Let Your Curiosity Guide You in Toronto
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Let Your Curiosity Guide You in Toronto

By MPI | May 31, 2019

We recently spoke with Tara Gordon, vice president of meeting and convention sales for Business Events Toronto, about the city’s ascendance as a meeting destination and why it’s the right time to host WEC.

WEC has returned to Toronto for the first time since 2002. How has the city changed the most since then?

While Toronto’s skyline has completely transformed since 2002, so has the energy and standing on the world stage. Our revitalized waterfront has turned into an urban oasis, brimming with pedestrians, cyclists, festivals and activities in full swing, particularly over the summer months. We have new hotels, venues, theaters, galleries, dining experiences, parks and urban beaches, as well as a thriving culinary scene. Even how you get downtown has transformed—the UP Express is a new downtown train that will get you downtown from Pearson airport in just 25 minutes, which all attendees had the chance to experience for free as a part of their registration. What remains the same, though, is our sense of welcome and diversity. Those qualities are part of our DNA. We’re unapologetically progressive and proud of that.  

How did you prepare for WEC?

This week has been circled on our calendars for some time, and we’ve been planning WEC since well before last year’s WEC in Indianapolis. Our team has been getting the word out to our hospitality partners here in Toronto and across the country to [talk about] the importance of WEC being here again and making sure we roll out the red carpet for everyone who attends. The planned itinerary is spectacular, and with the help of our local and national partners we’ve got some amazing Canadian and Toronto experiences that we’re pumped to share with attendees!

What are you most excited for WEC attendees to experience?

As “Canada’s Downtown,” I’m excited for our city to take center stage during WEC. We know a thing or two about taking center stage recently, particularly with the Raptors’ run to the NBA finals, so this is just another opportunity for us to showcase what a great city and country we have. The MPI team has worked to incorporate Canadian talent in the sessions, keynotes and entertainment, and we really hope that a little bit of Canada rubs off on attendees while they are in Toronto for WEC.

Tell us about the city’s development as a culinary powerhouse in recent years.

Toronto is a city where more than 50 percent of the population was born outside of Canada. That diversity is reflected in our culinary scene here, with neighborhoods defined by cultures and their food. If there’s a type of food you truly enjoy, you’ll find it in Toronto and you’ll find it tastes out of this world. And while we draw upon cultures from around the world for culinary escapes, we are also thrilled that First Nation culinary experiences are becoming a must-try in Toronto, with indigenous cuisine you won’t find anywhere else in the world. 

Is there something great about Toronto that many people don’t know?

Toronto is filled with spectacular views of architecture, eclectic neighborhoods and culture, and it is also a place where you’ll find a unique way of looking at the world, which makes it a great place for people to gather for meetings and events like WEC. It’s a great city to let your curiosity guide you and see where it leads you. And, of course, there’s our sense of welcome. At a time when other countries are closing their borders, Canada is opening them, and nowhere is that more apparent than in Toronto—the cultural center of Canada’s diversity. 

 

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MPI
MPI

Meeting Professionals International (MPI) is the largest meeting and event industry association worldwide and has a global community of 60,000 meeting and event professionals including more than 18,000 engaged members in more than 90 chapters and clubs in 19 countries. "When we meet, we change the world." www.mpi.org