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On the Road: Totally Toronto

By Selena Fragassi


It’s called the Queen City for a reason, and when visitors come upon Toronto this summer for the crown jewel of international sporting competitions they’ll notice just how well these special event venues and meeting centres have kept up their game.

Humber Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning
It’s not often you’ll get a taste of the great outdoors in the middle of a big city, but Humber Institute offers an urban oasis with an Arboretum attached to its northern campus. “It’s not uncommon to see deer in the parking lot at any time of day,” says Arielle Berube, conference coordinator. Here, groups can tap into unique team-building activities, such as guided arboretum or wildlife tours and swimming at the Humber Community Pool located on the property. A second campus on the southern edge of Toronto is just as scenic nestled near Lake Ontario.

Humber Institute also gets down to business hosting meetings and events as varied as youth sports camps, stock market workshops, a knitting and embroidery seminar and the 2,000-person Ontario Mathematics Conference. “Because we’re a college, we capitalize on the fact that we have so many different styles of [rooms],” says Berube. That includes classrooms, tiered lecture theaters for up to 300 and an auditorium that seats 500. Accommodations are also available for overnight guests, which includes traditional residence halls and hotel-style suites with private washrooms.

“We have an infrastructure people can use to develop their event,” says Berube of the one-stop shop experience. “We will take care of communication within our team on your behalf.”

Ivey Tangerine Leadership Centre
Groups looking to meet in Toronto’s financial district can bank on the Ivey Tangerine Leadership Centre that occupies a convenient storefront location in the Stock Exchange Tower. As an extension of the Richard Ivey School of Business and supported through funding by Tangerine Bank, the Centre is one of the area’s only day meeting centers open 365 days a year that can actually save you money. “We work with you in terms of rates,” says Director of Corporate Sales Gunjan Kahlon, noting that rental prices begin at just $750. “Also, because we are a day meeting center, you don’t need to meet any minimum guest room requirements to book our spaces.”

Though Ivey Tangerine Leadership Centre does not have overnight accommodations, it does have 8,000 square feet of meeting space with two amphitheatres and nine individual meeting rooms. Each rental includes a wealth of built-in technology including an LCD projector and screen, 100 megabytes of wireless Internet access and a power outlet at each desk. As well there is availability for built-in video conferencing and webcasting. Catering packages are also available for sit-down dinners of up to 100 people or 150 cocktail-style, which is just one of the ways groups utilize the space. “The Centre was purpose built for learning and development, and that’s what 95% of our clientele does here,” says Kahlon.

TMX Broadcast Centre
Also located in the Stock Exchange Tower is the state-of-the-art TMX Broadcast Centre. Built in 2003, the venue is owned by TMX Group, which operates the exchange’s electronic marketplace—and the integration is quite compelling for groups who want extra atmosphere. A viewing gallery allows event guests to look upon busy broadcasters and journalists and a traditional ticker screen can be customized with personalized messages or corporate slogans.

Technology is really the cornerstone of the Centre, says Manager Kris Backus. “The real thing that makes us stand apart is that our pricing model includes everything in the room.” A full audio system, projectors and screens allow for webcasts and video conferencing—and technicians are ready to assist. “It’s really a turnkey solution for a planner,” admits Backus.

One of the other interesting aspects of TMX Broadcast Centre is its central spot on the ground floor, which offers the ability to host indoor/outdoor events. “We can put tents outside in the courtyard,” says Backus. “We’ve actually gotten creative with bands playing and food being served outdoors.” The Centre works with nine preferred caterers from “the cheap and cheerful to the green gourmet.” Overall the venue can accommodate 130 theater-style, 70 classroom, 80 in round and 200 per reception and is accessible via the subway system and the underground walkway path.

The Second City Toronto
Comedy is for everyone says The Second City Toronto. Not only does the troupe offer corporate workshops in a B2B division called Second City Works, but in May, they also opened a brand new Training Centre adding on to the availability of private rental spaces with 8,000 more square feet. Inside the third-floor venue there are seven studios, a 65-seat black box theatre, plenty of lounge space and digital screens, a projector and lights for the full multimedia production.

Eventually the Centre will serve alcohol and provide catering (they work with the neighboring Wayne Gretzky Toronto restaurant). It will mirror the options of the main performance theatre, which can also be bought out during the day or enjoyed at night with regular comedy shows that offer the chance for group outings.

The best part though may be the workshops, taught by Second City alumni, that use lessons of improv to teach team-building and communication skills. “In the corporate world you’re also working as an ensemble, listening closely and collaborating to make something out of nothing, so it’s transferrable,” says Richard Gasee, marketing manager.

Workshops are customized to the industry of the clientele and are ideal for groups of 12-40 people though other types of training sessions and seminars are available for larger groups up to 300. Who knows, maybe you have a budding Dan Aykroyd, Martin Short, John Candy, Gilda Radner or Mike Myers on your team. All have trained here.

Glendon College
The campus of Glendon College is like nothing you’ve ever seen before, quite literally. Our teams travel all over the world and bring back trees to plant that you just can’t see anywhere else,” says Vinesh Saxena, manager of housing and hospitality services in the accommodation and conference services department. It’s just one part of the beautiful setting that gives the campus a country feel just outside the city limits. It’s adjacent to the Don River and near the Edwards Gardens with a rare oasis of wood lots, rose gardens and a private manor.

As the former site of the illustrious York University, the property is heritage protected, which is beneficial to maintain its beauty, but also means that no new construction or add-ons can be facilitated to appeal to the growing number of interested clientele who like to use the campus for retreats, camps and corporate day events.

Currently, Glendon College offers 50 meeting and event rooms fitting up to 350 guests that are available year-round; overnight accommodations are only open from May to August for up to 400 people. “We do get filled up very fast,” says Saxena, suggesting that early May and late August can be good times to secure dates as well as weekends, if applicable. Groups also have use of the lower-level athletic centre with Olympic-sized swimming pool, soccer fields, baseball diamonds and tennis courts as well as simultaneous bilingual translation services.

Get Connected

Glendon College
(416) 487.6798

Humber Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning
(416) 675.5027

Ivey Tangerine Leadership Centre
(416) 861.9600

The Second City Toronto
(416) 343.0033

TMX Broadcast Centre
(416) 947.4488