Le Planificateur n°10-7 aoû/sep 2012
Le Planificateur n°10-7 aoû/sep 2012
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  • Parution : n°10-7 de aoû/sep 2012

  • Périodicité : mensuel

  • Editeur : Le Planificateur

  • Format : (216 x 279) mm

  • Nombre de pages : 48

  • Taille du fichier PDF : 8,3 Mo

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d e s t i n at i o n : t o r on t o Toronto Hotels The Good, The Great and The Beautiful Ever since Toronto was tagged over 100 years ago with the nickname, The Good, the city has worked tirelessly to free itself from the stigmas that came with it. Deemedby many until around the late 1970’s as a rather boring and cautious, bordering on puritanical, destination with a very tall tower and limited partying hours, Toronto was a poor second cousin to Montreal and Quebec City, both cities that never seem to sleep. I can still remember some strange licensing laws, where alcoholic drinks could not be carried around a venue except by the servers and some places would only serve alcohol if food was also purchased. National Geographic cites Toronto in its 2012 destination recommendations with the following accolades : « Toronto has matured into a (still polite) multicultural patchwork of vibrant neighborhoods and has recently enjoyed a billion-dollar cultural renaissance. Mapped with a green world of hidden ravines, Toronto is glutted with an exhaustive range of ethnic restaurants, arts festivals, and shopping drags. Toronto’s virtues are now also its pleasures ». Pleasures don’t begin to describe the plethora of restaurants, bars and nightclubs ; theatres and entertainment centres ; fabulous hotels, convention centres and corporate event venues in the downtown core alone. Venture a little further out of the city in any direction and some of the most beautiful scenery, award winning wineries and outstanding resorts can be reached in two hours or less. Adventure is also close at hand, on water, land and in the air. In 2011 Toronto’s population stood at 2,615,060, a 4.5% increase over the 2006 Census. The GTA houses around 6,000,000 people and is expanding at an alarming rate. It is a major hub for Canada, the US, Caribbean and Europe, with the largest airport in Canada, Pearson International and two other airports, Billy Bishop downtown and HI (Hamilton International) west of the City, serving mainly Canadian and US cities. There are over 300 hotels to choose from in the Greater Toronto area, together with four major convention centres and several hotels with convention facilities. Toronto is accessible by train from the US and across Canada, as wellas by bus from all major North American Cities. It is just over an hour to the US border, with three major crossings, each having reasonable wait times outside of holiday seasons. The population is diverse and cosmopolitan and food from every corner of the world is readily available in the City and suburbs. By Jyl Ashton Cunningham, CMP Probably the most significant change to downtown Toronto has been the seemingly neverending development of new office towers, condominiums and hotels. Some pretty impressive hotel chains are adding Toronto to their portfolio, not least Trump, which recently opened its doors on Richmond Street in a sparkling array of Swarovski Crystal and gorgeous rooms with a view. The Ritz Carlton, now just over a year old and a little off the regular hotel radar at Wellington and John, is a stunning example of how to do things right, with understated elegance and prices that are attainable and negotiable. Service at each, as you might expect, is above and beyond. A little to the west of the Ritz Carlton is the elegant Thompson Hotel at Wellington and Bathhurst, owned by Jason Pomeranc who was recently quoted as saying, « Toronto is a natural choice because it has a real synergy with New York and as a financial centre, and it also has a synergy with Los Angeles and Hollywood because of the film festival. This is where our core customers are. » Still to come, the Shangri-La and the new Four Seasons, two high-end properties that continue to endorse the fact that Toronto has finally grownup and is welcoming the world to its glittering doorsteps. Not to be outdone, some landmark hotels are also being reborn, with the Fairmont Royal York planning a multi million dollar facelift from the basement to the attic, leaving no stone, carpet or stick of furniture unturned. A long time coming, the results are guaranteed to be fantastic, without disrupting the hotel operations in any significant way, according to Fairmont Global Sales Director Michael Welsh. Watch this space for further exciting developments. Although it certainly helps to have a respectable budget to experience the finer aspects of Toronto, planners with less money to work with should not discount the city, whatever the time of year. All it takes is creativity, enthusiastic supplier negotiation tactics and the ability to convince delegates that an incentive destination can be just as much fun on a lower budget. That being said, sometimes the urge to splash out is too irresistible and a little luxury just seems right, remembering that hotel accommodation rates are generally negotiable, you simply need to ask. Approaching a hotel with a pre-set budget often pays off and no hotel will turn away valid business as long as the client demographic fits the hotel being sourced. Jyl Ashton Cunningham, CMP is owner of JAAC Meetings & Events By Design and Associate Editor of The Planner. Jyl welcomes your comments and can be reached at info@ jaacevents.com 22 Le PLANIFICATEUR Volume 10, No. 7
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