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Destination Toronto
Weekly Update

July 23, 2021

  1. Federal government announces initial border reopening plan
  2. Early signs of the return of Business Events
  3. Readiness Index update for July
  4. Access the Tourism Relief Fund
  5. PatioscapesTO continues into week 4


The Government of Canada has announced that, starting August 9, it will open the border to fully vaccinated Americans and permanent residents for non-essential travel. As of that date, Americans who have been fully vaccinated can travel to Canada without having to quarantine, including the elimination of the three-night hotel quarantine policy. Travellers must: 

  • Be fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to entering Canada; 
  • Meet the pre-entry test requirements; 
  • Provide a digital copy of vaccination documentation;
  • Provide COVID-19 related information electronically through the ArriveCAN app prior to arrival in Canada; 
  • Provide a quarantine plan and be prepared to quarantine in case border agents determine they do not meet the necessary requirements; 
  • Be asymptomatic upon arrival; and  
  • Participate in random COVID-19 testing.  

Unvaccinated children under 12 years of age and dependents of fully vaccinated travellers eligible for entry to Canada will be exempt from quarantine. However, they will remain subject to the Day 1 and Day 8 testing requirements, and must avoid group settings. Unvaccinated travellers will still be required to follow the mandatory testing and quarantine restrictions. 

On September 7, Canada intends to also open the border for non-essential travel by visitors from any country who have been fully vaccinated with Government of Canada accepted vaccines at least 14 days prior to entering Canada and who meet the specific entry requirements. The entry and arrival requirements for fully vaccinated travellers above will also apply.  

TIAO has compiled an FAQ about the re-opening that you can access here.



The hardest hit, of the hardest hit in our industry has been the meetings and events industry. Over the course of the summer Destination Toronto’s Global Sales & Services team has begun to see signs that business events will once again be coming to Toronto. Through a combination of rebooking cancelled events and securing new business events for the city, in June, the sales team confirmed 19 events representing 18,310 attendees who will consume 31,451 room nights and have an economic impact of nearly $40 million while in Toronto.

The momentum comes as more prospects are considering Toronto as a host city for their event. Leads volume for Toronto increased 14% in June compared to May, representing 54 new opportunities.

Our strategic work continues throughout the summer and into the fall as reopening continues and we once again welcome live, in-person meetings and events in our destination.


Each month, Destination Toronto publishes the Market Readiness Index - a summary of signals and indicators assessing the readiness of visitor markets for Toronto.

With Ontario's move into Step 3 and this week's federal announcement about the border reopening to the U.S. followed by international visitors, the July Market Readiness Index is seeing indicators improve from several key visitor markets.

Read more in the Terminal about this month's Index and how signals are improving as reopening continues.



The federal government launched a new $500-million Tourism Relief Fund (TRF) to support tourism businesses and organizations. The goal of the TRF is to help Canada’s tourism industry welcome back domestic travellers by creating new or enhanced tourism experiences and products, and to attract international visitors by repositioning Canada as a world-class destination. In southern Ontario, FedDev Ontario is delivering TRF funding to local organizations including those in Toronto.

FedDev Ontario is hosting an upcoming technical briefing about the TRF. Time for Q&A will be made available on Monday, July 26, 2021 at 10:00 am.

Destination Toronto has put together a primer about the Tourism Relief Fund - including registration links for the upcoming briefing, eligibility criteria and funds available - that you can access via the Research & Insights Terminal.



Destination Toronto’s patio contest that encourages locals to safely explore patios this summer is now into its fourth week. The campaign capitalizes on the local excitement of patios re-opening by asking locals to share their favourite patio dining photos online using #PatioscapesTO or on the PatioscapesTO landing page.

This week’s theme, “Under the Stars” encourages locals to explore patios during a sunset or at night. As always, for Torontonians looking for at-home dining, Destination Toronto continues to support restaurants offering delivery and takeout on ToGoToronto. Restaurants and diners are also encouraged to use the hashtag #RoomOnThePatioTO on Twitter, to help with filling and finding available patio spaces in the city.

In the first three weeks of the contest, PatioscapesTO has garnered 58,000 organic engagements and more than 1 million organic impressions on social media, showcasing Toronto restaurants and bars across the city.

We encourage all of Toronto’s tourism and hospitality community to take part. Restaurateurs can participate by assuring their restaurant is listed with Destination Toronto (click here to add a restaurant) and the patio dining feature is activated.

You can read more about PatioscapesTO in a new behind-the-scenes blog on the Research & Insights Terminal.



Jays to return home on July 30: When the Blue Jays take the field to face the Kansas City Royals, Major League Baseball will be played in Canada for the first time in 670 days, stretching back to their final game of the 2019 season. The club announced that their home games in Toronto will be played with "robust health and safety protocols in place" as visiting teams come in and out of Canada.

Gladstone Hotel to reopen as Gladstone House: The reimagined Gladstone House will maintain its emphasis on culture, art, and diversity, while ensuring the building’s rich history and iconic original architecture remain preserved. The celebrated boutique hotel features restored exposed brick walls, curated local art and innovative lighting applications that transition throughout the day, bringing the building to life in September 2021.

SummerWorks set to return this August: SummerWorks Festival is back with a full month of free, public-facing programming across multiple platforms throughout the month of August. Featuring 75+ artists, each day will offer new ways to encounter artists and their work, either in person or through digital formats.

The Mod Club is relaunching as the Axis Club in September: The former Mod Club will be opening as a new music venue called the Axis Club. The new spot will launch on September 9 and 10 with an opening event called All Axis Festival.

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Destination Toronto
207 Queens Quay West, Suite 405, Toronto, ON M5J 1A7, Canada

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