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

Friday, June 12th, 2015

Contact info + PDF Version

We’re here if you have any questions.
Tourism Toronto Media Relations:
Office: 416-203-3812
Fax – 416-203-6753
media@torcvb.com

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

TORONTO, CANADA (June 2015) – Toronto is gearing up for exciting events this season with the anticipation of infrastructure completion at Union Station and many of Toronto’s streets and the opening of brand-new tourist attractions all in preparation for the Pan Am and ParaPan Am Games.

Get ready for a fun-filled season with a fresh, new look to the city as it welcomes the numerous athletes and fans. Get outside and explore Toronto’s activities from family fun to the perfect night out with friends while cheering on some of the best athletes from around the world.

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

Hotels

The Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, located in the heart of the financial and entertainment districts, is just steps away from shopping, world-class dining, theatre, and more. Canada’s flagship Sheraton hotel is currently undergoing a $90 million renovation of all 1,371 guest rooms, bringing a fresh look with rich colors, graphic patterns and clean lines inspired by Sheraton’s brand design. These room renovations will include 50” flat panel televisions in all guest rooms and suites, and all-white Sheraton Sweet Sleeper® beds, designed to meet AAA’s Five Diamond Award® criteria. In the spirit of creating a green environment throughout the hotel, guestrooms will feature completely renovated bathrooms with low- flow toilets, shower heads and faucets reducing water consumption throughout the building. With guest comfort first in mind, energy efficient, Variable Refrigerant Flow HVAC system will guests to control the thermostat in their room, providing personalized comfort regardless of the season. sheratontoronto.com/hotel-renovation

The brand new Delta Toronto officially opened its doors to the public last fall. Nestled between the Air Canada Centre and the Rogers Centre and directly connected to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre south building via the PATH, the Delta Toronto is theanchor of the city’s newest neighbourhood, Southcore (Soco). Soco is an imaginative and inspired mix of work/live/play. You can do anything and everything just a few steps from the front doors. deltatoronto.com

Modern, stylish, and hip, Hilton Toronto Airport Hotel and Suites has completed a $10 million makeover on meeting spaces, guestrooms and suites; the hotel is pushing the boundaries to provide the ultimate in airport hotel experience. On top of the newly added meeting space, the hotel is undergoing a $1 million pool redesign and enclosure project due to be completed this summer. Another exciting renovation project has begun that aims to offer an amazing sense of arrival for all guests with the redesigned lobby entrance and elevator modernization. visithiltonairport.com

A true waterfront oasis, The Radisson Admiral Hotel has undergone a significant transformation – the once dark, oak-lined lobby is now an almost ethereal space of light and sculpture. The reception desk appears to “float” as a small island amid colourful and inviting groupings of modern furniture. The lobby is designed to be welcoming and to provide exceptional ease of access for guests to the outstanding service team. The convenience of a satellite Starbucks enhances the overall experience for our clientele. Conveniently situated on Queen’s Quay West, the hotel is located within mere steps of Toronto’s Roger’s Centre, CN Tower and Ripley’s Aquarium along with the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. radisson.com/torontoca_admiral

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 and power outlets, and on-board screens will 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. upexpress.com

The $82.5 million pedestrian tunnel that is being constructed ten-storeys beneath Toronto Harbour’s Western Gap to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is making excellent progress and is targeted for completion in summer 2015. The first of six elevators on the mainland side of the tunnel is now certified and in operation, the tiling in the island-side atrium is complete, and the tunnel now has permanent power. The final stages of construction will include the continued installation of the tunnel’s elevators, architectural finishes and landscaping. Once open, the tunnel will provide the 2.4 million passengers who travel through Billy Bishop Airport each year with a reliable, predictable and convenient way to access the airport. All of the tunnel’s electricity needs, as is the case with all of Billy Bishop Airport’s operations, will be powered by 100 per cent green energy. portstoronto.com

Union Station has announced a new outdoor food market is on the way to the newlyrebuilt plaza in front of the train station. Taking place between July 6 and August 28, the market will serve as the centrepiece of what’s being called Union Summer, a series of programming designed to utilize the ample outdoor space in front of the iconic building. Organized by Front Street Foods, the market will feature approximately 30 vendors, including restaurants, caterers, bakers, and artisanal food makers. There will “bistro-style” seating in what is being called Sir John A. MacDonald Plaza. torontomarketco.com

The completion of Toronto’s main railway station, Union Station, 2015 the $1 billion revitalized subway platforms and GO concourse will officially re-open. Workers have been excavating a new basement retail level, dramatic new glass-covered train shed, and improving the subway connections, including adding a new platform. The massive project is due to wrap in the last quarter of 2015. toronto.ca

Over the next two years, BMO Field will be getting a major upgrade that not only offers Toronto FC and its fans one of the top stadiums in Major League Soccer, but also gives the seven-year old facility the ability to host additional events outside of soccer. The BMO Field renovations will be implemented in phases over the next two years. Phase one expanded the BMO Field to a seating capacity of 30,000 with 8,400 new seats in the East grandstands, additional washrooms and concession stands. It also included new suites, private clubs and the expansion of the Rogers Club as well as a new concourse on the second level connecting the stadium. It also features a new larger HD video board to replace the existing video board in the North end. The second phase of renovations, taking place from September, 2015 to May, 2016 will see the addition of a full-size canopy covering all seats with the exception of the North grandstand and a new sound and lighting system. In addition to the BMO Field renovations, they are also welcoming another team to the stadium. The BMO Field is the new home of the Toronto Argonauts. mlse.com

Massey Hall’s projected seven-year, $135-million revitalization project has begun, with representatives of the federal and provincial governments announcing respective $8- million investments in the project’s privately and publicly funded first phase. The 120- year-old concert hall will remain open for this first phase of the project, which is slated to wrap up in 2019. A second phase to reconstruct the building’s interior will close the hall for 18 to 24 months. masseyhall.com

A large portion of the West Don Lands will move into its more permanent use following the Pan Am Games in the summer of 2015. The athletes’ village, which will be centred around an eastward extension of Front St., will be refitted for residential and commercial use following the event, with streetcar service beginning on the new Cherry St. spur. Corktown Common, the new park on the eastern edge of the neighbourhood, will see more use, too. toronto.ca

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 is set for June 19th featuring widened granite sidewalks, an improved transit right of way, upgrades to the Martin Goodman Trail, and a new waterfront promenade. waterfrontoronto.ca

The City of Brampton has announced plans to create a major, world-class public outdoor ice skating park, as a lasting celebration of Canada’s upcoming 150th birthday. The principal feature of the proposed park is a broad refrigerated 1.4- kilometer pleasure skating circuit in a landscaped environment – the length of 24 typical hockey rinks. The park would also have a 400-meter speedskating oval; a 200- meter toboggan run; a 1,500-seat outdoor arena for competitions and events; a practice rink; a hockey Shoot’n’Score feature; a centre for curling; a heated outdoor pool; an outfitters shop to provide for visitors arriving unprepared; a variety of good food outlets; a roster of season-long special events; and more. brampton.ca

Toronto Eaton Centre, downtown Toronto’s premier shopping centre is embarking on a $400 million dollar redevelopment and is welcoming an all-star roster of new retailers slated to open in 2015 and 2016. Spring 2015 new store openings include BOSS Hugo Boss, Kate Spade New York, Vince Camuto, and the first location for UK-based retailer Reiss in Canada. More store announcements and openings are slated for September 2015 in the Toronto Eaton Centre’s level 2 expansion space and continued upgrades to the Centre include preparation for the first Saks 5th Avenue in Canada along with Nordstrom’s arrival in 2016. torontoeatoncentre.com

Spaces

HangLoose Media is a full-service production facility and event space located in the heart of Toronto’s Studio District. They offer a relaxed and comfortable working environment where you can create, execute and deliver your production while networking with a community of industry professionals across all disciplines. Complete with three full service studios (measuring 4300, 1500, and 1000 square feet), camera andequipment rentals, online and offline edit suites with Da Vinci Resolve, 4k ready screening room with one of the only Barco projectors in Canada and more. Within the 25,000 square foot venue, its clients can find the offices of a multitude of industry professionals, ranging from highly acclaimed television and film producers, to world renowned photographers, to the city’s best casting agents. District 28 was conceived when stumbling upon an abandoned warehouse in Leslieville, which was unseen for over a decade. After a $500,000 renovation, District 28 has now been converted into a bright pristine event space with soaring white walls, 2 built in bars, kitchen and ample space. Clients can choose to host massive events that span the entire 25,000 square feet available or have intimate events in our 1000 square foot reception area. This blank canvas allows planners’ imaginations to run free and transform this space, however they like. hangloosemedia.com

See & Do

From July 10-26 and August 7-15, 2015 the PanAm and ParaPanAm Games will be taking place in Toronto. Close to 7,000 athletes from across Latin America, South America, the Caribbean and North America will put their years of intense training, perseverance and sacrifice to the test in world-class competition in 36 Pan Am sports and 15 Parapan Am sports at the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am / Parapan Am Games. The TORONTO 2015 Games will involve municipalities stretching from Oshawa to Welland. toronto2015.org

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, 250 Fort York Blvd. 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 Oct. 4 to Nov. 7, 2015. toronto.ca/magnacarta

Gone Sailing Adventures is teaming up with some of Niagara County’s finest wineries and tour companies to bring you a fantastic voyage of water, land, gastronomy and wine. Each trip starts with either a land or sea route and switch after lunch. The morning sail includes a light breakfast and a wonderful lunch with a variety of Ontario wines. Upon arrival in Port Dalhousie, you will connect with the land portion of winery tours which includes a culinary adventure for dinner. Upon completion of your dinner and tour, you will be pampered in your chauffeured limousine van to Toronto. For those that start on land, you will be driven to Niagara County for winery tours and tastings and a gourmet lunch at a renowned winery restaurant. Meeting your yacht, you will sail home, enjoying wonderful new wines and a delicious dinner aboard. Take in the late afternoon sun as we approach the magnificent Toronto skyline June through September. gosailto.com

Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) hosts the Canadian premiere of Pompeii: In the Shadow of the Volcano from June 13, 2015 to January 3, 2016. The exhibition will include approximately 200 evocative objects that tell the dramatic story of Pompeii, an ancient Roman city captured in time by ash and debris that buried it during a volcanic eruption. Pompeii focuses on the people living in the city, revealing the fragility of life in the face of natural disaster. rom.on.ca

This fall the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) will host a major exhibition celebrating theexperimental and contemplative works of Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851), agiant of British art. Opening on Oct. 31, 2015, J.M.W. Turner: Painting Set Free featuresmore 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 Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall has expanded its free Live on the Patio at Roy Thomson Hall series with an extra night of music each week and an even bigger patio. Twice a week all summer starting at 5pm, enjoy live music, food by Barque Smokehouse and drinks at the Roy Thomson Hall patio, tucked just under street-level at King and Simcoe. With a $400,000 patio enhancement that includes a new David Pecault Square access bridge, a floating stage, and an expanded patio deck, the patio’s capacity has doubled, making it easier for music fans to access and enjoy live music on summer evenings in the heart of downtown Toronto. Live on the Patio continues the Corporation’s legacy of presenting high-quality artists from across Canada and around the world, offering this special programming free of charge. roythomson.com

New this summer, the Toronto Zoo will be launching an innovative and exciting new on site Augmented Reality Experience. Featuring the world premier of National Geographic’s Air, Land and Sea presentation, as well as a National Geographic Photography Exhibit, this new technology will allow our guests to interact with virtual animals. This is the first experience of its kind in Canada. torontozoo.com

This summer experience the fastest land mammal first-hand at the Toronto Zoo’s Cheetah Run. Reaching speeds of up to 100 km/hr in just 3 seconds, the Zoo’s African cheetahs will show their incredible speed and agility by chasing their “prey” across their exhibit. torontozoo.com.

From June 17-21, Toronto hosts the North by Northeast Festival (NXNE), one of Canada’s most anticipated summer music events. This year marks 21 years of celebrating not only up and coming local musicians, but some of the hottest acts on the global scene today. Programming also includes film, comedy, and art for industry folk and culture enthusiasts alike, bringing in approximately $50 million for the city of Toronto each year. Some of the headliners this year include Blonde Redhead, Atlas Sound, and Willow Smith. The performances and events take place in venues all over the city, with a couple of concerts free to the public happening at Yonge-Dundas square to add to the five-day party. nxne.com

Bud Light Digital Dreams is the largest electronic music festival in Canada. Set on the shoreline of Toronto with one of North America’s most iconic skylines in the background, Digital Dreams Music Festival and the Flats at Ontario Place offer party goers a sophisticated festival experience. digitaldreamsfestival.ca/

This year the Redpath Waterfront Festival marks the opening of the revitalized Queens Quay, the city’s waterfront boulevard featuring a stunning new pedestrian promenade and a waterfront connection for the Martin Goodman Trail. Join a Waterfront Community Parade and a weekend-long celebration that includes Party on the Promenade, DANCE Pan American Style, DockDogs® Championships, Toronto Wine & Spirit Festival and the Sweetness Pride Beach Part. towaterfrontfest.com/

The Luminato Festival was born out of the cultural and creative energy of the city of Toronto and has become one of the preeminent arts festivals in North America. An international multi-arts event for people open to having art change their outlook on the world, for 10 days each June, Luminato Festival transforms Toronto’s theatres, parks and public spaces with hundreds of events celebrating theatre, dance, music, literature, food, visual arts, magic, film, and more. LuminatoFestival.com

The TD Toronto Jazz Festival is one of North America’s premier jazz festivals, not just for music lovers but for some of the greatest jazz celebrities in the world. The hub is in the heart of the city at Nathan Phillips Square and with 1,500 musicians performing at 40 venues, downtown will be groovin’, swingin’ and jumpin’ for 10 days. torontojazz.com/

The Toronto Japanese Film Festival (TJFF) is dedicated to showcasing the finest Japanese films that have been recognized for excellence by Japanese audiences and critics, international film festival audiences and the Japanese Film Academy. The 2015 Festival will be held from June 11 to 26, 2015 and will feature 19 films including many international, North American and Canadian premieres. torontojff.com

UNITY Charity is pleased to announce the dates of the UNITY Festival happening from July 22nd to July 25th. The UNITY Festival is an annual showcase event, celebrating Hip-Hop in its diversity. It presents the most dedicated and talented youth performers from across Canada. Youth performers are recruited from UNITY’s school and community programs and open auditions from the community. unitycharity.com/festival

TreeTop Eco-Adventure Park is proud to offer for the first time in the Durham Region Combat Archery. Combat Archery combines the ancient art of archery, with the modern sports of paintball and dodgeball. Take up arms against friends and family, as well as other combatants in an arena, armed with youth bows and soft, foam tipped arrows. treetopeco-adventurepark.com/

In addition to offering fresh, local craft Pilsner and engaging brewery tours, Steam Whistle Brewing will now indulge visitors with their NEW light fare menu. Responding to the popularity of occasional food truck or pop-up food vendors in their brewery on special occasions, Steam Whistle has now opened their own kitchen offering sandwiches and snacks that pair perfectly with their beer. Three sandwich options are available daily: the Prosciutto & Brie; the Chilli & Cheddar; the Buffalo Chicken sandwich. Each is served on a pretzel bun with a side of McClure Garlic & Dill kettle chips and a pickle spear. For those only looking for a snack, large, doughy pretzels are served with the brewery’s own spicy Pilsner mustard. All can be enjoyed with a bottle, can or pint of Steam Whistle Pilsner sitting around the Brewhouse where a Toronto signature craft beer is made. steamwhistle.ca/

Toronto’s revitalized Queens Quay Boulevard debuts at summer’s ultimate weekend party. Bring on summer 2015 and celebrate everything this long-awaited season has to offer at the Redpath Waterfront Festival June 19-21, 2015. Admission is free and everyone is invited. From the kick-off opening, with a ribbon cutting ceremony like no other and the Waterfront Community People’s Parade, ending at HTO Park East for the Grand Opening Show, the weekend-long Party on the Promenade celebration has activities for the whole family along the new 2 km Queens Quay Boulevard: DANCE Pan American Style with celebrity choreographer Jean Marc Généreux, DockDogs® Championships, Ultimutts Stunt Dog Show, Toronto Wine & Spirit Festival and the Sweetness Pride Beach Party. The Festival will transform Toronto’s waterfront into one of the most sought-after summer destinations for residents and visitors alike. Get ready for the celebration of the summer. Everybody Party Now! towaterfrontfest.com

Heritage Toronto has kicked off its 21st year of tours! The program offers tourists a way to get to know Toronto just the same way the locals do – these tours are much-loved bycitizens of Toronto! Heritage Toronto offers some “boutique” tours with a smaller group size which cost $20 per person, and many of the larger tours are either free or only ask for a $5+ donation at the end of the tour. In particular, don’t miss the Tours in celebration of the Year of Sport in Canada & the Pan Am / Parapan Am Games such as the “Sport Stadiums and Lakeside Leisure: Playing Along the Waterfront” walking tour, the “West Don Lands: From Manufacturing to Medals” walking tour, and Spanish and English versions of the “Creating Toronto: The Story of the City in Seven Stops” walking tour. heritagetoronto.org

Dining & Entertainment

MUZIK BEACH is a three-acre outdoor oasis located in the heart of Toronto’s historical Exhibition Place, which is home to Canada’s largest trade center and attracts over 5.3 million visitors a year. MUZIK BEACH was designed to deliver a unique experience every time. With 3 infinity edge pools, 10 full service bars and over 75 fully furnished VIP cabanas, the outdoor getaway is perfect for a single sunbather or groups of 6 to 500. Revel under the sun on one of our many chaise loungers or cool off with a quick dip into the pool. Various services are offered to enhance your visit. MUZIK BEACH transforms into the ultimate nocturnal patio party complete with Canada’s only Outdoor Curving LED Wall, intelligent motion lights and LED pool lighting combined with over 80,000 watts of sound your senses will be triggered into overdrive. Dance the night away or simply enjoy the party from your cabana. Best of all, Muzik Beach is rain or shine. In the event of inclement weather, the party can be moved inside so you won’t miss a moment of the Muzik experience. Lounge in Toronto’s global inspiration. muzikclubs.com

El Patio is Toronto’s spiciest new downtown hot spot. Located at 145 Pearl St. this funky patio boats colourful art installations, a bar set inside a shipping container, and a food truck. These being just a few of the unique features that make this Mexican street patio a must-do experience. Enjoy lively music while you sip on a delicious tequila inspired cocktail and snacks designed by Chef Elia Herrera. El Patio’s fun atmosphere and unique décor provide the perfect environment for an afternoon getaway or a fun night out with friends. elcaballito.ca

Contact Us

For more information, please contact: Jessica Halliday, Tourism Toronto jhalliday@torcvb.com, 416-203-3812

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 www.seetorontonow.com.

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

– 30 –