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Bloor Street Corridor kicks off

As of last week, Toronto’s got a new attraction. The Bloor Street Cultural Corridor calls attention to a strip that before now didn’t have much of an identity.

The corridor runs from Bay to Bathurst, and as corridor director and Royal Conservatory director of marketing Heather Kelly pointed out at L’espresso on Wednesday, it includes a dozen arts and culture spots for Torontonians and tourists to take in.

"This is a new type of collaboration," Councillor Michael Thompson said to the packed house, referring to the collaboration among the dozen to promote the area as a whole.

"I've travelled to 60 cities," said Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, whose ward covers the eastern part of the corridor, "and I know when you visit a city, you don’t go for the skyscrapers, for the condos."

From east to west, the BSCC consists of the Japan Foundation, the Gardiner Museum, the ROM, the Bata Shoe Museum, the Royal Conservatory and Koerner Hall, the Istituto Itlaiano di Cultura, the Alliance Française, the Native Canadian Centre,  the Miles Nadal Jewishj Communtiy Centre, Trinity-St. Paul’s with its Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Toronto Consort, and the Bloor Cinema.

"By working collaboratively and cooperatively," their press release said, "the cultural organizations intend to attract more Torontonians, tourists, and attention to the Bloor Street Culture Corridor. Helping visitors connect the dots, the initiative will increase awareness of how close together and easy to access these arts and entertainment experiences really are. The partnering organizations hope to entice people to stay in the area longer and ultimately include more destinations in their visit."

There are also two hotels in the strip — the Intercontinental and the Holiday Inn — and a couple of dozen restaurants, bars and cafes. It’s not necessarily the best restaurant strip, nor the best part of town for cafes, but there is no other part of town with as much of a mix.

In addition to the brochure, which will be made available to various tourism outfits, they’ve set up a website to bring it all together.

If it achieves nothing else, the initiative reminds us that there’s plenty to do and see around Bloor and Spadina.

Writer: Bert Archer
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