Key Industry Sectors

Tourism

fountains in Dundas Square, TorontoWelcoming over 40 million visitors annually, Toronto is the leading tourism destination in Canada. This bold, dynamic city offers superb attractions, music and events backed by the best convention and sports facilities in Canada.

Key Facts

  • Toronto is the leading tourism destination in Canada, in 2015, Toronto welcomed over 40 million visitors.
  • A record 14.03 million were overnight visitors (35% of total visitors) (Tourism Toronto, 2015).
  • 2.48 million overnight visitors came from the U.S and produced direct spending in Toronto of $1.32 Billion.
  • 1.75 million overnight visitors came from overseas and produced direct spending in Toronto of $1.49 Billion.
    Overall visitor spending during their trips was $7.2 billion in industries such as transportation, accommodation, food and beverage, entertainment and retail.
  • In 2010, when visitor spending was only $5.4 Billion, visitor spending in the Toronto region generated $1.8 billion in total taxes including:
    • $978.5 million in federal taxes
    • $786.5 million in provincial taxes
    • $14.4 million in municipal taxes
      Source: Ontario's Tourism Regional Economic Impact Model, Ontario Ministry of Tourism

Tourism Labour Force

Toronto CMA has over 19,000 tourism-related businesses employing more than 329,000 people. (Canadian Business Patterns Dec. 2013; Labour Force Survey 2013)

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, 2013

Business Establishments

  • There are over 50 large tourism and related services establishments (500+ employees) in the Toronto CMA. Thirty of these establishments are in the accommodation, foods, drink services and performing arts.
  • 70% of all tourism and related services establishments are classified as accommodation, foods, drink services and performing arts.

Table 1: Sector Breakdown by Number of Employees, 2013 - Toronto CMA

Assets

Toronto offers a wide variety of tourism options to leisure and business travellers

  • Music, Film, Sports, Cultural, entertainment, performing arts, festival and events, international cuisine, parks and recreation, first-rate accommodations, and shopping, including 7 professional sports teams, 9,000 restaurants, more than 500 live music venues, more than 50 tour operators and over 100 attractions.
  • Large-scale special events can be found every weekend of the year with a number of signature events in the city including, Nuit Blanche, LuminatoPride Caribbean Carnival Toronto, Canadian National Exhibition and the Toronto International Film Festival 
  • 60+ multifunctional event venues, 35+meeting facilities and over 100 professional event and meeting planners in the city assist in making Toronto the choice for meetings and conventions
  • Major convention centres offer a large amount of choice to the meetings and conventions market including Metro Toronto Convention Centre along with the Toronto Congress Centre and the Enercare Centre, 2 of the largest largest in North America
  • Toronto is a City of Neighbourhoods, often represented by a vibrant Business Improvement Area.
  • Toronto is one of the world's most diverse cultural, culinary and entertainment communities, over 50% of the population is foreign born.
  • The city has the greatest selection of accommodation in Canada, including over 43,000 hotel rooms in the greater Toronto region - 40% are located in downtown Toronto. Downtown Toronto hotels consistently achieve occupancy rates of about 73% whereas the hotel occupancy rate in the GTA is about 67% (PKF Consulting Inc., 2012 Outlook Greater Toronto Hotel Association)
  • Toronto Pearson International Airport is the second-busiest North American gateway to Europe and Canada's primary air hub. It provides about 400,000 flights and carries over 40 million passengers annually (GTAA)
  • Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is right in the downtown welcoming more than 2 million passengers annually. 

Tourist Investment

Major Industry Associations

Additional Information

The Tourism Sector in Toronto is supported by Tourism Services. Tourism Services works alongside the Film, Music and Event Support offices as part of Film and Entertainment Industries. For public information on visiting Toronto please visit the City Visitor portal, Festival and Events Calendar or the official website of Tourism Toronto.