Comstock: Tourism helps makes Downtown living rich, exciting

Within the service sector in Canada we find tourism in the crapper. The looney, the border and the people sleeping on the streets are robbing Toronto’s economy of tourism’s value. And tourism is a wonderful thing. Tourism integrates the world, shares the experience of living, creates learning and fosters peaceful co-existence. The number of jobs created by tourism is larger than you may think and the visitor cost to our city is low in terms of infrastructure like police, fire, sewer-water, etc. Sports teams, hotels, cultural centres, theatre and the like, benefit big time from tourism. It creates many entry-level jobs in hotels and restaurants and other services of which tourist make use.
One of the best parts of tourism is that the facilities that we build for the tourist is great fun for the locals as well. Look at the must-see ROM, AGO, Hockey Hall of Fame, CN Tower (now colourful as well) and sports, festivals, and so many things to do in Toronto that are at least partly tourism projects. The Old Town Toronto (Promotional) Alliance is a non-profit corporation that seeks to build co-operation and communication between area stakeholders, relevant government departments and community organizations to enhance Old Town’s tourism and visitor marketing. OTTA has found over the years, that we must draw in the regional visitors which are by far greater in number than the tourist from outside 100 kilometres. Toronto receives many fewer visits from the 905, 705, 519 folks than it did in the past. One reason is that Tourism Toronto, the driver of tourism advertising doesn’t promote within this 100 kilometre range.

So, Old Town has banded together with BIAs and others in the Downtown to say, hey! How about visiting Downtown Toronto for sports, theatre, art culture, and while you’re here go out and see our terrific Downtown neighbourhoods. Once we get Toronto full of our fellow Ontarians, having fun in the Downtown, then the rest of the tourism market will find us attractive. You can visit Old Town Toronto on line at www.oldtowntoronto1793. com and see for yourself what a wonderful world we have. Check out the nine live theatre stages and huge restaurant selections here in the Old Town. You can also find out which roads will be torn up and how many condo neighbours you will shortly have.