By Sherryll Sobie, June 12, 2008
The Hon. Peter Fonseca, Ontario Minister of Tourism, (right) shakes hands with Alain Sutton, Chairman & CEO, Congress Centre Inc., parent company of Toronto Congress Centre. (Photo supplied by Linda Crane, Crane Communications).
Although its official opening is on Aug. 1, Congress Centre North, the newly built, 500,000-sq.-ft. building at the Toronto Congress Centre (TCC), has already welcomed Hon. Peter Fonseca, Ontario Minister of Tourism, and three conventions and trade shows.
On June 2, Fonseca toured the spacious, LEED-compliant facility with Alain Sutton, chairman and CEO, Congress Centres Inc., parent company of Toronto Congress Centre.
Congress Centre North, which abuts Congress Centre South, was a former manufacturing facility. Several materials were reclaimed, including the building’s original steel structure; eventually, it will have a green roof and a gray water-recycling system. According to Sutton, the project has cost “several millions of dollars.”
Combined, the North and South buildings total almost one-million sq. ft., which secures TCC’s position as Canada’s largest, privately owned show and meeting facility.
In light of the economic downturn in the U.S., is now a prudent time for such an investment?
“It doesn’t affect us,” he answered. “Most of our existing clients are national. Now we are going international. The Euro in comparison to the Canadian dollar puts us at a great advantage.”