TIAO Newsletter – August 27, 2020 Update

Your weekly digest from TIAO, updating you on the latest industry news, advocacy issues and upcoming events.

TIAO Newsletter

As the voice of the Ontario tourism industry, we recognize that in times of uncertainty there is a need for the industry to have access to clear and reliable information.

Our team is closely following the evolving COVID-19 situation and will link to pertinent articles on our website and social media channels, with a focus on validity and relevance to our industry.

Email us with your Coronavirus/COVID-19 updates to feedback@tiaontario.ca

Call us with your updates at 1-888-436-6441 (TOLL FREE)


The Ontario government is safely reopening more of the economy by easing restrictions for facilities that rent out professional meeting and event spaces. As of August 21, 2020, facilities can have up to 50 guests for each indoor meeting room or event space within the facility. The facility would have to adhere to a plan approved by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Find more information here and the guidelines here.


Tickets for the Ontario Tourism Summit 2020 and the Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence on October 27th and 28th are now available. This year’s conference is going virtual and embracing the challenges we continue to face in response to COVID-19.

Your ticket to Ontario Tourism Summit 2020 also guarantees you’re on the guest list for our spectacular gala awards ceremony, where we will celebrate the Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence and everything that makes our industry so special. Just because we can’t physically be together doesn’t mean you won’t get the full gala experience. Get your tickets here.


Thank you to everyone who joined this weeks call with the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA).

We continue to hold weekly industry stakeholder conference call meetings in order to disseminate information that we have received, address member concerns and share information on our industry consultations and share the latest news from government and our partners.

You can read the notes from this week here.


Attention all TIAO members, the #SafeTravels web page is now live. Find guidelines, an application form and more information here.

The WTTC in cooperation with the provincial government has created a self-certified Safe Travel Stamp based on worldwide industry protocols the WTTC has put together for every aspect of the hospitality and tourism sector.


In response to requests from restaurants, bars and other food service premises to increase their capacity limits, the City of Toronto established a process to apply for exemptions to the limits outlined in the by-law. Owners or operators of venues can complete a survey to be considered for an exemption from the capacity limit. Apply here.


We have been actively onboarding new members as part of our 2020 free membership initiative to individuals and businesses in the tourism industry. We will continue to advocate on your behalf, and provide an even more inclusive message as we represent your voice to the provincial government.

If you haven’t taken advantage of our offer, we are glad to continue to extend this to the industry. We ask that you reach out to us directly at membership@tiaontario.ca. We will set up your membership and provide you additional information, including the option to choose between:

Membership within TIAO for a period of one year from date of signing.

Or to become a Green shoots sponsor – for those new members that can afford to pay their membership, we will recognize the value of their membership through sponsorship (Green shoots sponsor) and use this value of their membership to continue the research and vital actions to rebuild and represent the industry’s voice to government in Ontario.


1000 Islands Gananoque Poker Run is an event in which participants travel between five checkpoints along the St. Lawrence River and drawing a playing card at each stop. The objective for the participants is to have the best poker hand at the end of the event; the person with the best hand at the end of the run is the winner! The best in power boating is always on display – high performance power boats (also called cigarette boats) make up the roster to these events and are a sight to behold for boating enthusiasts and racing enthusiasts alike. Find more information here.


Ontario Supports Local Distillery in the Fight Against COVID-19

Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade

The Ontario government is investing $455,000 from the Ontario Together Fund in Dairy Distillery to retool its operations and increase its capacity to manufacture hand sanitizer to help in the response to the fight against COVID-19.

Ontario Makes Investments to Improve Fort William Historical Park

Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries

The Ontario government is investing nearly $13 million to make capital improvements at Fort William Historical Park, one of Northern Ontario’s leading tourist attractions and one of the largest living history attractions in North America. Fort William Historical Park is devoted to re-creating the days of the North West Company and the Canadian fur trade.

Ontario Building New School to Support Etobicoke Community

Office of the Premier

The Ontario government is investing $15.9 million to build a new school and create 88 more child care spaces in Etobicoke. This project is part of the government’s commitment to invest $12 billion over 10 years in new and existing schools, with over $500 million to be invested this year alone. The funding will help build and expand schools, complete major renovations, and create more child care spaces across the province.

Governments Help Ontario Food Processors become more Innovative and Competitive

Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

The Governments of Canada and Ontario are providing more than $5.4 million through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to help food processing businesses improve food safety, increase labour productivity and enable better access to markets. These strategic investments will support more than 75 projects across Ontario and strengthen the province’s crucial agri-food supply chain.

Ontario Releases COVID-19 Management Plan for Schools

Office of the Premier

As part of Ontario’s plan for students to safely return to the classroom in September, the government has released the Operational Guidance: COVID-19 Management in Schools document. This guide was developed in consultation with public health experts, including Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, and aims to help schools identify and isolate COVID-19 cases, reduce the spread of COVID-19 in schools, and prevent and minimize outbreaks.

Connecting Residents and Businesses to the Digital Economy in Lambton County

Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Ontario is delivering on its commitment to create even more economic and educational opportunities in rural, remote and underserved areas of the province through an improved, modern broadband network in Southwestern Ontario. The province announced that Brooke Telecom has been contracted to bring reliable internet to Lambton County.

Ontario Supports Plan to Safely Extend the Life of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station

Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines

The Ontario government is supporting a plan by Ontario Power Generation (OPG) to safely extend the life of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station. The updated schedule will provide electricity consumers with emission-free, low-cost energy and allow 4,500 high-quality jobs to remain in Durham region longer.


Toronto requiring anyone renting out their home for 28 days or less to register with city


Short-term rental operators in Toronto who rent out properties for periods of less than 28 days will have to formally register with the city starting Sept.10 to keep running, the city says. The new online registration system is part of a broader effort to better regulate short-term rentals across the city.

Airbnb bans all events and limits houses to 16 people as it confidentially files IPO

Business Insider

Airbnb is officially banning party houses and capping listing occupancy at 16 people, the company announced on Thursday.

“This party ban applies to all future bookings on Airbnb and it will remain in effect indefinitely until further notice,” Airbnb revealed in a blog post. The ban is an extension of an already existing rule Airbnb implemented in late 2019, and represents the company’s latest attempt to alter its business in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.


OFSC Announces Benefits for Early Permit Buyers Starting September 1st


After booming sales of motorized recreational products across the province, the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) is anticipating strong demand for Ontario snowmobile trails this winter. In anticipation of this growth, today the OFSC announced new benefits for Ontario snowmobilers as part of its overall strategy to ensure the health and safety of its members, volunteers, landowners and riders for the coming snowmobile season.

Making the town “pretty” again

The Cochrane Times

The Town of Cochrane received a letter from Mary Kirkbride on the appearance of the municipal park lands around Lake Commando and the entrance of the town. Her letter included photos from the areas that she felt needed to be attended to.

Festival of Small Halls broadcasts true community tales

The Festival of Small Halls

The Ontario Festival of Small Halls captured some of those incredible tales as part of a new project, Small Halls Stories.

Since its inception, the Ontario Festival of Small Halls has celebrated the spirit and heart of small-town Ontario. The Festival plants inspired, decorated and mind-blowing artists into rural halls across Eastern Ontario each fall. Music lovers witness these intimate shows and create life-long memories of small town hospitality uniting with captivating performers from all across Canada.

Stratford Extends Outdoor Dining Project

CTV News

The Stratford Al Fresco dining project has been extended until the end of October. This means many more chances to grab some takeout food & drinks to enjoy outdoors at the Market Square and Tom Patterson Island Al Fresco locations.

Marten River Lodge wins Travelers’ Choice Award

North Bay Nugget

A northeastern Ontario tourist facility has been awarded the 2020 Travelers’ Choice Award. Marten River Lodge in Marten River has made it in the top 10 per cent of Tripadvisor’s 8.7 million listings around the world.

An elegant vision for an old Sudbury water tower

The Sudbury Star

A once-derelict water tower could become a beacon of hope and light overlooking the city core.

Local architect Patrick Danielson has a vision for the Pearl Street water tower, which maintains part of its historic façade, with a very modern twist.

Danielson’s vision, which he calls Water Falls, includes a light-filled atrium and a winding, airy staircase that wraps itself around the tower’s support beams. It is somewhat reminiscent of the dome of the Reichstag (the house of parliament) in Berlin.

Harvesting art: End of season art show announced

Soo Today

The new Harvest of Artists event is coming to the Centennial Grounds in Richards Landing, St. Joseph Island.

At a time when most seasonal events have been canceled due to the pandemic, a new art event is great news for regional artists.

The Harvest of Artists is scheduled on Saturday, Aug. 29 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Centennial Grounds in Richards Landing on St. Joseph Island.



Marketing Manager

JLM Strategic Marketing


September 13-15 Terroir – Collaboration: The Power of Partnership

October 27-28 2020 Ontario Tourism Summit

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