Update from TIAO- September 10, 2020

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 Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, announced that the application deadline for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) is extended from Aug. 31 to Oct. 31, 2020. The government is working closely with financial institutions to make the CEBA program available to those with qualifying payroll or non-deferrable expenses that have so far been unable to apply due to not operating from a business banking account.

Read full details here


The Canadian Government announced that the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses will be extended by one month to help eligible small businesses pay rent for September. Across the country, thousands of small businesses that were forced to close or were especially hard hit have been able to use CECRA to help cover rent and position themselves to reopen as the economy reopens.

More information and application 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.


TIAO has been chosen by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) to administer the Safe Travels Stamp in Canada. The Safe Travels Stamp is an international symbol designed to allow travellers to recognize governments and companies around the world, which have adopted health and hygiene, standardized protocols – so consumers can experience ‘Safe Travels’.

Every Thursday TIAO will announce the newly accredited businesses. This week the following businesses were awarded the #SafeTravels Stamp:

  • Algoma Kinniwabi Travel Association – Ontario’s Algoma Country
  • Bird Kingdom
  • Bliss Restaurant + Catering
  • Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory
  • Clyde Hall Bed and Breakfast
  • CN Tower
  • CPTrip Service Inc.
  • Dairy Distillery
  • Dark Hourse Estate Winery
  • Escape Camp Picton
  • Explore Waterloo Region
  • Fresca Eatery and Café
  • Grace Restaunt London
  • Grand River Rafting Company Ltd.
  • Haliburton Highlands Brewing Co.
  • Haunted Walks Inc.
  • Hessenland Inn & Schatz Winery
  • Homewood Suites by Hilton Toronto/Oakville
  • ISX International Student of Exchange of Canada Ltd.
  • Living Water Resorts
  • Molly’s Bistro Bakery
  • Museum of Dufferin
  • Niagara Bound Tours
  • Niagara Holiday Rentals
  • Niagara Parks
  • Niagara-on-the-Lake Chamber of Commerce & Tourism NOTL
  • One King West Hotel and Residence
  • Pickering Museum Village
  • Southern Georgian Bay Tourism
  • The Inn of Waterloo & Conference Centre
  • Thunder Bay Crossroads
  • Top Shelf Distillery
  • Tour East Holidays
  • Tourism Barrie
  • Travac Tours
  • Travelway Inn
  • Tucked Inn the Harbour B&B
  • Visit Guelph
  • Wasaga Adventure Park
  • Wave Limo & Tours
  • Wynn Farm Apple Orchard

Apply here.


The view from the top of Blue Mountain on a clear day is spectacular. The vistas under the stars is a whole different kind of beautiful. And that is just one highlight of Blue Mountain’s new night forest experience, AGORA: Path of Light.

See more information here.


A new Safe Travels Stamp program has been launched in Canada to assist tourism operators and reassure consumers that health and safety protocols are being taken seriously.. More details can be found 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.


Canada, Ontario, and Chippewas of Kettle & Stony Point First Nation Announce Addition of Lands to their Reserve

Indigenous Affairs

the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, together with the Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of Indigenous Affairs Ontario, and Chief Jason Henry, Chief of Chippewas of Kettle & Stony Point First Nation, announced the addition of lands to Chippewas of Kettle & Stony Point First Nation.

Ontario Supporting Athletes in their Quest for Gold

Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries

The Ontario government is investing more than $21 million to help athletes and their coaches train in Ontario and continue their quest for gold. Funding will be provided to the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario, Coaches Association of Ontario, and Quest for Gold Program.

The announcement was made today by Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, while visiting BMO Field.

Governments Help Ontario Farmers Bring High-Quality Products to Market

Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing more than $7.9 million through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to help farmers improve their business operations and bring more safe, high-quality foods to markets. This funding will support more than 670 projects across Ontario for eligible farmers and agri-food businesses.

Ontario Expanding Hospital in Moosonee


The Ontario government is investing an additional $19.4 million to expand health care services provided by Weeneebayko Area Health Authority and improve access to health care in Northern Ontario. The funding will be used to support planning and redevelopment of a culturally appropriate health campus that will include a new hospital and a lodge in Moosonee, as well as a new ambulatory care centre on Moose Factory Island.

Canada and Ontario invest in public transit infrastructure for Burlington’s growing population


The Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of International Development and Member of Parliament for Burlington, on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities; Adam van Koeverden, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth and to the Minister of Canadian Heritage (Sport) and Member of Parliament for Milton; Pam Damoff, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services and Member of Parliament for Oakville North-Burlington; were joined by Jane McKenna, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development and Member of Provincial Parliament for Burlington, on behalf of the Honourable Laurie Scott, Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure; Effie J. Triantafilopoulos, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Long-Term Care and Member of Provincial Parliament for Oakville North−Burlington; and Her Worship, Marianne Meed Ward, Mayor of Burlington, to announce funding for six projects that will modernize and improve public transit in Burlington.


Stricter bylaws for short-term rentals come into effect this week


After years of court battles, the city is enacting a new set of regulations this week that will only allow people to rent out their primary residence on short-term rental sites. It’s a move to ensure that homes, condos and apartments aren’t funneled off into the short-term rental market as investment properties, instead of being available for Torontonians to rent long-term.

Halton Hills has four applications for retail cannabis locations in progress


Retail cannabis store owners are seeing green in Halton Hills. The town currently has four applications in progress with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).

Three stores will be in Georgetown: two on Guelph Street and one in downtown Georgetown. The town has filed an appeal against an application for a store at 28 Main St. S. due to its proximity to an Ontario Early Years Centre.

Path clear for opening of cannabis store in Port Colborne

St. Catherine’s Standard

Port Colborne’s planning director says there are no regulatory issues standing in the way of a cannabis store opening in the city.

The application, revealed last week when the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario announced the mandatory 15-day public notice period, has been made to turn the empty KFC on King Street into a cannabis store. It will be the city’s first since legalization in late 2018.


Rockport Boat Line gets COVID stamp of approval

The Kingston Whig Standard

“Safe travels’” use to be a phrase used to wish a friend or acquaintance a decent journey, but Covid has changed that. Now the Safe Travels Stamp is a global badge that identifies businesses that follow safe travel protocols in a pandemic world. Close to home, Rockport Boat Line has just been awarded the #SafeTravels Stamp. Like all other similar operators, Rockport Cruises is running at less than half capacity but doing it safely.

Tourism North Bay ends 2019 on a high note

Northern Business Ontario

Tourism North Bay’s report to city council reflects positive numbers for 2019, ending the year with close to $220,000 in the bank. “In 2019, Tourism North Bay worked with 11 community partners on 15 different initiatives. We contributed across all 15 of those initiatives for a total of $46,000,” shared Steve Dreany, Executive Director of Tourism North Bay.

New Afrocentric social business Zingha launches in Peterborough

Kawartha Now

In this week’s businessNOW™, our round-up of business and organizational news from Peterborough and across the greater Kawarthas region, we feature the launch of the unique Afrocentric social business Zingha in Peterborough, owned and operated by Peterborough residents Cheryl Edwards and Charmaine Magumbe.

Destination Canada: Travel and Leisure Show an Amazing Opportunity for Agents

Travel Pulse Canada

This week’s Travel and Leisure Show is a great opportunity for Canadian tourism officials to reach out to the country’s travel agents and advisors, says the new head of Destination Canada. In an interview with TravelPulse Canada, new Destination Canada President and CEO Marsha Walden said her organization is thrilled to be part of the show, which runs Thursday, Sept. 10 for the travel trade and then again on Saturday, Sept. 12 for consumers/media.

Plans to expand rail museum in Capreol

CTV News

The tourist attraction recently received federal funding to develop a new way for visitors to enjoy a virtual tour. “We are looking at a phone app and certainly dial-in and up will come a story about the past in Capreol, a past of the museum, the past of the 607 locomotive,” said Thomas. Officials at the Northern Ontario Railway and Heritage Centre say they also currently working on partnering with local school boards to offer virtual presentations in place of school field trips.

Pumpkinferno opening Sept. 27th

Seaway newsUpper Canada Village’s award-winning Pumpkinferno is getting ready to enchant visitors once again this fall with the addition of 11 new themed exhibits. The creative and artistic event will be open on select nights starting Thursday and running until Nov. 1.

Doug Lawrance Fighting For Tourism Sector


The tourism industry in northwestern Ontario is in dire straights and federal support is needed. Sioux Lookout Mayor Doug Lawrance was able to convey that message during a virtual one-on-one meeting with Economic Development Minister Melanie Joly. Lawrance says his community can’t depend on Canadian visitors to make up for what has been lost.

Pandemic halts Ontario 55+ Winter Games

Brantford ExpositorCOVID-19 restrictions are forcing the postponement of the Ontario 55+ Winter Games. The event, which typically attracts 800 to 1,000 athletes and officials and another 800 visitors, was to be hosted by Brantford and Brant County in February. A report from Brian Hutchings, Branford’s chief administration officer, which was approved by city councilors at a committee meeting this week, says physical distancing measures make it impossible to hold the competition in local venues and host special events leading up to the games.

Virtual train tour in the works for Northern Ontario Railroad Museum and Heritage Centre


The Northern Ontario Railroad Museum and Heritage Centre is working on new technology that will allow visitors to take a tour on their own.

The facility in Capreol, Ont., is in the early stages of creating a mobile app for interactive, self-guided tours. Operations manager Derek Young says the technology would add to the visitor experience by incorporating storytelling.

Corona Canada launches “Rediscover the Outdoors” travel auction program to support local tourism

News Wire

Vacations are a little closer to home this year, but the good news is that eight in ten Canadians (83%) believe that there is a lot to see and do from coast to coast. Today, Corona Canada announces the launch of “Rediscover the Outdoors,” a travel auction program that provides an immediate investment into the Canadian tourism industry with pre-purchased experience packages from Travelzoo that will be available for consumers to browse and bid. From weekend wilderness excursions to an afternoon spent paddle boarding, local travel packages available on the website encourage Canadians to reconnect with the outdoors safely, while supporting local tourism.

Supporting CK’s hospitality and tourism sectors

Blackburn News

With damp and chilly autumn weather just around the corner, municipal officials are encouraging residents to get out and support local businesses.

Chatham-Kent Chief Administrative Officer Don Shropshire said he has spoken with some restaurateurs who are considering the use of outdoor heaters to keep patios open for as long as possible. However, it’s only a temporary solution as winter is a few months away.

Ch’ng proposes Thunder Bay sign on waterfront

TB News Watch

Northwood councilor to ask the city to spend up to $100,000 of the unallocated municipal accommodation tax to design and build the sign, similar to ones seen in cities around the world, including Toronto.



Manager of Tourism and Events

City of Hamilton


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

October 27-28 2020 Ontario Tourism Summit

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