More Supports for Ontario Tourism Announced by Minister MacLeod

Members of the MNO Canoe Expedition in training near Fort William Historical Park. (CNW Group/MÈtis Nation of Ontario)
Members of the MNO Canoe Expedition in training near Fort William Historical Park. (CNW Group/MÈtis Nation of Ontario)

Government’s investment will support projects and experiences so that the province is well-positioned for recovery from the COVID-19 outbreak

TORONTO – “COVID-19 has caused an unprecedented, devastating impact on the tourism industry. Our sectors were hit first, the hardest, and will take the longest to recover following COVID-19,” said Minister MacLeod. “This important investment through the new Tourism Economic Development and Recovery Fund will support Ontario’s tourism industry to ensure it is well-positioned to re-emerge, grow and once more showcase how we offer the world in one province.”

The fund will support projects that develop innovative tourism products and experiences, drive private sector tourism investments, workforce development, and support tourism operators to learn more through tourism industry associations.

The Ontario government is investing $1.5 million through the new Tourism Economic Development Recovery Fund and offering promotional incentives at provincial attractions to help the province’s tourism industry and welcome back visitors after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism, and Culture Industries made the announcement during a fireside chat with tourism stakeholders at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre earlier today.

Support for Frontline Workers

As the province works with the tourism industry to reopen destinations, agencies, and attractions, Ontario is also thanking frontline workers and welcoming back visitors by offering special promotions or discounts at several of the province’s top tourist destinations.

This summer, frontline workers can enjoy special rates or discounts at the following agencies and attractions:

  • Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) – Until August 16, 2020, frontline workers can sign up for a free Annual Pass providing access to all exhibitions and collection galleries for one year.
  • McMichael Canadian Art Collection (MCM) – Free parking and access to outdoor grounds is available every day to frontline workers until March 31, 2021.
  • Niagara Parks Commission (NPC) – Every Thursday, 2-for-1 admission to frontline workers at all Niagara Parks’ attractions, heritage sites and the Falls Incline Railway, as well as 10 percent off all culinary and retail purchases until September 7, 2020.
  • Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) – Free general admission to the museum for frontline workers and three guests until August 30, 2020.
  • Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) – Free general admission to all essential healthcare and emergency workers, as well as 25 percent off general admission to their guests. RBG is also offering 14-month memberships for the price of a 12-month membership to all essential health care and emergency workers until September 7, 2020.
  • Huronia Historical Parks – Complimentary admission to frontline workers on Fridays until September 6, 2020. General admission as of July 24, 2020, is $5 per person (plus tax); children under 12 are free.
  • Fort William Historical Park – Free admission opportunities for frontline workers to the site and the David Thompson Astronomical Observatory on Fridays until September 6, 2020.

Please visit or contact the listed agency/attraction websites for more information and promotional details.

“Frontline workers in hospitals, grocery stores, transit, and many others across the province have been working tirelessly to keep Ontarians safe in the fight against COVID-19,” said Minister MacLeod. “I’m proud to support our agencies’ efforts to show appreciation for the hard work and dedication demonstrated by Ontario’s frontline workers during the COVID-19 outbreak.”

As the province continues to gradually reopen, Ontario’s agencies and attractions are implementing stringent measures to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone. Visitors are encouraged to review current COVID-19 updates before visiting attractions and are asked to respect health and safety guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.