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117 Toronto businesses receive over $9.5M in tourism recovery support

Press Release

Toronto, ON (March 2, 2023) — As the tourism industry continues its recovery, 117 tourism businesses and organizations in Toronto have received support from Regional Tourism Organization 5 – Greater Toronto Area (RTO5) through the Government of Canada’s Tourism Relief Fund. A further 24 businesses in Mississauga and Brampton are also benefiting from this federal support as part of the program, delivered by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).

RTO5 received $12 million in tourism relief funding to help local tourism organizations and businesses safely welcome back visitors, recover from the impacts of the pandemic, create jobs and prepare for future growth. Destination Toronto administered the program acting as RTO5 for the region including the cities of Toronto, Mississauga and Brampton, collaborating closely with tourism officials in all three cities, including Mississauga Tourism, the City of Brampton Tourism Office and the City of Toronto Tourism Services.

A total of 141 projects will be completed in Toronto, Mississauga and Brampton, bringing much-needed investment to the region. FedDev Ontario worked closely with regional tourism offices across southern Ontario on the success of the Tourism Relief Fund, to maximize impact and support businesses in connecting to the visitor economy.

Some of the Toronto projects include:

  • Arcadia Earth Toronto – receiving $100,000 for an immersive exhibit designed to entertain and inspire positive impacts on environmental sustainability storytelling;
  • Bloor West Village BIA – receiving $100,000 for enhancements of annual events, public art projects that leverage cultural elements and streetscape beautification to promote the area as a business and shopping district;
  • Buddies in Bad Times Theatre – receiving $100,000 to update the exterior of the building, interior renovations and enhance accessibility;
  • Church-Wellesley Village BIA – receiving $100,000 for large-scale public art projects to boost the attractiveness of the neighbourhood and to support area business development;
  • Easy & The Fifth Inc. – receiving $100,000 to enhance the outdoor ‘RendezViews’ patio to make it more attractive for meeting/conference attendees along with other group attendance improvements;
  • The Fringe Toronto – receiving $50,000 to support the return of its festival, to host two community hubs: ‘The POSTSCRIPT PATIO’ and the ‘Tranzac Club’ and to develop new public art installation depicting the history of Fringe Festival;
  • Guild Festival Theatre – receiving $75,620 to launch the ‘Discover Your Passion’ initiative, which  included live performances from local artists and assist with revitalization of Scarborough main street;
  • MCI Canada – receiving $98,000 to develop a sustainability tool for businesses and support its roll out in Canada;
  • Mimico by the Lake BIA – receiving $22,000 for a new eight-week Sunday Sunset music series on weekends in August and September;
  • Mulan International Film Festival – receiving $75,821 to support its expansion to a year-round festival focusing on Canadian and youth filmmakers and experimental films and an appreciation of Chinese cinema;
  • Oakwood Village BIA – receiving $75,326 for the installation of decorative street lighting that can be changed by season to attract visitors to local businesses and restaurants;
  • Taste of the Middle East – receiving $100,000 to expand festival programming to host ‘Taste of the Middle East: WinterFest’, an indoor three-day festival;
  • The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery – receiving $100,000 to support the launch of three public art installations featuring work from 10 Indigenous artists and to enhance website capacity to include e-commerce functionality; and,
  • Willowdale BIA – receiving $65,500 for streetscape beautification, area rebranding and a multi weekend fall music series.

Please see the backgrounder for information on all projects in Toronto, Mississauga and Brampton that are receiving support.

Quotes:

“Social clubs and festivals across the GTA bring families and friends together to experience diverse culture and try new things. Our government supports the great work these organizations are doing to offer fun activities and attractions for residents and visitors alike.”

  • The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

“As we move past the acute phase of the pandemic, Canada’s tourism sector is showing strong signs of growth. The Government of Canada’s investments in tourism over the last two years focused on the survival of our visitor economy. As we move to revival and growth, we continue to provide targeted support to businesses and communities so they can deliver unforgettable experiences as well as make significant investments in resilient public infrastructure. A robust tourism sector and vibrant community spaces are key to our government’s ongoing work in building an economy that works for all Canadians.”

  • The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance

“The support of Regional Tourism Organization 5 and the financial backing of FedDev Ontario allowed us to proceed confidently with a summer full of live performances. This funding made it possible to bring together dozens of artists and thousands of audience members at a time when community celebration was most needed.”

  • Tyler J. Seguin, Co-Artistic Director, Guild Festival Theatre

“We are so grateful for the support of the regional tourism organization and FedDev Ontario; they provided us with the boost we needed to come back to life after having presented only digital work and online gatherings for two years. To be able to bring the Toronto Fringe community together at the POSTSCRIPT patio over 12 beautiful days in the summer was so important to so many artists and audiences after being without for so long. We also were able to introduce the Fringe to so many new folks because of the many community events we were able to offer.”

  • Lucy Eveleigh, Executive Director, The Toronto Fringe

“The pandemic highlighted the importance of a strong visitor economy for the vitality of our local businesses. We’re grateful to FedDev Ontario for supporting our community in enhancing and expanding the breadth of experiences available, attracting visitors during this critical recovery period. Looking at the full list of recipients, the Toronto businesses and organizations receiving support are a strong representation of Toronto’s rich culture, diversity, community priorities and values.”

  • Scott Beck, President & CEO of Destination Toronto

Contacts:

Kathy Motton
Senior Communications Manager Destination Toronto
416-721-9203
kmotton@destinationtoronto.com

Edward Hutchinson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
edward.hutchinson@feddevontario.gc.ca

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