This Week in Toronto: Massey Hall’s Heartwarming Invitation, City Prepares for Food Festival Season, Power Ball's Clandestine Theme
BizBash's new Toronto column from Calvin Barr covers the week's biggest event news.
TORONTO—Welcome to BizBash’s Toronto-based column, where Calvin Barr covers the week’s biggest local news. Got a tip? Get in touch!
Moves & Milestones
Strategy Daily: John Killam was named C.E.O. of Ogilvy Canada, following the retirement of long-time leader Laurie Young. The creative agency announced a global restructuring last year, eventually merging all of their shops under one core brand. Killam makes the move from the Omnicom Media Group, where he helped lead operations for the O.M.D. and Red Magnet offices.
Actra (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television, and Radio Artists) Toronto announced the launch of the Haven phone helpline in partnership with the Directors Guild of Canada. The service was created as a response to industry-wide concerns of unreported harassment and misconduct in treatment of members of the media arts professionals union. Telefilm Canada and A.F.B.S. (Actra Fraternal Benefit Society) have also invested in the project.
In Case You Missed It
Yonge-Dundas Square was transformed into a paradise for burger connoisseurs over the weekend for the Burgermania festival. The event ran from May 31 to June 2, offering a variety of burger options from Toronto-based gastropubs, local shops, smokehouses, barbecue joints, and more. Meat (and meat-free) treats were sold as sliders, along with fries, milkshakes, desserts, pop, beer, wine, and coolers. Some of the local food vendors included Holy Chuck, Marben, the Stockyards Smokehouse, Kookoo's Kitchen, and Cherry Street Bar-B-Que. The event was produced by Rolucor Events.
In the News
One of Toronto’s most iconic concert halls is asking its patrons to help document its extensive history. Massey Hall opened in 1894 and has since hosted stars including Bob Dylan, Neil Young, U2, and Justin Bieber. Following last year’s announcement of a planned multimillion-dollar revitalization, the venue revealed the development of a new book entitled That Night at Massey Hall, with a foreword by Canadian Grammy-winning music writer Rob Bowman. Fans can submit their memories with stories and photos through an online story submission website to become part of the book.
Strategy Daily: Walmart Canada made Toronto the home of its new Urban Supercentre pilot program. Based out of the company’s Stockyards Centre location near the Junction, the program was designed to make the shopper’s experience more efficient by incorporating technology and a network of company partners. New features at the store include improved customer navigation services, a scan-as-you-go “fast lane,” and direct purchasing through the My Walmart App. The center also is planning to host a rotation of online vendor pop-ups and open a second site in Thornhill next year.
BlogTO: Leslieville will be home to a new restaurant and bed and breakfast hybrid later this summer. Located next to Gerrard Square, Hotel Delilah will offer a vegetarian, bohemian-style kitchen, with Marcus Monteiro (Melrose on Adelaide) as the head chef. The two-bedroom B&B above the restaurant will be available for rental via Airbnb.
A Turn of Events
A new study released by Ryerson University indicates that Toronto is the fastest growing populous in Canada by a considerable margin. Over 12 months, Metropolitan Toronto’s population grew by more than 125,000 people, second only to Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas. The City of Toronto expanded by more than 75,000 people, more any city in the United States. The City of Phoenix, Arizona, was the second highest at just over 25,000. See more about the study here.
“I’ve found that women tend not to share the darker parts of our lives because we’re afraid of being seen as vulnerable or weak—a fear that can be especially hard to tackle in business. But there’s strength in sharing how we’ve overcome challenges.”
—Brandi Leifso recalls living in a homeless shelter while becoming one of the youngest C.E.O.s in the country for Toronto Life. Leisfo founded Evio Beauty Group Ltd., and is a domestic abuse prevention and mental health advocate.
On the Scene
Sponsored by TD, the Union Station Summer market opened for a new season of live performances, stations from local chefs, and movie nights. The market runs from now until August 3.
The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery will hold its biggest fund-raiser of the year on June 6. Since it launched in 1999, Power Ball has become one of Toronto’s swankiest annual socials, showcasing an eclectic ensemble of visual and media arts, fashion, and music from innovative artists and designers across the country. This year’s theme is “21 Club,” promising a speakeasy-style evening allowing attendees to “swill hooch with the city’s notorious art world characters, artists, and fans of the forbidden,” according to the event’s website. Holt Renfrew is the event’s presenting sponsor.
Dundas West Fest returns to the West End June 7 and 8. The street fair spans 12 blocks across Dundas Street West between Ossington Street and Landsdowne Avenue. Powered by local businesses, the event will have more than 200 Torontonian vendors and 40 licensed patios. The event begins on Friday evening with a night market featuring vendors and live music. Saturday offers all-ages programming that includes games, art, music, and dance.