OMCA Report
Aug. 16, 2013

Toronto City Hall (Queen Street) Bus Parking Spaces Now Impacted by Nathan Phillips Square Redevelopment
As reported in OMCA Report last month, redevelopment of Nathan Phillips Square in front of Toronto's City Hall will impact bus parking spaces on Queen Street. The four designated free on-street bus parking spaces on Queen Street (one hour maximum) adjacent to Nathan Phillips Square have been reduced to just two spaces (at the east end) and these will be signed for bus loading and unloading only, and not for parking. We have questioned the City as to why they have preserved parking space for four food trucks, spaces that could and should have been allocated to buses.

We are continuing to press the City to ease the impact of losing our Queen Street spaces by designating six new (free) on-street bus parking spaces on Armoury and Chestnut Streets. These spaces would be available for buses to park for a maximum of two hours, and groups could easily walk between there and Nathan Phillips Square. We are advised this week by City staff that they are working on a by-law that has to go to City Council before the six spaces can be established. More

Online Passport Now Live!
OMCA Conference & Marketplace delegates can now access the Online Passport at: With the Online Passport, you can view your company profile/survey, access the Research Database, Program-at-a-Glance, Appointments, and more. Appointment selection will commence on Monday, September 16 and will continue until Wednesday, September 25.More

Ottawa Tourism takes closer look at economic impact of major events
Ottawa Business Journal
The body responsible for driving tourists to the nation's capital is changing how it evaluates the success or failure of major events it lures to the city in the hopes of sharpening its strategic focus for future bids. Ottawa Tourism, an industry group funded largely by the city's hoteliers, partnered with the City of Ottawa in 2011 to create a new body that uses government funding to drive tourism. More

Ambassador Bridge tolls set to rise to $5 each way
CBC News
It will soon cost more to cross the Ambassador Bridge. The bridge company has posted the increase on its website. The new toll for cars, vans, motorcycles and empty pickup trucks will jump from $4.75 to $5 in both Canadian and U.S. funds. Buses, larger trucks and cars pulling trailers are charged higher tolls. More

Where's Canada's national highway?
The Chronicle Journal
Among the many things for which U.S. president Dwight Eisenhower will be remembered is spear-heading one of the best road networks in the world. You can drive a BMW sports sedan as fast as you dare on Germany's renowned autobahn — and possibly get killed doing it — but the American interstate highway system has few rivals in terms of size, overall road quality and connectivity. It seems rather astonishing, then, that in a country as geographically vast as ours there is no Eisenhower-equivalent cast in the imagination of Canadians when it comes to the post-Second World War development of highways. More

A look at the creation of a Geopark in Canada
Tumbler Ridge News
The term "Geopark" is one that is still new to many people, especially in Canada. Essentially it is an international network which exists to protect and draw attention to areas of geological significance. Geoparks aren't just about geology, they also look at interesting archaeology, wildlife and natural landscapes that are beautiful.More

Canadian travel ideas: 13 alternatives to big-city summer tourism
The Huffington Post
Summer's the perfect time to escape the busy urban lifestyle in Canada. There's nothing wrong with enjoying fine dining in Vancouver's swankiest restaurants, shopping for high-end fashions on Toronto's Bloor Street, or parading through elite nightclubs in downtown Montreal. But there's much more to discover in this huge, diverse nation. More

Toronto's construction: Why is it happening all at once?
The Globe and Mail
Why is so much of downtown facing city construction at once? There are a variety of reasons: the city is devoting extra money to deal with a backlog of deteriorating infrastructure, some repairs are taking much longer than anticipated, the Pan Am games looming in 2015 have accelerated some projects and the condo boom is adding both residents and demands on city services. The upshot: motorists will have to get used to the kind of delays they've been seeing. More

Phoning in your transit fare
In a couple of short decades, the mobile phone has morphed from upmarket walkie-talkie into an all-around tool for texting, web surfing, music-listening, movie-watching, and point-of-purchase money-wasting. And, according to Juniper Research, the next way phones will render themselves disturbingly indispensable involves getting you on the bus. More

Cross Border Shopping Survey Reminder
All tour operator members were recently sent a link to fill out a brief survey on cross border shopping trips. If you haven't already done so, please complete the survey by the end of next week. We appreciate you taking the time. More

Keeping tourism alive in Sarnia
Sarnia Observer
The closure of Centennial Park and cancelation of Bayfest may have put a damper on Sarnia's summer traditions, but local officials, organizers and volunteers are doing their best to make sure the area remains a prime tourist destination this season. Michele Stokley anticipates this year's Offshore Powerboat Festival could draw some 30,000 people for three days of attractions, concerts and racing along the St. Clair River. More

Casino referendum would inform residents
Sudbury Star
It's becoming clearer that the best prospect for establishing a full-sized casino in Greater Sudbury hinges on whether it can be attached to other new amenities, such as a hotel, convention centre and possibly an OHL arena. More