News Release
September 14, 2020

Today, Mayor John Tory and Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson (Ward 21 Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee, launched ShowLoveTO in association with Founding Sponsor American Express and in partnership with Destination Toronto, to encourage local tourism and foster community engagement and economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

ShowLoveTO is a local initiative that will encourage residents to show their love for Toronto by safely connecting with neighbours, supporting local businesses and artists, and exploring their city neighbourhoods to help rebuild the social and economic fabric of Toronto.

Launching with a series of City-led events, ShowLoveTO will also embrace and include events from organizations throughout the city offering a series of experiences that welcome Torontonians back to their city. Initiatives will be delivered with guidance from Toronto Public Health to provide a safer environment for participants.

The following ShowLoveTO initiatives will engage Toronto residents this fall:

  • BigArtTO, a city-wide temporary public art initiative involving large-scale projections in each of the City’s 25 wards, will animate Toronto neighbourhoods. Starting September 16, BigArtTO will provide opportunities for local artists and set the stage for ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021.
  • StrollTO will feature self-guided itineraries for each of the City’s 25 wards to motivate residents to actively discover the unexplored shops, stops, places and spaces on their local main streets, starting September 18. Residents will become tourists as they stroll Toronto’s unique neighbourhoods.
  • DineOutTO, a partnership between Destination Toronto and the City, will celebrate Toronto’s culinary community and support the industry’s economic recovery. The city-wide promotion will showcase Toronto’s diverse food culture through a digital platform offering content, special offers and unique culinary experiences from September 23 to October 30. Restaurants can register for free online.
  • HistoricTO, time-ticketed, guided neighbourhood walking tours anchored at Toronto History Museums, connects Toronto’s communities by providing equitable and inclusive access to local history, heritage and land-based learnings. Pay-what-you-can tickets are available now until October 18 and must be booked in advance .
  • CaféTO launched this summer to provide more outdoor dining areas to help eligible restaurants and bars create physical distancing for patio patrons. The program currently supports 760 restaurants and bars in 58 Business Improvement Areas (BIAs). The program has installed 407 curb lane closures (occupying 9,015 square metres), created 44 public parklets and added 374 curb ramps for improved accessibility. More information is available .

ShowLoveTO is produced by the City of Toronto in association with Founding Sponsor American Express. ShowLoveTO programs are sponsored by: Panasonic Canada Inc., LEGO Systems, Inc., The Carpenters and Allied Workers Local 27, Bell, Downtown AutoGroup, and Equinix. ShowLoveTO programs are possible with the support of OCAD University, AVA Animation & Visual Arts Inc. and The Bentway, and Media Partners CHUM 104.5, Virgin Radio and Newstalk 1010.

The City has partnered with Destination Toronto to create partner programs to encourage local tourism and drive economic recovery and civic engagement. ShowLoveTO is one of a number of key initiatives that the City has delivered since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March to help Toronto’s restart and recovery.

The ShowLoveTO promotional video is available.

More information about ShowLoveTO is available.

As COVID-19 continues to circulate in the community, residents are reminded to adhere to Toronto Public Health’s advice to stay home when they are ill, wash their hands often, stay within their social bubble of no more than 10 people, practise physical distancing with those outside of their social bubble, and wear a mask or face covering where mandatory or when physical distancing cannot be maintained. Wearing a mask or face covering is required in all indoor public spaces in Toronto.

Residents can learn about what to expect and what is required as Toronto moves into the new normal and they begin to visit more establishments and take part in more activities.

The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice and information about City services, social supports and economic recovery measures. Check here for answers to commonly asked questions before contacting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline or 311.


“This is our moment to show love to the places, spaces, businesses and people that make Toronto such a vibrant, dynamic and diverse city. ShowLoveTO is our way of bringing Torontonians together and providing them new opportunities to experience our great city. I know these past six months have been challenging and we are not through it yet, but together, following Toronto Public Health’s direction, we can safely re-engage with our city and be a part of rebuilding it even better than before.”

– Mayor John Tory

“ShowLoveTO aims to bring joy and hope to a city that has endured difficult times throughout the pandemic. By supporting our local businesses, our neighbourhoods and each other, together we will get through this.”

– Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson (Ward 21 Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee

“The Toronto we know and love needs us – and we need it. Now is the time for us to engage and reconnect with the lifeblood of our community, the local businesses that are the heart and soul of this city. Let’s also rekindle our sense of curiosity and discover local businesses and experiences that are new to us. With the City of Toronto’s strong leadership and engagement from the hospitality community, the ShowLoveTO campaign provides all Torontonians with opportunities to show their love for the neighbourhoods, businesses, artists and experiences that are so vital to the city we call home.”

– Scott Beck, President & CEO, Destination Toronto

“The COVID-19 pandemic has hit Toronto’s main street businesses particularly hard. We’re working in partnership with our local Business Improvement Areas and the City of Toronto on several initiatives to help Toronto’s small business owners recover and rebuild and we look forward to the positive impact of the dynamic ShowLoveTO campaign.”

– John Kiru, Executive Director, Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas

“Communities need our support now more than ever, that’s why we are proud to be the founding sponsor of ShowLoveTO. We understand the role we can play in encouraging not only our own Cardmembers, but all Torontonians to rediscover and support their neighbourhoods and small businesses.”

– Kerri-Ann Santaguida, Vice President and General Manager, Merchant Services, American Express Canada

“OCAD University’s participation in the BigArtTO program shines a light on our commitment to strengthen Toronto’s culture and economy while the city recovers. This partnership shows how artists, designers, curators and strategists working with and in communities, can galvanize, inspire and activate the city in its COVID-19 relief recovery.”

– Ana Serrano, President and Vice Chancellor, OCAD University

About Destination Toronto

Toronto’s visitor economy is a vital economic engine for the city, generating more than $10 billion in economic activity and supporting 70,000 jobs in 2019. Destination Toronto’s mandate is to reflect the breadth and diversity of Toronto’s people, places and culture to inspire residents and visitors to meet, visit and explore our city. Operating in partnership with the City of Toronto, the Greater Toronto Hotel Association and the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, Destination Toronto markets and promotes the city to global travellers, attracts and supports major meetings and events, and supports local businesses to maximize the opportunities of visitor spending. More information is available.

ShowLoveTO is the City of Toronto’s hyper-local initiative launched to help Toronto recover and rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative encourages residents to show love for Toronto by safely connecting with neighbours, supporting local businesses and artists, and exploring their city neighbourhoods through a series of City-led and partner programs and events. More information is available.

Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Media Relations