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Best Western Plus Travel Hotel Toronto Airport
News > GTHA News: Archived > GTHA News- 2014
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October 2014 Airport Activity Report - Monday, December 22, 2014
The October 2014 Aviation Activity Report is now available for your information and reference. View it here. 
Current Performance Indicators October 2014 - Friday, December 19, 2014
The Ministry’s Current Performance Indicators have been updated with October 2014 data, click here.
Budget, China Trade Mission Among Highlights of 2014 - Friday, December 19, 2014
The Ontario government made significant progress this year to build opportunity and security for the people of Ontario. During the summer, the government introduced the 2014 Budget, which laid out a plan to grow the economy and create jobs, while balancing the budget by 2017-18. 

Premier Kathleen Wynne and her team focused on initiatives to help the province prosper. See highlights from 2014 here.
Province Taking Next Step in Developing Ontario Retirement Pension Plan - Thursday, December 18, 2014
Ontario Launches Consultation Paper; Helping Build a Better Retirement for Future Generations
The province is taking the next step in the development of the new Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) with the release of a consultation paper inviting feedback on key design details of the plan. Read news release here.
Expanded Definition of Worker under the Occupational Health and Safety Act - Thursday, December 18, 2014
Effective immediately, the new definition of worker under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) expands coverage of the OHSA to unpaid co-op students, certain other learners and trainees participating in a work placement in Ontario. Read more here.
CTC and Korea Tourism Organization sign Memorandum of Understanding - Wednesday, December 17, 2014
New agreement will lead to stronger co-operation and exchange of tourism marketing intelligence.

Let’s shake on it: the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Korea Tourism Organization.

The new agreement, which was sealed Dec. 11 at CTC headquarters in Vancouver, BC, looks to broaden and deepen mutual understanding as well as strengthen co-operation between the two countries in the tourism marketplace. Other key areas will be swapping ideas around handling international events, product development, shared market intelligence and consumer trends. Read more here.
Union Pearson Express Ready for Spring Launch - Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Premier Kathleen Wynne today unveiled the new Union Pearson Express, a dedicated express train that will provide fast, reliable service between Canada's two busiest transportation hubs, Union Station in downtown Toronto, and the Toronto Pearson International Airport.

Construction is now almost complete on the Union Pearson Express station at Terminal 1. Train service is on track to start next spring, in time to serve visitors to the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games. Read more here.
September 2014: the force is strong with Canada travel - Tuesday, December 02, 2014
The leaves may have started to fall in September 2014, but there was no drop in tourism demand for Canada. Following hot on the heels of a superb summer, 1.7 million international travellers flocked to our country, another 4% year-on-year rise, says the latest Tourism Snapshot from the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC)’s Research department. Read more here.
Introducing the new president and CEO of the Canadian Tourism Commission - Tuesday, December 02, 2014
David Goldstein took the reins at the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC), Canada’s national tourism marketer, on Dec. 1. Mr. Goldstein brings extensive experience in national leadership, communications and strategic business planning to his new position, thanks to a long and distinguished career in the tourism and media sectors that included senior roles at the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) and CTVglobemedia.

A new journey now awaits. Fresh into the hot seat, Mr. Goldstein reveals what he’s most looking forward to in his new position, the opportunities that lie ahead and more. Read more here.
September 2014 Tourism Snapshot - Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Please be advised that the Canadian Tourism Commission has just released the September 2014 Tourism Snapshot. Click here for report.
Toronto Hydro update on future conservation incentive programs - Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Act now! Conservation incentive program rebates for 2014 end December 31. Learn more about the programs here.
Current Performance Indicators September 2014 - Monday, November 24, 2014
The Ministry’s Current Performance Indicators have been updated with September 2014 data, click here.
Capitalizing on World Tourism Growth: New Report Recommends Way Forward for Ontario - Thursday, November 20, 2014
Ontario wants its fair share of a thriving world tourism economy. According to the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, international tourist arrivals grew 5 per cent during the first eight months of 2014, and will continue to increase at an annual rate of 3.3 per cent until 2030. This makes tourism one of the fastest-growing industries globally.

Today, Ontario’s tourism industry calls on government to collaborate in the development of a comprehensive and strategic plan that will map out how Ontario can achieve its fair share of the world’s flourishing tourism market. Read more here.
Ontario Government's Plan Is Building Opportunity, Securing Our Future - Thursday, November 20, 2014
Ontario is moving forward with its economic plan to grow the economy and create jobs.  The government is committed to balancing the budget by 2017-18, and will do so in a way that is both fiscally responsible and fair.

Today Finance Minister Charles Sousa presented the 2014 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review, which confirms that the Province is working to eliminate the deficit by 2017-18. The government continues to project deficits of $12.5 billion in 2014-15, $8.9 billion in 2015-16 and $5.3 billion in 2016-17, with a return to balance in 2017-18, consistent with the plan outlined in the 2014 Budget. This will improve the fiscal sustainability of the Province and help protect the critical public services that support the well-being of Ontarians. Read more here.
All Aboard the Union Pearson Express - Monday, November 17, 2014
As of next spring, travellers will have a fast new option for the journey between the airport and downtown Toronto, thanks to the Union Pearson Express, the first transportation service of its kind in North America. Read the entire story here.
Gas Tax Funding Fuels Transit Growth - Thursday, November 13, 2014
Ontario is providing $321.5 million in gas tax funding to 96 municipalities this year to help expand and improve public transit.

The Ontario Gas Tax Program helps municipalities increase accessibility, buy more transit vehicles, add more routes and extend hours of service, making it easier for people to use public transit. It will also help ease traffic congestion and reduce air pollution. Read more here.
Smoking to be Prohibited on Patios, Sport Fields and Playgrounds - Friday, November 07, 2014
Ontario Further Protecting Children and Youth from Smoking

Ontario is taking action to protect children and youth from the harmful effects of smoking.

Starting January 1, 2015, it will be illegal to:
• Smoke on bar and restaurant patios
• Smoke on playgrounds and public sports fields and surfaces
• Sell tobacco on university and college campuses.

These changes to the Smoke-Free Ontario Act are part of the government's plan to limit smoking in public places, reduce exposure to smoking and make it more difficult for young people to buy tobacco. Read more here.
Ontario Economy Grows by 37,000 Jobs in October - Friday, November 07, 2014
Ontario's economy continues to grow, gaining 37,000 net new jobs in October, including an increase of 33,700 full-time jobs. The province's youth (ages 15-24) employment increased by 6,300.

With October's gains, employment in Ontario has increased by 551,300 since June 2009 -- 93.1 per cent of which are full-time and 71.3 per cent in the private sector. Ontario's unemployment rate has declined from a recessionary high of 9.4 per cent in June 2009 to 6.5 per cent in October. Read more here.
Province Passes Legislation to Increase Minimum Wage - Thursday, November 06, 2014
Ontario Strengthening Protections for Vulnerable Workers
Today, Bill 18, the Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act, 2014, passed third reading with all party support in the Ontario legislature.

The new act supports Ontario's Poverty Reduction Strategy, and is designed to further increase protections for vulnerable workers. Read more here.
Canada Ranked as # 1 Country to Visit - Tuesday, November 04, 2014
Stellar reputation helps attract more international tourists, talent and investment to our country.

The international love affair with Canada shows no signs of cooling off. According to a new study from the Reputation Institute, Canada is the top country in the world to visit, live in, study and attend or organize events. A beautiful and enjoyable country, friendly and welcoming people, contributions to global culture and safe environment were key drivers in the rankings. Read more here.
Starwood Launches Mobile Keyless Entry System - Tuesday, November 04, 2014
It’s a mobile office. It’s a virtual wallet. It’s a lifeline. And now, it’s a hotel room key. Today, the smartphone will get a whole lot smarter – especially while on the road. Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG®), the loyalty program from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT), introduces SPG Keyless, the hospitality industry’s first mobile, keyless entry system allowing guests to use their smartphone as a key. Rolling out to Aloft, Element and W Hotels around the globe, SPG Keyless makes its official debut today in 10 hotels in markets including Beijing, Hong Kong, New York, Los Angeles and Doha. Read more here.
Seneca's 13th Annual Hospitality & Tourism Career Fair - Tuesday, November 04, 2014
Career Expo 2015

Register now for Seneca’s 13th Annual Hospitality and Tourism Career Expo. This event, run exclusively by Seneca’s School of Tourism, encourages students and employers to make meaningful industry connection.

Seneca Markham Campus (map)
Monday, February 2, 2015
11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

For more information click here.
Taking the Next Step in Transparency - Tuesday, November 04, 2014
Ontario Makes Mandate Letters for Parliamentary Assistants Public
For the first time, Ontario has publicly released cabinet ministers' mandate letters to their Parliamentary Assistants, which outline their role and responsibilities in helping to deliver on the government's plan.

Today's move follows the unprecedented release in September of mandate letters from Premier Kathleen Wynne to each of her ministers. The government has posted both sets of mandate letters online to show in detail how it will carry out its plan to build Ontario up. Making mandate letters available to the public is part of the Open Government initiative to share a wide array of information, so citizens can engage more with the government and become more involved in decision-making. Read more here.
New Innovative Program Could Take Accessible Tourism to the Next Level - Friday, October 31, 2014
A brand new accessibility program is set to hit the hotel and hospitality scene in Toronto this fall which could revolutionize the local tourism industry in Ontario. The program is called Close the GAP, where the GAP stands for Guest Accessibility Package It is a product designed to provide hotel guests with disabilities with as much information as possible about their accommodations and surrounding attractions, in a way that has never been done before. Read more here.
Wahlburgers Toronto restaurant: a sneak preview - Tuesday, October 28, 2014
The sleek-surfaced restaurant, the Wahlberg brothers’ first Canadian location, is set to open on Nov. 15 in the SoHo Metropolitan Hotel. Read more here.
Current Performance Indicators August 2014 - Friday, October 24, 2014
The Ministry’s Current Performance Indicators have been updated with August 2014 data. The current performance tool is available here.
Improving Road Safety: Ministry of Transportation - Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Province Introducing New Legislation to Make Ontario’s Roads Safe
Ontario is introducing legislation that, if passed, would help keep the province's roads among the safest in North America by reducing collisions, injuries and fatalities. See news release here.
Toronto Ranks in Top 10 Best Cities to Visit - Monday, October 20, 2014
The results are in. Lonely Planet’s experts have decided on the best cities to visit this year. Some are criminally underrated, others are popping the champagne for special events, but these cities are all unmissable in 2015. Read more here.
Ebola Industry Update - Monday, October 20, 2014
In an effort to keep abreast of the latest resources, we are sharing with you information on Ebola, its symptoms, and the measures you can take to be better prepared.  Resources are available here, with guidance on how to identify an infected individual and what to do if you believe you may have been exposed. We also encourage you to access the materials provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which has been the authoritative voice on this issue.

•    CDC on Ebola
•    CDC Ebola Q&A
•    CDC Ebola Prevention
•    The White House on its response

The World Health Organization (WHO) has also released information on general public safety, preparedness and other information, available here.

Keeping Ontarians Safe from Carbon Monoxide - Thursday, October 16, 2014
CO Alarms Now Mandatory in All Homes

Ontario is taking another step to keep families and homes in Ontario safe by making carbon monoxide alarms mandatory in all residential homes. Read news release here.
David Goldstein Appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Tourism Commission - Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism) (Agriculture), today announced the appointment of David Goldstein as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC), effective December 1, 2014.

Mr. Goldstein is currently the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC), which is the only national trade association representing large and small travel and tourism enterprises. In this capacity, Mr. Goldstein was one of the key architects of the Federal Tourism Strategy with Industry Canada. Read more here.

2014 Election: Voting information for Greater Toronto Area - Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Advance voting polls are now open, and Vote 2014 takes place on Monday, October 27 across the Greater Toronto Area Municipalities. Click on your city for more voting information:

Best Western announces new urban boutique hotel concept - Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Best Western International is launching two major new hotel development offerings – a stylish new hotel concept and a soft brand – both designed to meet growing demand for new hotel offerings in urban and primary markets. The announcement, made during the brand's 2014 North American Convention, comes as Best Western continues to see historic growth in the brand's North American and global development pipeline. Read more here.
CTC launches two fall campaigns in Brazil - Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Listen up, Brazil: Ontario is calling. The Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) has launched two new campaigns in this huge emerging South American tourism market to build awareness and drive immediate sales. Read more here.
Ontario Investments in Transit Fostering Growth - Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Public Transit Expansions Fueling Development in Vaughan’s New Downtown

Premier Kathleen Wynne was in Vaughan to celebrate the groundbreaking for a new office tower at the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre.

The government is helping to build up downtown Vaughan with smart investments in public transit. These investments are creating a new hub for development which is attracting major employers such as KPMG, the lead tenant in the new tower. Downtown Vaughan will be an urban and walkable community with extensive green space and quick access to transit that will boost productivity and ease people's daily commutes. Read news release here. 
Canada's Public Health Response to Ebola - Wednesday, October 08, 2014
In Canada, all levels of government are involved in preparing for and responding to any infectious disease emergencies. Learn about how the Government of Canada is prepared to protect Canadians from Ebola, click here. 

The current outbreak of Ebola is in Central and West Africa. There have not been any cases of Ebola in Canada.
July 2014: the math looks good for Canada travel - Tuesday, October 07, 2014
A 14% rise in visitor numbers from CTC’s overseas markets fuelled another excellent month for growth, according to new CTC Tourism Snapshot. Read more here.
Video: INVADE- Ontario Travel Pan Am/Parapan Am Games 2015 TV Commercial - Friday, October 03, 2014
Ontario will host the largest sport tourism event in our history – and the best way to witness the power of sport is to be there. Share the highs of winning a gold for your country, the thrill of a close race and the camaraderie of 7,500+ athletes from 41 countries and territories. Celebrate the competition at the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games. See video here.
Scotiabank Nuit Blanche: Road Closures - Thursday, October 02, 2014
New this year, portions of Spadina Avenue, Queen Street West, Bathurst Street, Fort York Boulevard, and Bremner Boulevard will be closed to vehicular traffic providing safe and easy access to many projects for pedestrians. This is to ensure the safety of large audiences and to improve free-flowing access to the art. For more details, click here.
July 2014 Tourism Snapshot - Monday, September 29, 2014
Please be advised that the Canadian Tourism Commission has just released the July 2014 Tourism Snapshot, click here.
Making Government More Transparent - Friday, September 26, 2014
Wynne Becomes First Ontario Premier to Make Ministers’ Mandate Letters Public

For the first time ever, the mandate letters provided to Ministers that will guide Ontario's new government over the next four years have been made public. 

Of specific interest are the two mandate letters to Ontario’s cabinet ministers for the Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Sport and the Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure. The letters are included at the bottom of the press release, and also here. Read press release here.

Read the mandate letters to Ontario’s cabinet ministers.

Current Performance Indicators for Ontario's Tourism Industry - Wednesday, September 24, 2014
The Ministry’s Current Performance Indicators have been updated with July 2014 data. Click here.
Province Invests Additional Funds In 2015 Games - Tuesday, September 23, 2014
TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Will Drive Tourism, Boost Economy

The TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games are in a prime position to boost the economy, build communities and showcase Ontario internationally, following the province's additional investment of up to $74 million for Games operations.Read more here
Ontario's Deficit $1.3 Billion Lower Than Forecast in 2013 Budget - Monday, September 22, 2014
Government Managing Spending Growth While Investing in Ontario’s Future

Ontario's final deficit number for 2013-14 was $10.5 billion -- $1.3 billion lower than projected in the 2013 Budget, and $0.8 billion lower than the interim projection in the 2014 Budget. As announced in today's release of the Public Accounts of Ontario 2013-14, this marks the fifth year in a row that Ontario has beaten its deficit target -- making the province one of the only governments in Canada to achieve this level of success. As a result, Ontario's accumulated deficit is $25 billion lower than it otherwise would have been. Read more here.
Ontario to Pump Millions into Music Industry - Monday, September 22, 2014
The fledgling Ontario Music Fund will hand out $15 million to 108 different music artists and organizations this year, Tourism, Culture and Sport Minister Michael Coteau says.

Coteau announced Friday that part of the funding will be used for a mentorship program for emerging and established artists. Read article here. 
Best International Skyline: Toronto Ranks 4th Place - Thursday, September 11, 2014
Toronto Ranks 4th Place in Best International Skyline Chosen by Readers of USA TODAY and 10Best. All 20 nominations were made by a panel of practicing architects, and readers were given four weeks to vote.   

The full list of winners in the 'Best International Skyline' contest category for 10Best Readers' Choice can be seen here.
Canada's Tourism Ministers Commit to Growth from US Markets - Wednesday, September 10, 2014

September 9, 2014- The Canadian Council of Tourism Ministers – co-chaired by the Honourable Maxime Bernier- Minister of State Small Business and Tourism & Agriculture received a presentation from the Tourism Industry Association of Canada regarding the vision of the Connecting America initiative and the vital importance of a coordinated and collective effort to reinvest heavily into the United States.

The federal, provincial and territorial tourism ministers agreed that the US remains an important market and during the meeting reiterated their commitment to growing the tourism sector in Canada.

Press release - Federal-provincial-territorial tourism ministers meet to promote tourism in Canada

TIAC Press release - Canada's Tourism Ministers Commit to Growth from US Markets

June 2014 Tourism Snapshot - Thursday, August 28, 2014
Please be advised that the Canadian Tourism Commission has just released the June 2014 Tourism Snapshot, our Market Research product, prepared for the tourism industry. View the June 2014 Tourism Snapshot here.
WSIB announces 2015 premium rates will not increase - Thursday, August 21, 2014
The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) announced today that in 2015, for the second consecutive year, premium rates will be maintained at current levels for the majority of employers. Only one rate group, Local Government Services, will see an increase in premium rates as a result of expanded coverage under the presumptive legislation for firefighters. Read more here.

Ontario Gains 39,500 Jobs in July - Monday, August 18, 2014
Province Focused on Growing the Economy, Building Ontario Up

Ontario gained 39,500 net new jobs in July, 24,400 more than previously reported in the Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey. The province's youth (ages 15-24) employment increased by 15,200 net new jobs. Read more here.
New Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Announced - Friday, August 15, 2014
Office of the Premier
Drew Fagan has been named Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport and Deputy Minister Responsible for the Pan/Parapan Am Games. His post will begin October 6. Read more here.
The Ontario Tourism Outlook has been updated - Tuesday, August 12, 2014
This forecast includes annual visits, spending and growth rates broken out by:
    - Inbound/Outbound
    - Same day/Overnight
    - Origin
The webpage also includes key economic indicators. Click here to see outlook.
Investing in Transit Infrastructure to Build Ontario Up - Monday, August 11, 2014
Premier Highlights Progress on Ottawa’s Confederation Line LRT
Premier Kathleen Wynne was in Ottawa today to celebrate progress on the city's Confederation Line LRT, which will help relieve congestion, increase productivity and create up to 20,000 jobs.

The Premier, along with federal and municipal representatives, toured a portion of the 2.5 kilometre underground tunnel. More than 50 per cent of the tunnel has already been excavated. Ontario is investing up to $600 million - the largest provincial transit investment in the City of Ottawa's history - to help support the project.

Investing in public transit and supporting jobs is part of the government's comprehensive plan for a strong Ontario. Read more here. 
Industry update: Canadian tourism industry basks in social-media attention. - Tuesday, August 05, 2014
WestJet played an emotional trump card for Father’s Day, Whistler gets inspired by the wonders of nature and Peterborough goes bookish. Read more here.
Revitalizing Ontario Place - Thursday, July 31, 2014
Today the province announced that it is moving forward with a long-term vision to revitalize Ontario Place into a vibrant waterfront destination that engages visitors of all ages. Read more here.
Time to spring into action, AODA reporting deadline approaching - Thursday, July 24, 2014
As the implementation of the AODA progresses, EnAbling Change partners continue to be a powerful force for positive social change. In 2014, all businesses and not-for-profit organizations with 20 or more employees must file an AODA compliance report with the Government of Ontario. A communications toolkit has been created to help EnAbling Change partners to communicate these requirements to their stakeholders. For more information, click here.

If you’re interested in receiving the toolkit, please contact
House Passes Brand USA Reauthorization - Wednesday, July 23, 2014
American Hotel and Lodging Association: July 22, 2014, the House of Representatives passed the Travel Promotion, Enhancement, and Modernization Act (H.R. 4450) on an overwhelming vote of 347-57. Brand USA has yielded tremendous dividends for the US nation and economy –millions of new visitors coming to  hotels, restaurants, and shops, billions of dollars in added sales and revenue, and the creation of tens of thousands of jobs across the U.S. It is now up to the Senate to pass their Brand USA bill. For more information click here.
Policy Guidelines on the Accessibility Standard for the Design of Public Spaces Now Available - Monday, July 21, 2014
The Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure is pleased to announce the release of new policy guidelines on the Accessibility Standard for the Design of Public Spaces. These guidelines explain the intent behind each of the requirements in plain language. They are now available here.
Building Ontario Up Today For A Brighter, Stronger Tomorrow - Wednesday, July 16, 2014
2014 Ontario Budget Moves Forward With Plan to Create Jobs and Grow the Economy, Build Modern Transit and Infrastructure, and Help Ontarians with Their Retirement, While Balancing the Budget by 2017–18

July 14, 2014 | Ministry of Finance

Ontario is moving forward with its plan to build opportunity and security for today and tomorrow. The 2014 Ontario Budget, tabled today by Minister of Finance Charles Sousa, takes immediate action to create jobs by investing in a highly skilled workforce, building modern infrastructure and transportation networks, and supporting a dynamic and innovative business climate. Read News Release here.
PM announces changes in the senior ranks of the Public Service - Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced changes in the senior ranks of the Public Service. Click here for a list of all changes.
Attract a Growing New Market With Bicycle-Friendly Certification - Wednesday, July 02, 2014
The Ontario By Bike Network is an exciting marketing and tourism development initiative that helps businesses tap into the growing cycle tourism market and reach the increasing number of visitors who participate in cycling activities while travelling within Ontario. The Network certifies accommodations in Toronto, free of charge. To find out more about this growing new market or to register your business click here.

Read about bike events taking place this summer in Ontario here:
Premier Kathleen Wynne Announces new Cabinet - Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Tuesday June 24: After winning a majority government on June 12, today Premier Kathleen Wynne announced her updated team of cabinet ministers. The full list of Ministers can be found here. Bios on MPPs can be found here.
CTC publishes its 2014-2018 Corporate Plan summary - Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Canada’s opportunity to attract investment and introduce new business partnerships through tourism.

The Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) has just released its 2014-2018 Corporate Plan summary: Tourism as Canada’s engine for growth.The annual rolling strategic plan has one ultimate goal: to grow tourism export revenue for Canada. Read more here.

Click here for the 2014-2018 Corporate Plan Summary
New Training Standards For JHSC Certification - Monday, June 16, 2014
Ontario has released new training standards that will help improve worker safety by providing consistent, quality training for the certification of Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) members. For more information, click here.
Announcement of 2014/15 GTHA Board of Directors - Thursday, June 12, 2014
June 11th, 2014: At yesterday's 2013 GTHA Annual General Meeting, members approved the new 2014/15 GTHA Board of Directors. A special thank you to outgoing Chair Robert Housez for his dedication and guidance over the past two years as Chair. See the list of 2014/15 Officers and Directors here.
March 2014: the stories behind the big data of travel to Canada - Tuesday, June 10, 2014
A late Easter affected travel plans in many of Canada’s major international markets, reports latest CTC Tourism Snapshot.

The stats don’t always tell the full story. International visitor numbers to Canada fell 11% to just over 822,000 in March 2014, primarily due to the Easter holiday period being a month later than in 2013. This affected travel plans for consumers in the UK, France, Germany, Australia, Mexico and Brazil, with corresponding data for April 2014 expected to show a parallel rise, according to the latest Tourism Snapshot from the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC)’s Research department. Read more here.
Hotel Association of Canada - 2014 Grassroots Campaign - Monday, June 09, 2014
Let Your Voice Be Heard - Now Is The Time!

The Canadian travel and tourism industry is critically important to Canada contributing $84.8 billion to the Canadian GDP, worth more than agriculture, fisheries and forestry combined. It is a sector that could contribute even more to the Canadian government given the right policy environment. Read more here.

We are asking for the immediate attention of government to support a permanent solution to the labour shortage crisis and Connecting America. Your support of the lodging industry will ensure that Canada will once again be at the forefront of the global Travel and Tourism industry. We encourage everyone to support this initiative. Please add your name to the list of supporters on the HAC Grassroots Campaign website.
Energy Minister Announces New Energy Conservation Framework - Wednesday, June 04, 2014
Ontario announces new conservation framework for electric utilities

On March 31, at the Electrical Distributors Association's (EDA) Annual General Meeting, Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli announced a new six-year conservation framework for electric utilities, commencing January 1, 2015. The EDA hailed this announcement as a positive step towards empowering utilities to deliver cost-effective, customer-centric conservation programs. Read more here.
Sandman Rolls Out Updated Mobile App - Friday, May 30, 2014
Sandman Hotel Group has its sights set on growing business, with a recent update to its mobile app, which guarantees to offer the best available rate. Read article here.
Ontario Increasing Minimum Wage - Friday, May 16, 2014
Ontario is increasing the minimum wage from $10.25 to $11 per hour on June 1, 2014. This new rate reflects the rise in the Consumer Price Index since the last minimum wage increase in 2010. For more information, click here.
Delta Hotels and Resorts Launches Brand Campaign Inviting Canadians to ‘Expect Even More’ - Thursday, May 15, 2014
A new brand campaign from Delta Hotels and Resorts is inviting Canadians to ‘Expect Even More’ from the 52-year-old Canadian hotel company. With new room designs, new properties, and new programs and services coming on board, Delta is working harder than ever to exceed guest expectations. Read Press Release here.
Westmont Properties Earn Green Key - Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Green Key Global, an Ottawa-based environmental certification body, has announced it’s certified Mississauga, Ont.-based Westmont Hospitality Group’s entire Canadian portfolio of 120 hotels. Read article here.
The who, what, when and how of travel to Canada - Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Despite strong performances from Mexico and India, the international visitor total to Canada slipped 2%, according to latest CTC Tourism Snapshot.

After the spectacular statistical fireworks of January, a minor lull was almost inevitable in the international travel market. Almost 729,000 travellers chose to come to Canada in February 2014, a 2% decline on the previous year, reports the latest Tourism Snapshot from the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC)’s Research department. Read more here.
Budget 2014: Building Opportunity, Securing Our Future - Thursday, May 01, 2014
2014 Ontario Budget Lays Out Plan to Create Jobs and Grow the Economy, Build Modern Transit and Infrastructure, and Help Ontarians with Their Retirement

The government is moving forward with a 10-year plan for the economy focused on investing in people, building modern infrastructure, and supporting a dynamic and innovative business climate. These actions will build opportunity and security, and put the province's businesses and people in a position to create new jobs today. 

The government will continue to manage growth in spending and will balance the budget by 2017-18, while making strategic investments in key public services and to help grow the economy. Read Press Release here.

Click here to see the 2014 Ontario Budget.
Moving Ontario Forward With Large New Investment - Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Premier Unveils Robust Plan to Create Jobs, Modernize Transportation Infrastructure

Today, Premier Kathleen Wynne announced the Ontario government's plan to build a seamless and integrated transportation network across the province -- Moving Ontario Forward -- to create jobs, boost productivity and help every part of Ontario grow and prosper.

The robust plan would put in place dedicated and substantial funding for public transit and transportation infrastructure. It would make nearly $29 billion available over the next 10 years for investments in priority infrastructure projects across the province such as public transit, roads, bridges and highways. The province would create two dedicated funds - one for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) and one for the rest of the province. Read news release here.
Ministry’s Current Performance Indicators January 2014 - Tuesday, April 08, 2014

The Ministry’s Current Performance Indicators have been updated with January 2014 data. Available here.

July 1, 2014 Deadline to Comply with Ontario’s New Safety Awareness Training Requirements - Friday, April 04, 2014
The clock is ticking. All Ontario employers must provide their workers and supervisors with “basic occupational health and saf ety awareness training” by July 1st, 2014 or they will be in violation of a new regulation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. And employers’ in-house safety awareness training provided to workers in the past will likely not meet the new requirements.

This is an “if you do nothing, you will be in violation” regulation.
Read about the New Safety Awareness Training Requirements here. 
Cautious optimism for Americans over international travel plans in 2013 - Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Recovery after the global recession helped boost tourism from the world’s largest economy, according to CTC’s latest Global Tourism Watch report.

The US was hit hard by the global economic downturn in 2008. However, its recovery, which picked up in earnest in 2012, saw a parallel rise in international travel, which grew 3% that year to reach a total of 60.7 million global trips, says the new Global Tourism Watch (GTW) summary report by the Research department of the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC). Read more here.
The 10 most anticipated Toronto restaurant openings for spring 2014 - Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Toronto restaurant openings continue at an untamed pace this spring, promising the imminent arrival of innovative new culinary fusions, regionally specific specialties, and even more street food-inspired fare.

Among these 10 most anticipated Toronto restaurant openings on our radar this spring is Luckee - located inside the Soho Metropolitan Hotel. Details are still scarce but the concept is rumoured to be set to launch in late April. Transformation is underway in the former Senses restaurant courtesy of Brenda Bent and Karen Gable, while the menu of classic Chinese dishes and dim sum is being developed with a nod towards the culinary traditions of Guangzhou, Hunan and Szechuan regions. See all 10 restaurants here.
BMO Field $10M upgrade endorsed by Toronto council - Thursday, March 20, 2014
Toronto council’s executive committee has endorsed putting in $10 million towards expansion of BMO Field for pro soccer’s Toronto Football Club and possibly a new home for football’s Toronto Argonauts. Read article here.
Attracting New Business Investments to Ontario - Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Chinese Companies to Establish New Operations in Ontario

Ontario is partnering with universities on new international collaborations that will increase investment in the province's economy and help create jobs.

Reza Moridi, Minister of Research and Innovation, recently concluded a successful mission to China that focused on opportunities in the life sciences, information technology, and clean technology sectors. Read more here.
Statement by Prime Minister Stephen Harper on the resignation of Minister Jim Flaherty - Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued the following statement regarding the resignation of Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance:

“It is with great reluctance that today I accepted the resignation from Cabinet of Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, so that he can eventually return to the private sector.

“In a political career of almost 20 years, Minister Flaherty has exemplified the best qualities of those who enter public life: a true commitment to service, and a sincere desire to leave the country in better shape than it was when he entered politics. Read more here
PM announces changes to the Ministry - Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced the following changes to the Ministry at a swearing-in ceremony at Rideau Hall:

The Honourable Joe Oliver, as Minister of Finance, will continue the Government’s work to create jobs, strengthen the Canadian economy and balance the budget by 2015.

The Honourable Greg Rickford, as Minister of Natural Resources, will continue the Government’s efforts to promote prosperity through the country’s abundant natural resources. He will continue his responsibilities for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario.

The Honourable Ed Holder, as Minister of State (Science and Technology), will continue the Government’s leadership in science and technology and helping Canadian businesses remain competitive. Read announcement here.
Next generation water park and event complex planned for Greater Toronto Area - Tuesday, March 18, 2014
A massive indoor/outdoor water park and event complex is being planned for the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The $60 million dollar facility is scheduled to begin construction in the spring of 2015 and be fully operational by the fall of 2016. The 100,000 square-foot attraction will feature a retractable roof, allowing it to operate 365 days a year. The development group behind the project, marbleLIVE, is led by Toronto entrepreneur John Barrack and marblemedia, one of Canada's leading multiplatform content creators. The water park and event complex will fill a significant void in the GTA's tourism market - a market that before the opening of the Ripley's Aquarium last fall, had not seen a new attraction established in over 25 years. Read more here.
Building Job Skills and Infrastructure for the 2015 Games - Thursday, March 13, 2014
Ontario Supporting More Participation in Skilled Trades

Ontario is preparing 200 people to become apprentices by providing training opportunities through the construction of Pan Am and Parapan Am Games infrastructure projects.

By expanding the province's Pre-Apprenticeship Training program, trainees will develop their job skills and gain valuable work experience with the skilled trades organizations that have been contracted to build and support Ontario's accessible, world-class facilities for the 2015 Games. Projects such as the Pan Am and Parapan Am Athletes' Village and the Pan Am and Parapan Am Athletics Stadium will prepare trainees for apprenticeships in a broad range of trades, from carpentry to electrical work. Read more here.
Supporting Ontario's Unique Festivals and Events - Thursday, March 13, 2014
Province Helping to Boost Tourism and Create Jobs

Ontario is supporting festivals and events across the province that will draw tourists, create jobs and grow local economies.  

Through programs such as the Celebrate Ontario 2014 program and the new IGNITE Ontario program, the province is helping festivals and events that celebrate the province's diversity, heritage and culture, as well as provide funds for organizations and municipalities hosting local celebrations and community engagement events that promote the upcoming Pan Am and Parapan Am Games. Read more here.
December 2013: crunching the numbers on travel to Canada - Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Strong performances from the China, Mexico and India markets helped end the year on a high note, says new CTC Tourism Snapshot.

Canada had more than a million reasons to be cheerful in the final month of 2013, with the international visitor total nudging up to the 1.1 million mark, according to the just-published Tourism Snapshot  from the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC)’s Research department. Read more here.
IHG Named To Fortune's 2014 "World's Most Admired Companies" List - Friday, March 07, 2014
InterContinental Hotels Group PLC (IHG®), one of the world's leading hotel companies, has been named to FORTUNE Magazine's 2014 "World's Most Admired Companies" list. Read entire article here.
Sustainability & Wellness Initiative: Team Westin Ride to OLYMPIC GOLD - Friday, March 07, 2014
In living the Westin Essence and the “For a Better You” mantra, associates at the Westin Prince Toronto literally “powered” our Men’s Ice Hockey Team to Olympic Gold during the Sochi Winter Olympics. Read entire article and see pictures here.
Ontario Finalizing Games Private Security - Monday, March 03, 2014
Ontario is one step closer to completing the competitive procurement of security services for the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games.  A contract is now almost in place for private security services and as a result, the estimated total costs for securing the games will increase to approximately $239 million from the last estimate of $206 million. However, games security planning is ongoing and must respond to the evolving scope and scale of the games as well as to any specific threats that may be identified in the future. Read entire story here.
Latest Results From the 2014 HAC Travel Intentions Survey - Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Latest results from the 2014 HAC Canadian Travel Intentions Survey show that business and leisure travel is projected to remain the same as last year.  Eighty-one per cent of business travellers will be travelling more or the same for business in 2014.  The exception is Ontario, where business travel is projected to be down four per cent over last year's numbers. The highest increase for business travel in 2014 is in the Prairies and BC at 27 per cent, 3 per cent more than the national average. See press release here.
International Visitors Lead Toronto to New Tourism Records - Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Toronto’s tourism sector reached new records in 2013 by welcoming the highest number of overseas visitors and selling the most hotel room nights ever, Tourism Toronto announced today. Additionally, for the third year in a row Toronto saw an increase in overnight visitors from the U.S. Read news release here.
GTHA Luncheon with Mr. Tim Leiweke- Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment - Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Register today for the upcoming April 2nd luncheon with Mr. Tim Leiweke- President & CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. Registration is limited and this is a GTHA Member only event. Register here!
Public information Meeting for Scarborough Residents on Use of Jets at Billy Bishop Toronto Airport - Tuesday, February 18, 2014
The City of Toronto is hosting a public information meeting for Scarborough residents on the request by Porter Airlines to permit jet-powered aircraft at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (BBTCA). The focus of the meeting will be to provide an update on the status of the review of this request, and to hear from members of the public. See news release here.

Date: February 25
Time: 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Location: Sir Wilfrid Laurier Collegiate Institute, Auditorium, 145 Guildwood Pkwy. (venue is wheelchair accessible).
Philippe Gadbois Elected Chair of the Hotel Association of Canada - Thursday, February 13, 2014
The Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) announced the election of Philippe Gadbois as the new Chair of the HAC Board of Directors. Mr. Gadbois’ new role is effective as of the Association’s Annual General Meeting held in Toronto on Tuesday February 11, 2014. Read article here.
Economic Action Plan 2014 to Be Tabled on February 11, 2014 - Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Marks Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s 10th Federal Budget

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced today that he will table Economic Action Plan 2014 in the House of Commons on February 11, 2014. Budget 2014 documents can be found here.
November 2013: the numbers that counted for travel to Canada - Tuesday, February 11, 2014
International arrivals total surged past 800,000, driven by strong performances in the US, Mexico and Germany, according to new CTC Tourism Snapshot. Read article here.
Ontario Gains 6,000 Jobs in January - Friday, February 07, 2014
Province’s Economic Plan Continues to Help Create Jobs
Following a gain of 95,700 net jobs in 2013, Ontario continued to add jobs, with full-time employment increasing by 23,100 positions and overall employment going up by 6,000 net jobs in January. The government continues to focus on creating the right climate to attract investment, create jobs and grow the economy. Read news release here.
Current Performance Indicators November 2013 - Thursday, February 06, 2014
The Ministry’s Current Performance Indicators have been updated with November 2013 data. Available here.
City Council approves 2014 Operating Budget and 2014-2023 Capital Budget and Plan - Friday, January 31, 2014
Toronto City Council has approved a balanced 2014 Tax Supported Operating Budget of $9.6 billion and 10-Year Capital Budget and Plan of $18.6 billion that makes significant investments in key strategic priorities for the City's future. The Budget continues to strengthen the City's fiscal health and for the second year in a row, the Budget was balanced without the use of the prior year's surplus. Read article here.
Ontario Increasing Minimum Wage - Thursday, January 30, 2014
New Legislation Would Tie Minimum Wage to Consumer Price Index

Ontario is increasing the minimum wage from $10.25 to $11 per hour on June 1, 2014. This new rate reflects the rise in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) since the last minimum wage increase in 2010 and is part of the provincial government's commitment to fairness. Read News Release here.
Toronto #1 on Hotwire's Top Ten Travel Destinations for Canada's Family Day - Tuesday, January 28, 2014®, a leading discount travel site, announced the 10 most popular destinations for Canadian travellers over Family Day 2014. This year, domestic destinations maintain their popularity, with six of the top ten cities being domestic locations. While the top five cities on the list remain virtually unchanged from last year, every one of them has experienced a drop in hotel prices since 2013.

Toronto, Ottawa and New York maintained their positions as the first, second and third most popular destinations this year, respectively. See all top 10 destinations here.
Statement by Minister Yasir Naqvi on the Minimum Wage Advisory Panel's Final Report - Monday, January 27, 2014
Minister of Labour, Yasir Naqvi, released the following statement on the Minimum Wage Advisory Panel's final report on how the province's minimum wage should be set in the future.

The panel travelled across Ontario, holding public consultations in 10 cities and heard from almost 450 organizations, businesses, and individual Ontarians. See report here.
Taxi reform review draws hundreds at city hall - Friday, January 24, 2014
Hundreds of people packed city hall Thursday to have their say on a controversial review of the city’s taxi cab industry. Read article here.
Complete survey for the park and trail at Ontario Place - Friday, January 24, 2014
See the proposed design for the new urban park and waterfront trail at Ontario Place! We’d like your feedback on the newly unveiled concept.

Participate in our online survey and tell us what you think of the concept design for the new park and trail. The survey closes on February 21, 2014.
Public meeting to be held on request to permit jet airplanes at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport - Monday, January 20, 2014
The City of Toronto is hosting a public meeting on the request to permit jet airplanes at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport on January 27, 2014 at City Hall Council Chambers (100 Queens St. W.) @ 6:30pm. For more information click here.
Olympic bid back on Toronto council agenda - Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Bid for 2024 Summer Games is a "tough sell," economic development committee chair Michael Thompson says ahead of vote. See article here.
Help Develop the 2014 Budget - Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Ontario Government Asks the Public for Input and to Take Part

The Ontario government is asking individuals and organizations across the province for their input in advance of the 2014 Ontario Budget. See Press Release here.
Ministry’s Current Performance Indicators for October 2013 - Wednesday, January 08, 2014
The Ministry’s Current Performance Indicators have been updated with October 2013 data. Available here.
Ontario Liberals reschedule convention for Toronto as all signs point to spring campaign - Tuesday, January 07, 2014
Ontario Liberals will gear up for an expected spring election at the governing party’s March annual general meeting in Toronto. Read article here.
Toronto Hydro: Guide to Business and Industrial Incentive Programs - Tuesday, January 07, 2014
Take advantage of incentives to increase the efficiency of your buildings and operations. See all programs here.