotel and Conference Centre. Also, the hotel is pleased to introduce Savoury a private chef’s table available for small intimate groups with a menu designed by Chef Corbin. Savoury is a secluded, one-of-a-kind 10-person restaurant with a unique arrival experience through the busy kitchen of the hotel. The semi-private location and dining experience is designed for small groups of diners with a five course meal designed to delight diners in an intimate and VIP setting. Chef Corbin’s menu combines quality ingredients in a simple and distinctive way. Dinner can be booked with one of the hotels talented chefs, or booked with Chef Corbin himself to discuss the preparation methods, cooking techniques as well as the origins of the dishes. Wine pairings and education is also available for booking with the meal. starwoodhotels.com

As the Eaton Chelsea, Toronto continues to deliver an enhanced guest experience and set the benchmark within its competitive set, renovations will continue into 2015. The hotel, which was built in 1975 is the largest hotel in Canada, with 1590 rooms, 722 of which will see over 10 million dollars in renovations by April 2015. The rooms in the north tower, which is the oldest tower, will be the targeted rooms for renovation. This is in addition to the multi-million dollar renovations The Eaton Chelsea, Toronto underwent last year including transformation of the lobby, Market Garden restaurant, the addition of three Eaton brand signatures – express|o, T|Bar, the Vertical Garden and the refurbishing of the hotel’s balconies. In 2014, all function and meeting spaces also saw an extensive ‘facelift’, upgrades included new carpeting, wall and window coverings, lighting and furniture. chelsea.eatonhotels.com

Taste & Savour

Wahlburgers, the popular casual burger restaurant founded by brothers Mark, Donnie and Paul Wahlberg and the focus of A&E Network’s Emmy-nominated reality show of the same name, opened its first location outside of the USA in November 2014. Located in the heart of the city, Wahlburgers Toronto creates the perfect dining experience for burger-fanatics with a sports bar, seated dining and quick service restaurant all under one roof. While burgers are the main focus of the 120-seat restaurant, Wahlburgers Toronto also has a variety of sandwiches and salads on the menu including house sides like mom’s macaroni salad, sweet potato tots, fresh cut fries and onions rings. wahlburgers.ca

McEwan Foods, Chef Mark McEwan’s formidable grocery store in the Shops at Don Mills is expanding! In spring 2015 a new McEwan will be opening in the PATH under the TD Towers across from Bymark. This 6,000 square foot food emporium will focus on prepared foods making it the perfect stop for breakfast lunch and dinner throughout the week. Prepared salads, sandwiches, meals and more will make grabbing a bite to eat a breeze. The store will be selling its own line of healthy fruit juices, have a fantastic coffee program, serving Lavazza from Italy. There will be hot tables featuring McEwan’s famous curry bar, a salad bar and a build your own sandwiches and panini’s! McEwan Floral will be supplying the store with beautiful arrangements for offices, bouquets for that special someone and will take custom orders as well. mcewangroup.ca

America and The Calvin bar are the newest additions to Bay Street’s thriving social scene from Canadian lifestyle leaders INK Entertainment (inkentertainment.com) and Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants (oliverbonacini.com). The 2,000 square-foot The Calvin bar is an alluring and sophisticated after-work entertainment hub offering crafted signature cocktails, as well as a varied selection of classic drinks. The re-designed extended lounge wraps around the main floor lobby to integrate the social vibrancy of the bar, its music and furnishings. America is bold, big, and beautiful where sophisticated fine dining meets sexy supper club. In collaboration with INK Entertainment and Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants (O&B), global commercial designers II by IV Design has created a unique and modern 110-seat milieu for Executive Chef Anthony Walsh’s America, the 31st storey contemporary dining establishment. AmericaRestaurant.ca

Toronto is now home to a unique concept restaurant staffed with deaf servers. Signs Restaurant & Wine Bar is located in the Yonge and Wellesley area and is the first project of its kind in Canada. Signs offer customers a chance to learn basic sign language through helpful graphics incorporated in the menu, cheat-sheets placed on tables and wall mounted photographs illustrating signs for common words needed in a restaurant like the names of alcoholic drinks. SignsRestaurant.ca

Parlour’s expansion is complete! The new room can be used privately or in conjunction with the entire space. The decor mirrors the existing Prohibition times, speakeasy vibe making it an intimate lounge ideal for cozy conversation, after work cocktails, impromptu celebrations, and late night shakers and champagne. You’ll find authentic vintage sofas, rugs and furniture throughout the 2,250 sq ft. renovation. parlour270.com

OTG Management announced that its Vinifera concept at Toronto Pearson International Airport was awarded the International Council of Shopping Center’s (ICSC) coveted 2014 Maple Leaf Design Award. The award recognizes cutting-edge and innovative solutions in retail store design. Opened in the fall of 2013 in Toronto Pearson’s Terminal 1, Vinifera offers the traveler an unparalleled and innovative experience featuring award-winning cuisine, immersive design, and cutting edge technology. Offering small plates and eighty-five wines available by the glass, which have been expertly curated by culinary partner and Master Sommelier John Szabo. The dining program at Toronto Pearson International Airport brings the distinct cultural tastes of Toronto right to the traveling public. torontopearson.com

Transportation

The Union Pearson Express set to open in 2015 will be providing express, high-quality rail service between Union Station in downtown Toronto and Terminal 1 at Toronto Pearson International Airport. The highly anticipated Union Pearson Express is a key component of The Big Move – Metrolinx’s strategy for a modern, efficient and integrated transportation system in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). upexpress.com

The pedestrian tunnel that is being constructed under the Western Gap to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is now entering its final stages of construction. The pouring of the concrete floor at grade for the tunnel’s mainland pavilion has been completed, and the hook-up of the first of two City of Toronto water mains is complete. These milestones in the tunnel’s construction follow a number of advancements that have been made in the last six months, including the completion of the tunnel’s concrete liner and the island-side atrium’s roofing system, as well as the lowering of the escalator frames into place. The opening date for the tunnel will be announced soon. torontoport.com / bbtcatunnelproject.ca

Explore

Ryerson Image Centre is showcasing its new lineup of Fall/Winter exhibitions marking the centennial of World War I. By comparing original prints with their reproductions in magazines, and in exhibiting other modes through which visual news is disseminated, DISPATCH reveals that taking a shot is only one step in the process of illustrating a war. Picture editors and art directors have always selected, trimmed, ordered and sequenced war photographs to suit their particular needs. This exhibition views these photographs not as windows open to the world, but as representations that are the product of changing editorial figures, aesthetic priorities and historical contexts. ryerson.ca/ric

The Fort York Visitor Centre is now open on the south side of Garrison Common at the Fort York National Historic Site (100 Garrison Rd). Designed by the award-winning Canadian team of Patkau Architects Inc / Kearns Mancini Architects Inc, this new facility helps the Fort tell its 200-year story and orient visitors to the entire 43-acre National Historic Site. The 24,000-square-foot Visitor Centre is designed to educate tourists and Torontonians about the 1813 Battle of York, when British, local and First Nations combatants fought to repel a U.S. invasion, helping create a sense of Canada as a nation. toronto.ca/fortified

Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) has a new lineup of special guests and events that will enhance the in-cinema experience and complement the exhibition celebrating the life and work of legendary film auteur Stanley Kubrick. Stanley Kubrick makes its Canadian premiere at TIFF Bell Lightbox on October 31, 2014 until January 25, 2015. More than a decade has passed since Kubrick was honoured with a retrospective in Toronto, and the exhibition will be accompanied by the comprehensive look at his oeuvre, Stanley Kubrick: A Cinematic Odyssey. Throughout the run of the retrospective several esteemed guests, scholars and Kubrick collaborators will introduce a number of screenings and explore the themes and continued influence of Kubrick’s work. tiff.net

The Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, which is dedicated to presenting an overview of the artistic, intellectual and scientific contributions that Muslim civilizations have made to world heritage, opened its doors to the public on September 18, 2014. The Museum’s Permanent Collection of over 1,000 objects includes masterpieces that reflect a broad range of artistic styles and materials. These portraits, textiles, miniatures, manuscripts, ceramics, tiles, medical texts, books and musical instruments represent more than ten centuries of human history and a geographic area stretching from the Iberian Peninsula to China. Designed by architect Fumihiko Maki, the Museum shares a 6.8-hectare (17- acre) site with Toronto’s Ismaili Centre, which was designed by architect Charles Correa. The surrounding landscaped park, designed by landscape architect Vladimir Djurovic, will provide an exciting new green space for the city of Toronto. akdn.org

Venues

Union Station is Canada’s busiest, most important multi-modal passenger transportation hub, a designated National Historic Site and a significant part of Toronto’s history and identity. Along with Union Station’s major renovations, it will bring new event spaces. The East Carriageway – The softly lit bowed ceilings and brick walls of the East Carriageway are reminiscent of a wine cellar of French tradition. Warm and welcoming, but also the most private and exclusive of the Union Station venues, the atmosphere of the East Carriageway is perfect for hosting intimate dinner parties, book readings or an aptly suited wine tasting. The West Carriageway – With its spectacular glass rooftop which peaks onto Front Street, the West Carriageway allows for the ambiance of any season to filter into your event, whether it is a romantic winter snowfall or a warm summer sunset. The West Carriageway feels airy and spacious: a striking counterpart to the adjoined East Carriageway. You can use both for an arresting contrast or allow the West Carriageway to shine all on its own. Perfect for large dinner parties, cocktail events, after-parties or speaker series, the West Carriageway provides your guests a glimpse of Toronto, and Toronto, a glimpse of your event. The West Wing – With its marble floors and pillars that stretch to the ornate sky light ceiling, the West Wing is a study in grandeur. Currently in the throes of renovations, once rejuvenated, the West Wing will be a hotspot location for private functions, community and cultural events. The Oak Room – Union Station’s Oak Room echoes the glamour and elegance of private clubrooms or jazz lounges of days past. Complete with oak panel walls and marble flooring, and attached to the West Wing, the Oak Room is perfect for any type of event whether it be private or public in nature. toronto.ca

The International Centre has completed phase 1 of an impressive 7 million dollar renewal plan. Incorporating sleek, modern design elements, and enhancing client and visitor experiences, the renovation has transformed its one million square foot facility. Changes to the facility, which complement the over 450 events held annually, include: dynamic, multifunctional new Connector building built to improve the flow between Hall 5 and the remainder of the facility. Merging functionality and design, this space now has the flexibility to accommodate registration, receptions, booths and displays, and lounge areas for food and beverage. Both Hall 1 lobby and Connector spaces were designed by Arch-Tech Design Group; State-of-the-art LED exterior main entrance and hall signage providing Clients full colour, full motion event messaging; Enhancing external and internal way-finding systems to better guide visitors through an updated easy-to-understand and esthetically pleasing way-finding system; Increasing the number of complimentary Internet hotspots to 4 key areas in the facility, allowing attendees to get affordably connected; Increasing Internet speeds by a factor of 10, and augmented the density of wireless coverage. This allows the Centre to deliver services reliably while halls are bustling with activity, and improves performance for downloading and uploading media-rich content. internationalcentre.com