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Deaf_Torontian

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you bring a subject over Amsterdam .... I am Jew-Dutch-English-Irish but I don't like anyone bring a subject over Amsterdam make me pissed off so I telling you that London in UK is OLDEST than Amsterdam!

Amsterdam exist since 1170 like 850 years old like so? so? WHO CARES? EVERYONE DON'T CARE ABOUT AMSTERDAM, ONLY THEY CARE IS GO TO AMSTERDAM FOR MARIJUANA CAFE BUT TOURISM WOULD CARE ABOUT LONDON MORE THAN AMSTERDAM!

Amsterdam or Toronto still YOUNG! Amsterdam is only 850 years old and Toronto is only 500 years old because my great-great-great grandma was born in York, Upper Canada in 1833 ... both city is so young! you need study it again!

London, Rome, Jerusalem and Cairo is OLDEST CITY, London like over 2,000 years old, Rome like over 2,700 years old, Jerusalem like over 5,000 years old and Cairo like over 5,000 years old

Whatever ... Copenhagen or Oslo still young cities! duh! get a life
 
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yyzhyd

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you bring a subject over Amsterdam .... I am Jew-Dutch-English-Irish but I don't like anyone bring a subject over Amsterdam make me pissed off so I telling you that London in UK is OLDEST than Amsterdam!

Amsterdam exist since 1170 like 850 years old like so? so? WHO CARES? EVERYONE DON'T CARE ABOUT AMSTERDAM, ONLY THEY CARE IS GO TO AMSTERDAM FOR MARIJUANA CAFE BUT TOURISM WOULD CARE ABOUT LONDON MORE THAN AMSTERDAM!

Amsterdam or Toronto still YOUNG! Amsterdam is only 850 years old and Toronto is only 500 years old because my great-great-great grandma was born in York, Upper Canada in 1833 ... both city is so young! you need study it again!

London, Rome, Jerusalem and Cairo is OLDEST CITY, London like over 2,000 years old, Rome like over 2,700 years old, Jerusalem like over 5,000 years old and Cairo like over 5,000 years old

Whatever ... Copenhagen or Oslo still young cities! duh! get a life

No idea why you're so angry about Amsterdam. However, if I may be presumptuous, something may have been lost in translation.
I said "European cities have at least a 500 yr head start on Toronto"

FYI Toronto's first settlement (not including indigenous peoples) was in 1793, therefore 2019-1793 = 226 years old not 500.
Have a good day! :)
 

WislaHD

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I see posts have been moved to a new thread. Probably a good move.

I would reiterate that Toronto is the 4th most visit city in North America by tourists, so we probably do have quite some tourist pull. People want to check us out, and that is very cool.

But the question I suppose is, once here do tourists have enough things to see and do? Are we tourist-friendly? Would these prospective tourists decide to come back again and again and again? Or is Toronto pretty much a "checked that off my bucketlist" type of tourist destination?
 

Northern Light

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I would reiterate that Toronto is the 4th most visit city in North America by tourists, so we probably do have quite some tourist pull. People want to check us out, and that is very cool.

But the question I suppose is, once here do tourists have enough things to see and do? Are we tourist-friendly? Would these prospective tourists decide to come back again and again and again? Or is Toronto pretty much a "checked that off my bucketlist" type of tourist destination?

I think we need to step back here.

First, when we see the various most visited lists, be sure to read what's being counted.

Most often, its International, overnight visits.

But sometimes its total visits, or may include domestic tourism etc.

Second, we need to recognize, without taking anything away from any destination the enormous advantage conferred to E-U. countries where most destinations for other E-U. based Europeans require no passport and are little more than a day's drive or, an hour's flight time, or a 2-3 hour train trip away.

Clearly coming to Toronto, not only from Europe, but even from most parts of the U.S. is rather more involved from requiring a passport to the sheer time and distance involved.

That said.

Why do tourists go anywhere; a great of it is seeing family and/or business; as opposed to leisure.

We're tending to apply a leisure lens to all this, which is fine, but its important to remember all those statistics involve different types/reasons for travel.

Once we're looking at leisure, why would you pick Toronto? Everyone is different of course; it depends on where you come from; what you enjoy etc etc.

In my own experience, Toronto's first calling card is the nature within and around. Not so different from Vancouver, even if it has some prettier views.

An awful lot of tourists use Toronto as a gateway to see Niagara Falls; or to go camping in Algonquin Park etc. Obviously these aren't within the City proper, but we are the jumping off point for international visitors who wish to see these places.

A second key feature is our Diversity. Toronto, as with Canada is increasingly widely known around the world as the place that's home to everyone. It may be cliche, overdone, or 'old' to us long-time Torontonians, but to many that makes us quite exotic.

I would also suggest that their are some stand-out items for tourists/enthusiasts. The CN Tower remains relatively unique in the views it offers and the experience of its elevators etc.

A lot of people still want to see Skydome's retractable roof (it is a thing); and yes the shopping matters (Toronto is experiencing the most growth in international retail in North America). Clearly there are better shopping cities globally, cut Toronto is quickly approaching the Top 10.

*****

We're I to look at weaknesses and strengths, this would be my list.

Strength, plus required enhancement, if any.

1) Gateway to nature:

Improve access to Niagara Falls with daily train service 4x per day or more.
Improve access to Algonquin and other key parks by intercity bus; and by train where practical (likely weekend excursion style)
Improve winter offerings (there is insufficient camping outdoors or partially/fully climate adapted (yurts, heated yurts etc.) in our parks; wineries and other attractions often have poor hours in winter; Rouge Park could have snowshoe hikes etc.)
Implement Rouge Master Plan, including Visitor Centre, upgraded/new trails, one good quality campground, improve access to have transit specifically serve the new visitor centre (en route to Zoo) and at Steeles as well.
Complete the new Ferry Terminal and selectively enhance the Islands as a destination for beaches, for dining, for picnicing, for nature lovers and for recreational boating.

2) Lake Ontario:

Very few cities have a vast, Fresh-water waterfront. We're improving ours; but more to do

Finish the central waterfront area: Water's edge bridges, promenade and boardwalk, plus the 3 new parks proposed for the north side of Queen's Quay (Rees, York and Sugar Wharf), the Ferry Terminal etc.
Deliver the naturalized mouth to the Don w/recreational boating opportunities.
Execute the Western Beaches Masterplan creating 11 more acres of waterfront parkland, better access to the area by transit and on foot; particularly from High Park
Create the proposed new waterfront Trail in Scarborough, both phases, creating non-stop bike trail from just west of the Humber River to Pickering.

3) Global Diversity, with a particular focus on dining and retail:

Invest more in our 'ethnic' areas in conjunction with BIAs
Specifically, add the class China Town gate/arch to Dundas/or Spadina, improve the Dundas streetscape, animate at least one lane/pedestrian-focused shopping area in Chinatown, without discouraging independents find a portion of the area where leading Chinese retailers can enter them mix. Ditch at least of the blah Chinese Malls in favour of a flagship T&T
Look at bringing back heritage cinemas as non-profit cinemas devoted to local ethnic cinema in Chinatown, Little Korea, Little India, Greektown etc.
Attract one or more leading Italian retailers to Little Italy; create a meaningful public square on what is now the Metro parking lot.
Similarly, attract a leading Indian retailer to Little India, and create a central public square to anchor the area.

More generally, get Michelin to rate Toronto's restos. For better or worse they are the guide to global dining and they aren't here yet.

Differentiate by getting restos to offer more distinct Canadian food ingredients such as Venison, Lake Trout, Pickerel, Wild mushrooms, Fiddleheads, Ramps (wild Leeks) etc etc.

In non-dining retail, endeavour to get Toronto into the Top 10 cities worldwide for international retail (we're already close).

4) Sell our internationality more visibly. I think GO Trains going bilingual was a good move here; but I'm thinking both about making the French fact more obvious but also our ease of services in so many languages.
Street signs are an easy way to do this, tacking on the Greek names of streets to the the signs on Danforth, and likewise Mandarin/Cantonese in Chinatown, Korean in Little Korea etc.

5) Make our best attractions better; given the TEC a quality outdoor facing retail area on James Street, make the Nordstrom feel like a flagship by expanding it another 50,000 sq feet, and giving it a bold presence from Dundas
Facelift the paving/sidewalk at the base of the CN Tower, add one more attraction, add Rail Deck Park Phase 1, and improve immediate area dining.

6) Canada's Wonderland must consolidate on-site parking and add an additional theme area. Its at capacity many weekends. Investments which improve its hospitablity in cooler weather could also result in an extenstion of up to 5 weeks vs the current season length.

Weaknesses:

1) Cycling tourism is very much a growing thing, clearly we have vast ways to go in taking advantage of that, which our ravines and lakefront should make an easy winner.

Deliver continuous Waterfront Trail from just west of the Humber to Pickering, and improve the quality of the Central and Western Beaches spaces.
Invest heavily in the Lower Don to make this a better cycling experience by creating 3-5 large scale enhancements to nature; and by improving the trail and associated experience, including adding
stairs from Dundas, stairs from Gerrard, a connection at Rosedale Valley Road and by improving existing entry points at streets such as Pottery Road, or key locations like Beechwood and the Forks by adding drinking fountains, seating, washrooms and wayfinding.

Also invest in the Meadoway program, delivering Gatineau, then the entire Finch Hydro Corridor.

Complete and enhance the Beltline by bridging Allen Rd. Adding amenities (seating, drinking fountains and washrooms at key points) and creating safer and more visible access at multiple locations.

Expand Bikeshare to cover the entire Beltine, the core ravine areas and the expanded Waterfront Trail.

Offer extended bike rental, where appropriate along said routes.

2) Public Realm

Start by delivering just 3 of the 'Great Streets projects', Yonge, University and Jarvis

Deliver more pedestrian priority streets, particularly in the St. Lawrence, Yorkville and Entertainment district neighbourhoods.

Make Yorkville feel fully 'mink mile' by extending the granite sidewalk program to Bay Street from Charles to Scollard. Replace the high-mast lights on Bloor with some much more elegant, get the coordinated rebuild of the Cumberland Square area done so as to create a view corridor of the Clock Tower from the south, a beautified Cumberland St, and a major new public square.

Implement full hydro wire burial on any outstanding streets from the Don River to Bathurst and the Lake to Davenport (Bloor east of Church)

3) Expand museum/gallery hours and increase grants to allow for continuous improvements to space and collections, particularly for AGO/ROM; but some smaller institutions as well.
 
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AlbertC

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TrickyRicky

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Every city is to an extent a tick-of-the-bucket-list place for tourists. The only complaint you can make about Toronto is we are not a top tier destination in that regard. Niagara Falls is probably the only top tier attraction. Maybe the CN tower. But if we are reducing places in this manner many of the amazing small Cities in Europe mentioned because of their quality of life and urbanism basically have zero tourist draws.

Narrowing the focus from top tier tourist destination down to the individual person there is no unified reason why someone would be interested in going somewhere because everyone is interested in different things. My wife’s friend from Taiwan certainly doesn’t think Toronto is the greatest city in the world based on her visit but she liked the shopping as we have many brand named stores not present in Taiwan. She was also impressed that there were many popular Chinese and Japanese chain restaurant here they did not have in Taiwan. She also made her husband jealous by attending a Blue Jays game and Raptors game, both sports being incredible popular there.
 

WislaHD

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But if we are reducing places in this manner many of the amazing small Cities in Europe mentioned because of their quality of life and urbanism basically have zero tourist draws.
Those small cities and towns of Europe are in themselves the tourist draw.

If Toronto wanted to match them, we would need to invest in the public realm. Bury the power lines, beautify our streets and sidewalks, no more of our utilities filling in holes with asphalt crap.

Even if Toronto is lacking in top-tier attractions, we could at least elevate the experience of our many mid-tier attractions by improving the public realm experience walking to and from them.
 

W. K. Lis

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People also go to New York City to ride its subway, London to ride its Underground & double-decker buses. So people could come to Toronto to ride its streetcars. Something the tourists do not have back home.
 

Irishmonk

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I've gotten somewhat hooked on the 4K walk videos populating Utube these days. After watching some very impressive ones in NYC, London, Chicago, etc... I turned to our own beloved Yonge St which has a complete walk from Rosedale to the Lakeshore. Needless to say it was not a flattering look. I really believe that turning Yonge St into a fully pedestrianized higher end retail street--possibly modelled on Nanjing Road in Shanghai--should be the #1 priority for improving Toronto's international image. (Hell, even for our local image).
 

Johnny Au

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People also go to New York City to ride its subway, London to ride its Underground & double-decker buses. So people could come to Toronto to ride its streetcars. Something the tourists do not have back home.
Toronto has both an extensive streetcar system and an extensive subway system. Not many cities in the world have both extensive streetcar systems and extensive subway systems.

Oh, and Scarborough's going to get a Maglev (in the Toronto Zoo). But again, Shanghai has a Maglev.
 

Johnny Au

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Funnily enough, the location of our one major event has recently turned into a condo.

That being said, I don't think being a stable city within a stable country has hurt our tourism numbers.

The History of Toronto page is pretty lengthy, and scrolling through it there are quite a few things that would be neat to document and highlight to the public through exhibit. To name a few: our First Nations and early histories (including our lost rivers and streams), the founding and early days of the city (including the War of 1812 and Upper Canada Rebellion), our rapid industrial growth (Hogtown anyone?), the Toronto Fire, the expansion of the city borders and the consolidation of city services (including the TTC), the Orange Order and immigration history to the city in general, both World Wars and their impact on residents, Hurricane Hazel, the post-war 20th century economic development and its evolution on our cityscape (so many ways to take this, from evolution of our subway system, to our skyline, to the lost buildings demolished for parking, to the legacy of Eaton's in downtown). This is before getting into celebration of noteworthy individuals who hailed from or came to call Toronto their home, including numerous Canadian prime ministers.

I grant that this is small beans to other cities with thousand-year histories, but I think there is plenty reason to celebrate what has happened here. People will care because they care about Toronto, period. Being such a young city, I see a Museum of Toronto as also a clean canvass for the recording of events of future years.

BTW, the Raptors Parade may well be one of the largest gatherings of humans in recorded history. That is pretty significant. :p
The Raptors parade is indeed the largest public gathering in one place for one event in Canadian history, peacetime or wartime and is even among the largest such gatherings in human history: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_peaceful_gatherings

However, there are other sports victory parades that are larger, such as the Boston Red Sox parade in 2004 and the Chicago Cubs parade in 2016.
 

pman

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Toronto has both an extensive streetcar system and an extensive subway system. Not many cities in the world have both extensive streetcar systems and extensive subway systems.

Oh, and Scarborough's going to get a Maglev (in the Toronto Zoo). But again, Shanghai has a Maglev.
Sure, if by “extensive” you mean 59th in the world, comfortably nestled between Dubai and Bucharest in size.

 

SubHuman

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...To quote Steve Martin again, "Toronto is like New York, but without all the stuff." We need more stuff, a lot more stuff, better stuff, and winter stuff, ie, more indoor, non-mall stuff.
I suppose not necessarily related to tourism, but I mentioned this in the thread about the O'Keefe/Sony Centre/Meridian Hall. Why doesn't Toronto have a 5-7000 seat theatre type of entertainment venue? (something like the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, Park Theater or Zappos Theater in Las Vegas, or Radio City Music Hall in New York)
It came up in discussion recently after hearing the 2021 Junos were going to be at Scotiabank Arena. I was told the lack of a purpose built mid-sized venue has been a topic of conversation for more than 50 years. Surely someone must have considered the idea by now. About once a decade some promoter tries using the CNE/Coca-Cola Coliseum and remembers that arenas are lousy music venues, while outdoor venues (Budweiser Stage, Kingswood and the tennis stadium for the one year it was tried) have only briefly filled in the gap during the summer.
 
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AlvinofDiaspar

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It is very difficult to fill a space of that size with acts - and the ones that could aim for even larger crowds that ACC or Rogers (or even Budweiser) can handle.

AoD
 

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