Press Release:
What’s New in Toronto, Ontario Canada – Fall 2015

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

Contact info + PDF Version

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Tourism Toronto Media Relations:
Office: 416-203-3812
Fax – 416-203-6753

Download a PDF version of this press release: What’s New in Toronto, Ontario Canada – Fall 2015 (PDF).

TORONTO, CANADA (September 2015) – As summer winds down, Toronto continues to heat things up with celebrities, culture and culinary excitement around every corner. Whether it’s hitting a homerun at the ballpark or gearing up for hockey season, Fall in Toronto is the best time to take advantage of bright days and cool nights. With exciting hotel renovations, major name changes and intriguing exhibits, the leaves are not the only thing changing in the city.

Read on and find out the updates and the latest news in Toronto or visit:


Canada’s flagship, Sheraton Centre Hotel, underwent a $100 million renovation. No expense was spared to ensure that all of the 1,372 guest rooms were transformed into a vision of modern sophistication. The freshly upgraded technology-enabled guestrooms now include wall-mounted 50” flat panel televisions, renovated bathrooms featuring walk-in showers*, and all new heating and air conditioning in each room, allowing guests to control their specific room temperature. In addition to the guestrooms, the hotel has renovated all of its largest ballrooms. Guests will revel in the elegance & splendour of the brand new, $10 million collection of ballrooms – including the breathtaking grand ballroom which features occupancy of 3,500 guests.

Sheraton Hotels are committed to the sustainability of our environment which is why Sheraton Centre Hotel underwent a $13 million retrofitting of all guest room windows helping to reduce energy consumption and make the hotel more energy efficient overall. 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 two brand new ballrooms.

The Omni King Edward Hotel in Toronto has completed a $40 million renovation that began in fall 2013. In addition to updates to the hotel’s 301 rooms (new furnishings and bedding, vintage crown moldings and marble bathrooms), the property boasts a new Royal Club level, where guests staying in one of 29 rooms receive breakfast, hors d’oeuvres and other amenities in the VIP Royal Club Lounge. Omni, which acquired the property in 2013, also updated the Sovereign, Vanity Fair and Windsor ballrooms as well as the look and menus of the hotel’s two restaurants, Victoria’s and the Consort Bar.
Updates to the lobby include restoration of decorative plaster work on the ceiling and the wood-paneled walls, as well as classic contemporary furnishings using rich hues of ivory, gold and purple. The hotel opened in 1903 and has housed luminaries such as Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway and Elvis Presley.

Infrastructure & Development

Launched on June 6, Union Pearson Express (UP Express) connects Toronto Pearson International Airport to downtown Toronto’s Union Station in just 25 minutes with departures every 15 minutes. Trains have level boarding, ample luggage space and comfortable seating complete with table trays, power outlets, and on-board screens that provide updated flight information and showcase events and attractions. Airline check-in kiosks and a relaxing upstairs mezzanine are available at the UP Express Union Station. This station is conveniently located close by Toronto’s many downtown hotels, tourist attractions and business centres.

Waterfront Toronto’s overhaul of Queens Quay is far more than cosmetic. Completely rebuilding the street, including electrical, water, and streetcar infrastructure, has allowed the city to begin from scratch. A grand opening on June 19 unveiled widened granite sidewalks, an improved transit right of way, upgrades to the Martin Goodman Trail, and a new waterfront promenade.

On July 30 Ports Toronto’s new 853-foot pedestrian tunnel linking Toronto’s mainland to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport officially opened, providing travellers with a fast, reliable and convenient way to access the airport in less than a six minute walk. Up until then, Billy Bishop Airport had only been accessible by ferry. The tunnel, which runs across the Western Channel of Lake Ontario, constructed within the bedrock 100 feet beneath the surface of the lake, improves upon the already swift travel experience for the 2.4 million passengers who pass through the airport each year en route to destinations around the world. Travellers arriving from the mainland enter a new one-storey pavilion that serves as the entryway to the tunnel. From a bank of six elevators inside the pavilion, they then descend 100 feet to access the tunnel and travel along the horizontal passageway via four automated sidewalks moving at a speed of 2.3 kilometres per hour. At the south end of the horizontal expanse of the tunnel, travellers can choose to ascend to the island atrium and airport’s check-in area using one of the longest escalator systems in Canada, one of two elevators, or a staircase of 153 steps to the top.


Direct Energy Centre: Canada’s largest exhibition and convention centre is now named “Enercare Centre.” Following the acquisition of Direct Energy’s Ontario Home Services business by Enercare Inc., the Board of Governors of Exhibition Place successfully concluded a multi-year naming rights sponsorship agreement to re-name the venue. This naming rights agreement is effective through May 31, 2026. The $7.5 million (CDN) agreement includes title sponsorship of the centre, creation of a new logo, exterior signage and a public space in the Galleria of the building to showcase Enercare Inc.’s products and services to the public.

See & Do

On October 3, from sundown to sunrise the following day, experience Scotiabank Nuit Blanche Toronto, Toronto’s contemporary art event that magically transforms Toronto’s streets and parks into an artistic playground with exhibitions, live performances and creative programs.

Residents and visitors will be able to see one of the world’s most well-known historic documents, the Magna Carta, for the first time in Toronto this fall at the Fort York Visitor Centre. The Magna Carta and its companion document, the Charter of the Forest, set the groundwork for many concepts defining democratic life today and established principles of universal human rights and protection of the commons to limit privatization and encourage stewardship for shared resources. The exhibition will also highlight the evolution of democracy, rights and justice in Toronto. Toronto is one of four Canadian cities exhibiting the Magna Carta as part of a national tour organized by Magna Carta Canada. The exhibition will run from October 4 to November 7.

This fall the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) will host a major exhibition celebrating the experimental and contemplative works of Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851), a giant of British art. Opening October 31, J.M.W. Turner: Painting Set Free features more than 50 large-scale paintings and watercolours on loan from Tate Britain and makes the case that the radical works created in the final 15 years of Turner’s career, with their arresting use of light, represent a fulfillment of the artist’s upward trajectory.

The recipient of the 2014 Gershon Iskowitz Prize at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), Vancouver-based artist Liz Magor, returns to Toronto this fall with a solo exhibition of 15 sculptural and photographic works spanning the last two decades. Investigating our desire for comfort and belonging through everyday objects, both cast and found, the exhibition Liz Magor: Surrender opens August 29 and runs to November 29.

Toronto Zoo unveiled its 2015 Earth Flag and is encouraging visitors to sign the flag to demonstrate their commitment to addressing climate change. By signing the flag, visitors are taking the following pledge: “I pledge to make Earth Day® Every day and reduce my carbon footprint.” The Toronto Zoo has partnered with Earth Day® Canada to help them reach their goal of 1 million signatures. The signatures collected at the Toronto Zoo will then be incorporated into the Flag that Earth Day® Canada is taking to Paris, France in December for the 2015 Paris Climate Conference.

Casa Loma, operated by Liberty Entertainment Group, has partnered with Company & Co. to transform the landmark attraction into a new venue for an escape game series. Escape from the Tower launched on August 12, blending historical Casa Loma facts with fiction for an elevated experience. The concept, set in 1941, includes a cast of theatre actors and an elaborate set creating a unique experience for players. Participants will learn the history of Casa Loma and its ties to World War ll before venturing into the realistic and entertaining challenge. The game was written, developed and produced through a collaboration between game design, tech and theatre experts.

Free fall into science with the Red Bull Stratos, landing at the Ontario Science Centre October 9. This travelling exhibit makes its Canadian debut on the three-year anniversary of Austrian BASE jumper Felix Baumgartner’s supersonic freefall of 39 kilometres from a stratospheric balloon. See the 1,450-kilogram capsule and Baumgartner’s space suit up close and imagine what it would have been like to make the jump – he accelerated from 0 to 1357.6 km per hour (Mach 1.25) in just 50 seconds before parachuting to the ground, breaking a number of world records. The Red Bull Stratos mission also delivered valuable scientific data, furthering the development of protocols for exposure to high altitude and supersonic acceleration and deceleration.

TIFF Bell Lightbox’s major exhibition this fall features over 800 artworks and artifacts including Andy Warhol’s personal Hollywood memorabilia collections, a rarely seen Marilyn Monroe tapestry, episodes of Andy Warhol’s television series, and a re-imagined Silver Factory lounge; plus two film programmes, special guests, and a series of accompanying contemporary art installations including a livestream of Andy Warhol’s gravesite

Aga Khan Museum’s Home Ground: Contemporary Art from the Barjeel Art Foundation is a powerful exhibition from the Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE runs the gamut from photography to installation, sculpture to painting, and more. Experience the work of 12 Arab artists who examine how private life is shaped by current political events. Featuring exciting contemporary art coming out of the Middle East and North Africa today, the works in this exhibition are united by an awareness of struggle — the struggle to cross geopolitical borders; the struggle to forge an identity in an ever-shifting world; and the inherent struggle of being an artist. The exhibit runs until January 2016.

Air Canada customers travelling between the U.S. and Europe or Asia via the airline’s Toronto Pearson global hub will have an opportunity to pause their journey in the city for up to one week with no stopover fee. This special offer, developed with the support of Tourism Toronto, is designed to encourage U.S. originating international customers to take advantage of their connection to experience Canada’s largest and most vibrant city.

Just For Laughs has assembled the most controversial and thought-provoking line-up ever seen in Toronto. This year’s edition of JFL42 in Toronto boasts a highly-anticipated group of comedians with headliners including Bill Burr, Craig Ferguson, Miranda Sings and many more. Experience Toronto’s belly-busting Comedy Festival from September 24 – October 3.

Canada’s Walk of Fame aims to celebrate Canadians who have excelled in their respective fields in order to engage and to inspire the next generation. To date, Canada’s Walk of Fame has 157 inductees, each immortalized with their names forever cemented into the sidewalks of Toronto’s Entertainment District. Canada’s Walk of Fame’s 2015 Festival runs from September 25 to October 1.

Experience Toronto Fashion Week October 19-24. Whether you’re a fashion lover or fashion designer; if you’re looking to see or be seen, or just interested in the scene altogether, this is the place to be as some of the biggest names in Canadian fashion (and from all over the world) gather to showcase their collections.

International Festival of Authors presents the finest international novelists, poets, playwrights, short story writers and biographers, and provides Canadian writers with an internationally recognized forum in which to present their work. The Festival, October 22 to November 1, and weekly series together have held readings, round table discussions, interviews and performances involving over 8,500 authors from more than 100 countries.

Canada’s Wonderland is taking guests to new heights for 2016 with the addition of two new rides that will capture the imagination of both families, and thrill-seekers, as they take flight in an interactive flying experience.

  • Skyhawk, the first ride of its kind in North America, will take riders to a new level of adventure when the park opens for its 35th season in 2016. Riders will take control of their own cockpit, showcasing their flying abilities as they maneuver through 360 degree turns, and challenge themselves to engage in multiple inversions at 135 feet (41m) in the air.
  • Flying Eagles will thrill little pilots and quickly become a family favourite for parents and children alike. These two-person planes will glide 28 feet (8.5m) above the ground and allow each rider to control their flight and ride experience.

For the past 26 years, the Gardiner Museum has celebrated the holiday season by displaying Christmas trees decorated by renowned artists and designers. This year, curator Dee Dee Eustace has reinvented this holiday tradition under the theme “The Joy of Creativity,” inviting participants to reimagine the Christmas tree. The results include a tree formed by the negative space between two giant lightning bolts; a modern interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker combining photography and geometric sculpture; an installation of recycled air conditioner coils embossed with Christmas trees; and a tree made of silk Hermès umbrellas. In addition to the exhibition itself, a 40-foot tree designed by exhibition curator Dee Dee Eustace will be erected on the Museum’s front plaza as a gift to the community. The 12 Trees of Christmas will be celebrated at the exhibition’s signature fundraising gala—The G Party—on December 1.

Internationally acclaimed Canadian Cree artist, Kent Monkman, mounts a highly-anticipated new installation at the Gardiner Museum made up of a 9-foot high buffalo jump topped by two mounted bison and a sculpture of the artist’s glamourous diva alter ego, Miss Chief, a supernatural being who challenges accepted historical narratives. At the base of the cliff, smashed ceramics reference the build-up of bones often found at buffalo jumps, the result of years of sustainable hunting before the decimation of the bison population. Monkman’s installation addresses the bison’s near extinction in the 1800s, when their numbers were reduced from 50 million to the hundreds, and the effect that this had on the Native population.

The Thompson Landry Gallery will present Juxtapositions, an exciting new exhibition celebrating the dynamism and artistic achievement of Jean-Pierre Lafrance. With a career spanning the last fifty years, Lafrance presents a new body of work uniting his classic abstraction of the early 2000s with diverse dimensions, linearity and contrasting colour palettes. Engaging with the viewers’ senses, Lafrance aims at drawing the audience into his complex world of juxtapositions; flatness vs. linearity, contrasting vs. complimentary colours, impasto vs. smoothness; while continuing to create works which avoid a narrative. Notably, Lafrance has exhibited for the greater part of the last decade across North America as well as Europe. His works are part of many private and public collections globally.

The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery’s fall 2015 season features solo exhibitions by three major contemporary artists, and all three of the exhibitions will explore the city of Toronto within the global consciousness. The program has ties to a number of other arts and culture events around the city – including TIFF, Nuit Blanche, Art Toronto and more.

Drake General Store is thrilled to partner with UP (Union Pearson) Express to provide a unique shopping experience within UP Express Union Station. Founded in 2008 by Jeff Stober, Carlo Colacci and Joyce Lo, Drake General Store is a Toronto-based lifestyle brand that reimagines the hotel gift shop while capturing inspiration from the classic general store.

Pursuit OCR is a 10,000 square-foot facility and will be Canada’s only indoor adult obstacle course. “The Jungle Gym” is set to open in this Fall. Along with the giant playground, Pursuit will hold group exercise classes mainly focusing on gymnastics and dynamic flexibility. Pursuit will also be one of the only places downtown offering cryotherapy. While freezing yourself may not sound appealing, many professional athletes and celebrities use this tactic.

Dining & Entertainment

Four Seasons Hotel has opened the doors to the new Café Boulud, located in the flagship Toronto location. In the heart of Yorkville, the new restaurant features a stylish redesign imagined by award-winning designer Martin Brudnizki and a French menu created in collaboration by Chef Daniel Boulud and Chef de Cuisine Sylvain Assié. The heart of the menu is traditionally French, offering dishes that both Chef Boulud and Chef Assié grew up with in the countryside of France.

Toronto’s very own Drake and Chef Susur Lee opened a new restaurant in the downtown core. On September 21 the duo officially launched the opening of Fring’s Restaurant.

Cibo Wine Bar, the Italian eatery and wine bar created by Liberty Entertainment Group, will be expanding with a third Toronto location in the Yorkville district. The internationally established Cibo Wine Bar is known for its authentic Italian cuisine and vibrant atmosphere, in an industrial chic setting. Cibo Yorkville will incorporate the key design elements that distinguish the Cibo brand including a fully open concept kitchen, a glass enclosed wine room for over 1500 bottles, an enigmatic wine system, and original artwork from the famed street artist Mr. Brainwash. Scheduled for an early October 2015 opening, Cibo Yorkville will offer the innovation and detail that guests expect from the Cibo brand and Liberty Entertainment Group.

CIBC UPSTAIRS LOUNGE featuring Mill St. Brewery is now available for private events.
Located inside Union Station within the new UP Express on the second floor is a private oasis overlooking the trains departing and coming from Union to Pearson. Enjoy a private or semi- private event for up to 90 people with a custom catered menu to suit any meeting or event.

Balzac’s landmark 10th location is just a hop, skip and a jump from Toronto’s Union Station. Located in UP (Union Pearson) Express, Balzac’s newest location can be found in the Skywalk and accessed via Toronto’s PATH system.

Award-winning celebrity Chef Lynn Crawford’s market-inspired, chef-driven dishes are
who is known for her appearances on the hit Food Network shows Pitchin In and the Great Canadian Cookbook, and as a resident judge on Chopped Canada, as well as for her Ruby Watchco restaurant in Toronto’s Riverside neighbourhood.

Experience a whole new way to enjoy CopaCabana. They are now offering brunch every Sunday from 10:30am – 2pm. Featuring a selection from their rodizio grilled meats, traditional breakfast items, crepes, pancakes, salads, freshly baked breads and many more mouthwatering dishes.!home/mainPage

A Harry Potter inspired bar has opened on Dundas West. Taking homage from the popular book and film series, The Lockhart doesn’t go overboard with their Harry Potter theme. With subtle references, like the infamous “All ends well” quote in neon, and the Deathly Hallows symbol, The Lockhart is more of a tribute to Harry Potter than it is a full on themed bar. The cocktail menu features drinks like The Botanist, Ludo’s Debt, The Lockhart Caesar and more.

About Tourism Toronto

Tourism Toronto, Toronto’s Convention and Visitors Association, is an industry association of more than 1,100 members established to sell and market the greater Toronto region as a remarkable destination for tourists, convention delegates and business travellers around the globe. Tourism Toronto operates in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport and the Greater Toronto Hotel Association. For more information please visit

*All figures contained in this release should be cited to Tourism Toronto.

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