Where else in the world can you sample some of the greatest wines, tee off at award-winning golf courses, dine at five-star restaurants, delve into historic sites, visit stunning castles and take in the culture of one of the greatest urban hubs of the globe all within a mere couple of hours drive from one another than in Ontario?
That’s what makes the region so unique and why meeting delegates are choosing the province as the place to do business.
Ontario is Canada’s economic centre and home to nearly 40 percent of the nation’s population, making it the business and travel hub of Canada.
“Ontario offers a rich and diverse mix of activities,” says Vicki Owen, meeting, conventions & travel co-ordinator for Ontario Tourism. “From urban entertainment to ultimate indulgences to thrilling outdoor adventure, Ontario has all the destination elements to draw attendance and make any meeting, corporate retreat or event an extraordinary success. There’s no place like Ontario.”
Perhaps this is the reason why more than 113 million people visit the province each year.
Ontario is Canada’s second-largest province with a population of more than 12 million residents. It covers more than one million square kilometres – an area larger than France and Spain combined.
Abounding with activity, Ontario offers cultural attractions, wine tours, spas, theatre, invigorating outdoor adventures, more than 650 golf courses and some of the most spectacular scenery.
For meeting delegates, the province offers an incredible range of meeting destinations and experiences. And each individual region within Ontario offers its own unique qualities and amenities so delegates can experience world-class hospitality wherever they go in Ontario.
“From energetic cities and action-packed resorts to wilderness retreats and charming inns, there’s something for everyone in Ontario,” says Owen.
Toronto, the province’s capital city, is the largest convention city in Ontario. It is also North America’s fifth largest urban centre and is within a 90-minute-or-less flight for more than 60 percent of the North America’s population.
A world-class hub, the meeting and recreational facilities in Toronto are endless. Delegates can experience five-star accommodations, dine in award-winning eateries and shop at high-end boutiques in one area and then walk 20 minutes into an entirely different world. One area can be quite corporate and feature some of the biggest shops and companies in the nation and the next can be full of quaint neighborhood amenities.
With a population of nearly five million people, the multiculturalism in Toronto is what makes the city so unique. No where else can you find such an array of ethnic cuisine, shopping and culture than in Toronto. The city and its different cultures are celebrated with festivals year-round, including Toronto Winterfest in February, Festival of Fire in June, the Annual Beaches International Jazz Festival in July, Caribana in August and the Calvacade of Lights in November.
Architectural buffs will be amazed by the city’s vast array of buildings in the downtown core and surrounding area. Some of the city’s most inspiring architecture includes BCE Place, Casa Loma and The Art Gallery of Ontario.
Niagara Falls, a short one-hour drive from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, is making a big splash with meeting delegates, not only for its majestic falls but for its wineries, golfing and team-building opportunities. Meeting delegates can take an exhilarating Maid of the Mist tour and visit some award-winning wineries all in one day. Some of the most popular wineries in the region include the Peller Estates Winery, Inniskillin Wines and Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Winery.
And the region offers top-notch meeting facilities from small, quaint resorts to bigger more commercial hotels, all offering unique amenities and state-of-the-art technology to ensure a productive and successful meeting.
Muskoka not only attracts celebrities, but it also entices delegates from across the nation. Nestled in the Canadian Shield stretching from the vast wilderness of Algonquin Park in the east to the rugged windswept shores of the Georgian Bay Islands in the west, Muskoka includes the treasured towns of Gravenhurst, Bracebridge and Huntsville and the townships of Georgian Bay, Lake of Bays and Muskoka Lakes.
The area is renowned for its rolling, forested hills, rugged shorelines and sparkling, island-dotted lakes. Although, it’s known for its spectacular scenery, Muskoka also offers excellent resorts, fantastic golf, fine dining and shops. And it’s also a great place to host meetings. The area is packed with full-service meeting facilities – some of which are attached to award-winning golf courses so delegates can hit the links after a day of meetings. Talk about a work incentive.
Similarly, The Thousand Islands is the perfect meeting place for its facilities and recreational activities. The region is an international tourism destination, encompassing communities on both sides of the U.S. and Canadian border along the St. Lawrence River and the eastern shores of Lake Ontario. The area is renowned for its spectacular scenery and bountiful outdoor recreational opportunities such as boating, fishing, diving and golf. But it’s also a region embedded with history, culture and charm and a great place for team-building. Adventurous delegates can dive into the depths of the St. Lawrence, navigate through rugged terrain on ATV or kayak along the St. Lawrence with their team members.
This article will give meeting delegates an arm-chair tour of some of the best places and attractions Ontario has to offer, focusing on the regions of Toronto, Niagara Falls, Muskoka and The Thousand Islands. Use it as a guide to book your next meeting or convention. As the slogan says, “Ontario is yours to discover.” And not only will the province facilitate any sized group, but for meeting planners, it will offer a window of opportunity to reward employees with an adventure they won’t soon forget.
It’s small wonder why Canada’s largest city is the most popular choice for meeting delegates. This world-class city, boasting a population of nearly five million people, offers endless choices when it comes to meeting facilities, hotels and things to see and do.
Located on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario, farther south than Minnesota and much of Michigan, Toronto is one of the most accessible cities in North America by road, air, rail and water. The city is only a one-hour drive away for approximately five million Canadians and within a 90-minute flight for 60 percent of the United States population.
The New York of the North, Toronto is known for its creativity and cultural diversity. Although the two official languages spoken there are French and English – Chinese, Italian, Tamil, Portuguese and Spanish round up the top dialects in the city. The extraordinary multiculturalism in the city results in world-class cuisine, entertainment and architecture.
“You know the feeling you get when you come across an amazing menu and want to order every dish? That’s what it’s like in Toronto,” says Michele Simpson, manager of media relations for Tourism Toronto. “Literally, Toronto’s cultures offer an unparalleled variety of spice, but we take fusion to a level far beyond cuisine. Find beautiful architecture of the city’s settlers alongside modern, sleek, gold-tined skyscrapers.”
One of Toronto’s classic landmarks is the CN Tower. The CN Tower dominates Toronto’s skyline and is the tallest freestanding structure in the world. Standing at 1,815 feet and five inches, it offers a perfect visual place mark for newcomers. It’s also a great place to host a meeting. The CN Tower’s 1,100 sq ft of fully flexible meeting rooms are equipped for audiovisual presentations. A variety of room layouts can accommodate up to 90 people for meetings, breakout sessions and working lunches. Delegates can feast pre- and post-meeting on decadent fare such as Truffle Scented Portobello Mushroom Steak or Parsley Crusted Ontario Waters Pickerel in the award-winning 360 The Restaurant at the CN Tower.
For another convenient downtown meeting location, meeting planners can also check out the St. Andrew’s Club & Conference Centre. Situated at 150 King St. W. at University, St. Andrew’s is located on three floors within the Sun Life Financial Tower. The centre boasts 16 meeting rooms for as few as six people or as many as 170 delegates. To ensure a successful meeting, St. Andrew’s Club & Conference Centre maintains an inventory of audio-visual equipment on-site including TVs, Video/Data Projector, Audio Cassette/CD Player and Camcorder with Tripod. The facility also offers high-speed wired or wireless Internet, tele-conferencing and video conferencing technology. However, most delegates appreciate the venue as much as the amenities inside.
“Our rooms are very functional for corporate meetings and training,” says Andrew Hodd, vice-president of sales for the St. Andrew’s Club & Conference Centre. “We do have a number of rooms designed for more high-end events. Some of our clients are hosting events with attendees from different organizations and these clients consider the venue to be a big part of their product so they come to us for the stunning views and architecture.”
The rooms at St. Andrew’s don’t only vary in size, but in architecture as well. Its signature space, St. Andrew’s Hall, is very traditional with large mahogany doors and vaulted ceilings. However, its newest space, The Conservatory, has a very contemporary feel with state-of-the-art audio-visual built in.
“Our downtown location is key, but it is the views and window space that truly makes us unique,” says Hodd. “Furthermore, meetings are our core business and therefore that’s what the rooms are designed for. Our lounges and dining rooms allow us to provide breakfasts, lunches, receptions and dinners, making us a one-stop shop.”
And once the meetings are over, delegates can enjoy all that Toronto’s theatre district has to offer. Roy Thompson Hall and The Princess of Whales Theatre are just a stone’s throw away from the centre so delegates can catch a concert by the likes Jesse Cook or Holly Cole at Roy Thompson or head to the Princess of Wales Theatre for live shows such as ‘We Will Rock You’, ‘Dirty Dancing’ or ‘Phantom of the Opera’.
Ontario Place is another great meeting facility. Located on three man-made islands along the shores of Lake Ontario in downtown Toronto, Ontario Place is easily accessible by car, GO train and the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC).
Ontario Place has multiple venues perfect for any corporate event. It can accommodate group sizes of 75 up to 5,000. Open year-round, its 730-seat Cinesphere is a great place for a presentation or meeting, allowing delegates to present any form of digital media, including DVD, PowerPoint and high-definition TV on the massive six-storey screen.
Its Performance Theatre, located in the pavilion complex, is also a unique meeting space for up to 450 people. It’s complete with a large stage and audio-visual capabilities to host corporate gatherings and events year-round. It is also conveniently located next to the newly renovated Atlantis Pavillion for easy access to post-meeting receptions and banquets.
But it’s not all theatres and boardrooms. Ontario Place also has multiple indoor and outdoor meeting and event venues available for use between May and October, including Olympic-sized beach volleyball courts, basketball courts and corporate tents where delegates can enjoy a barbecue-style buffet while enjoying the scenic view. Ontario Place also boasts a lakeside patio restaurant where delegates can take in a business lunch while taking in the spectacular view of Lake Ontario.
If you’d rather keep your meeting out of the downtown core, the International Centre is one of the leading multi-purpose facilities in Canada. Located at 6900 Airport Road in Mississauga, just three minutes from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, the International Centre currently houses 36,813 square feet of meeting space. In spring 2008, the International Centre will be adding 42,000 square feet to their facilities, complete with a 17,000-sq. ft ballroom.
The International Centre offers wireless Internet service using Wi-Fi Alliance certified equipment to broadcast secure high-speed Internet throughout the entire facility.
“With speed packages of up to 1.1 Mb/s, visitors can log on for the duration of an event or for just 30 minutes of access,” says David Merklinger, marketing co-ordinator of the International Centre.
The centre also works with official service providers to ensure a successful meeting. Such providers include AVW-TELAV Audio Visual Solutions for technological needs, Frontline Trauma Services for First-Aid care, Tone-Gar Security Services Inc. for security and GES CANADA Exposition Services to act as Show Services Decorator.
Hungry delegates can snack on on-site concessions including Tim Hortons, Pizza Pizza or at the International Market Café. For a sit-down meal, Traders Bar & Restaurant is a full-service licensed establishment offering great food and drinks in a relaxing and elegant atmosphere.
“The International Centre boasts more than 35 years of industry experience and is known for superior customer service and sincere dedication to clients’ success,” says Merklinger. “It’s perfectly positioned outside of the downtown core, is surrounded by more than 10,000 nearby hotel beds and always offers free on-site parking for more than 5,000 vehicles.”
After all the work is done, delegates should explore Toronto and some of its must-see attractions. The Art Gallery of Ontario is the 10th largest art museum in North America boasting more than 40,000 works in its collection, spanning from 100 AD to present day. It contains the world’s largest public collection of works by internationally renowned British sculptor Henry Moore as well as masterpieces of European art including works by renowned artists such as Anthony van Dyck, Thomas Gainsborough, Auguste Rodin, Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and René Magritte.
And even if delegates aren’t into art, the building itself is an architectural masterpiece. “Its dramatic redesign by renowned Toronto-born architect Frank Gehry is a key spot to check out,” says Simpson.
Hockey fans will score a big experience at the Hockey Hall of Fame. Delegates can catch a glimpse of the world’s one and only Stanley Cup, take shots at real-time goalies, stop the shots of Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier, view hockey flicks in one of its two theatres and explore the largest collection of hockey memorabilia in the world. And even if a person gets dragged there by a Toronto Maple Leafs-loving delegate and isn’t really into hockey, the Hall of Fame still has plenty to offer.
“The Hockey Hall of Fame has something for everyone: state-of-the-art games, interactive exhibits, larger-than-life statues, replica dressing room and rink zone and theatres,” says Simpson.
Casa Loma is another great attraction. No where else than in Toronto can you step back to a period of European elegance smack dab in the middle of one of the busiest urban hubs in the world. The former home of Canadian financier Sir Henry Pellatt, Canada’s foremost castle is complete with decorated suites, secret passages, an 800-foot tunnel, towers, stables and beautiful five-acre estate gardens.
The 98-room castle captures the beauty of a Mediterranean courtyard with marble and granite floors, a fountain and ferneries filled with lush green plants. Delegates on their own can explore the castle with a self-guided digital audio tour available in eight languages (English, French, Japanese, German, Italian, Spanish, Mandarin and Korean).
Picture yourself aboard an 80-foot vessel charging against the powerful current of the waves. The hot sun is beating down on you, but a cool mist gently caresses your face keeping you comfortable and refreshed. You may be surrounded by hundreds of other people but the only thing you’re focused on is the hundreds of thousands of gallons of water that is majestically descending over the brink.
Now picture yourself at work.
Niagara Falls, once known for all things honeymoon, has reinvented itself to become a premium destination for delegates to host conventions, meetings and events.
“Meeting professionals are booking Niagara Falls for their annual, regional and board meetings since Niagara can now accommodate meetings up to 1,000 delegates and it is a new and exciting meeting destination in Ontario,” says Lisa Serada, sales director for the Niagara Parks Commission. “Meeting planners find that their meeting attendance is much higher in Niagara.”
And there is no doubt why. Not only does the region offer state-of-the-art meeting facilities and technology, but it’s surrounded by attractions such as world-class golf, award-winning wineries, an exciting casino and, of course, the Falls – one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Located in the southern part of Ontario, Niagara Falls is a short, one-hour drive from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. It’s also just a 40-minute drive from the Buffalo/Niagara International Airport. The climate is cool, similar to Oregon and Washington State, but the region is protected by the Niagara Escarpment, providing ideal growing conditions for the finest premium vitis vinifera grapes — the same varietals that create great wines, including ice wine.
“Niagara Region winemakers have been awarded international recognition and awards for their superb wines,” says Anna Pierce, executive director of Niagara Falls Tourism. “Niagara has the perfect climate for growing grapes and we celebrate the harvest with the Niagara Wine Festival.”
The annual eight-day festival features more than 30 participating wineries and includes tours, tastings and special events. But if your meeting doesn’t fall during that week, don’t worry. There are plenty of wine-tasting opportunities year-round.
In fact, delegates wanting to entice their palettes or relax after a day of meetings can check out the region’s award-winning wineries anytime. The wineries, ranging from large elaborate winemaking facilities to small family-run estate operations, all offer unique vintages.
Some popular wineries in the region include the Peller Estates Winery, Inniskillin Wines and Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Winery. If you don’t know where to start, Niagara Grape and Wine Tours creates custom tour packages for meeting delegates, which can include a one-day picnic lunch tour or even a group overnight wine tour package with major accommodations in Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake and the Niagara Wine Bench.
If you’d rather hit the links, Niagara Falls offers world-class golf courses for the beginner and the pro.
The Niagara Falls Golf Course is one of the region’s premier golf courses. The 6,200-yard course offers a variety of hole designs, rolling landscape, wooded areas and numerous bunkers and ponds that add both visual appeal, and challenge. There’s a bed and breakfast on-site so groups can stay while they play. The golf course serves up lunch and dinner specials, golf events and accommodations to fit any group’s request.
For delegates really wanting to soak up all Niagara Falls has to offer, a visit to the Falls is a must.
“Niagara Tourism recommends seeing the Falls from every direction: beside, below and above,” says Pierce. “Table Rock Point and the Journey Behind the Falls offer visitors the chance to get up close and personal with the Falls. There is nothing like seeing hundreds of thousands of gallons of water per second falling over the brink.”
To get beneath the falls, take a “Maid of the Mist” Boat Tour. Delegates can experience the excitement of water rushing all around them as they explore the roar of the Falls. North America’s oldest tourist attraction, this historical ride is a half hour thrill of a lifetime. “The view from the boat is unbelievable,” says Pierce.
For a bird’s eye view, delegates can take a helicopter ride or take in the spectacular scenery from the Skylon Tower. Moreover, the Skywheel, the Falls’ newest attraction, also allows delegates a sky-high view. This ferris wheel features heated and air-conditioned pods so delegates can get a picture-perfect view all year-round.
For those wanting to bet on a good time, Casino Niagara deals up 95,000 square feet of gaming opportunities. The casino offers thousands of the most popular slots and more than 80 tables of gaming fun including Blackjack and Hold ‘em Poker.
Unfortunately, it can’t be all fun and games. So when it comes time to get back to work, the region hosts a plethora of unique meeting facilities.
Great Wolf Lodge is located on the beautiful Niagara Parkway adjacent to the Whirlpool Rapids. The lodge features up to 10,000 square feet of meeting space, offering every scale of group environment from boardrooms and banquet halls to theatres and a tiered symposium with full AV capabilities.
To build morale, Great Wolf Lodge also offers unique team-building activities for delegates. “Team-building events don’t have to be tedious,” says April Brunet, director of sales and marketing for Great Wolf Lodge. “The unique setting of Great Wolf Lodge, combined with our Wolf Tracks Adventure package ensures it’s anything but.”
Exclusive to the lodge, the Wolf Tracks Adventure puts team skills to the test in a fast-paced, unpredictable race that incorporates the best of the lodge’s facilities. “It’s a great way to kick off an event as well as work on communication and collaborative skills,” says Brunet.
Heart of Niagara Hotels is a group of family-owned and operated hotels that offer variable distinguished features. Included under the brand are the Quality Hotel — Parkway Convention Centre, Holiday Inn and the Howard Johnson’s Conference Centre. All of the hotels are located within the region of Niagara — centrally located immediately off the Queen Elizabeth Way that runs between Toronto and Buffalo, New York.
The Quality Hotel Parkway Convention Centre is the largest within the city of St. Catharines. It boasts more than 17,000 square feet of space — perfect for a trade show or large convention. In addition to large open spaces, there are multiple rooms suitable for boardroom meetings. All rooms are equipped with wireless Internet as well as state-of-the-art audiovisual technology.
The Holiday Inn, located in St. Catharines, is best suited for modest to average sized meetings and conferences. This facility consists primarily of boardrooms, which are equipped with white eraser boards, corkboards, audiovisual technology and wireless high-speed Internet.
Lastly, the Howard Johnson’s Conference Centre is equipped with a large informal meeting room and two modest-sized meeting rooms. The conference centre also offers a private foyer that works well for meeting breakout sessions.
Whichever hotel meeting delegates choose, Ann Marie Nitsopoulos, advertising and marketing director for Heart of Niagara Hotels, promises they won’t be disappointed with their choice.
“Essentially, it is service that makes Heart of Niagara Hotels a premium choice for meeting delegates,” she says. “We aim to make the planning process of a meeting simple and easy.”
To do so, Heart of Niagara Hotels has created all-inclusive meeting packages including food and beverages, room rental fees and audio-visual facilities. Moreover for larger groups that may require more bedrooms than are available at one hotel, the company offers a shuttle service to transfer delegates between hotels.
The Sheraton Fallsview Hotel & Conference Centre is another excellent meeting destination. Located in the upscale Fallsview District, the hotel overlooks the Niagara Falls. Not only does this location offer great scenery but it boasts 32,000 square feet of meeting space. Its 25 meeting and boardrooms can accommodate anywhere from 10 to 1,400 people. For a successful meeting, the hotel also supplies an on-site conference service team, an audio-visual group and wireless Internet in all of its meeting rooms.
“We maintain a large amount of repeat business,” says Karen Catton, marketing manager of the Sheraton Fallsview Hotel & Conference Centre. “We have in the past hosted conferences and events for clients who for other events may choose to experience another venue and often return to our property because they know they will experience excellent service.”
The Sheraton’s on-site amenities are another reason delegates are enticed back to hotel.
Delegates enjoy relaxing in Stanley’s Lounge where they can listen to live bands, sip on specialty drinks (the Stanley’s Martini Collection is a favorite) or simply unwind in the cozy atmosphere. For a quick bite, the on-site La Piazza Bistro and Internet Café give delegates the chance to surf the net while indulging in a cappuccino and sweet treat.
Need to walk it off? The Sheraton Fallsview Hotel & Conference Centre is located within walking distance to attractions such as Niagara Falls, Maid of the Mist Boat tour and Marineland.
Outside of Niagara Falls, the Vintage Inns located in the scenic Niagara-on-the-Lake also offer great meeting facilities. The Vintage Inns includes three hotels: Prince of Wales, Queen’s Landing and Pillar and Post. All combined, the properties offer more than 30,000 square feet of meeting space, with rooms ranging from 300 to 4,700 square feet, and 374 guest rooms. Complimentary shuttle service is available between the hotels.
After work hours, delegates can enjoy the inns’ on-site amenities such as spas, indoor and outdoor saltwater pools, fitness centres and hot tubs and saunas.
“Our facilities are of a luxurious nature,” says Colin Sines, director of marketing for Vintage Hotels. “Our mission statement is ‘exceptional individuals deliver exceptional experiences’.”
Located just 90 minutes north of Toronto lies a region so rich in beauty and culture that celebrities such as Martin Short, Tom Selleck, Tom Hanks, Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell have been drawn to the area. But you don’t have to be a millionaire to enjoy the wonders of Muskoka. In fact, many companies are giving their employees the star treatment by choosing Muskoka for their meetings and conventions.
Nestled on the Canadian Shield stretching from the vast wilderness of Algonquin Park in the east to the rugged windswept shores of the Georgian Bay Islands in the west, Muskoka includes the treasured towns of Gravenhurst, Bracebridge and Huntsville and the townships of Georgian Bay, Lake of Bays and Muskoka Lakes. The area is renowned for its rolling, forested hills, rugged shorelines and sparkling, island-dotted lakes.
Although, it’s known for its spectacular scenery, Muskoka also offers excellent resorts, fantastic golf, fine dining and shops.
The links in Muskoka are a golfer’s dream. The area offers more than 20 public and semi-private courses, which have been designed by leading designers such as Thomas McBroom, Mark O’Meara and Nick Faldo.
One of the most popular places for golf is The Taboo Resort Golf &Spa. Located on the shores of Lake Muskoka in Gravenhurst, Ont., Taboo is the home course to Masters Champion Mike Weir and offers guests an 18-hole championship course, which was rated No. 1 in Ontario by ‘Score Golf’ magazine. For delegates who prefer a shorter game, Taboo also offers a nine-hole course called The Sands, which was designed by Stanley Thompson.
For meeting planners, Taboo Resort Golf & Spa is really a one-stop, full-service meeting destination. In addition to its great golf opportunities, Taboo also boasts impressive meeting facilities. Its meeting rooms, boardroom and hospitality rooms can accommodate up to 350 people. Delegates are treated to the breathtaking view of Lake Muskoka as some meeting rooms offer a private walkout balcony, direct access to the courtyard and a terraced pool area.
And when the work is done, there’s no shortage of things to do at Taboo. The property, which spans more than 1,000 acres of private parklands, is marked with hiking trails, a large selection of non-motorized and motorized waterfront activities, tennis courts, mountain bikes and a private beach.
After a day of activity, delegates can relax at Indulgence: The Spa at Taboo. The relaxing oasis offers everything including massages, reflexology, manicures, pedicures and facial and body treatments. Its Signature Indulgence Cranberry-Maple Body Polish is a must.
The luxuriously moisturizing and soothing Maple Sugar Body Scrub results in brighter, more radiant and rehydrated skin.
Deerhurst Resort is another popular meeting destination. The resort, which has been hosting successful gatherings for more than a century, caters to groups ranging from 10 to 1,000 people. Deerhurst boasts 700,000 square feet of accommodation, dining, leisure and conference facilities all under one roof. Smaller groups can enjoy a more intimate atmosphere in one of the resort’s quiet enclaves.
For meetings, Deerhurst offers 40,000 square feet of meeting, exhibit & conference space, which includes 32 meeting rooms, two ballrooms and 800 acres of break-out space. AVW-TELAV, its full-time on-site staff, provides delegates with all their audio and visual needs including projection, lighting, event staging, webcasting, LED displays and more.
Taboo and Deerhurst are both great meeting destinations. But you really can’t go wrong with any resort in the Muskokas because the atmosphere alone will set you up for success.
“Muskoka’s year-round nature and outdoor activity give our area the edge,” says April Keyes, sales manager for Destination Muskoka. “Resorts or lodges, big or small, delegates can unwind in the natural beauty of our forests and lakes. Depending on the size of your group, you can book properties exclusively ensuring confidentiality and creating a team atmosphere.”
Team-building activities in the Muskokas are varied. Delegates can run through Santa’s Village & Sportsland while participating in the Amazing Global Adventure. Teams race against each other through events that challenge both brain and brawn. Teams are directed through the event with clues earned at each challenge, which include a suspended rope obstacle course, Grand Prix racing, sticks and stones golf and Mount Muskoka climbing.
Summit training, a national leader in developing and delivering custom team and leader training, engages meeting delegates with interactive and challenging workshops. For instance, “Max Your Cache” offers delegates an exciting high-tech adventure combining three key elements: GPS (Global Positioning Systems) technology, a scavenger hunt and a secret twist. In order to maximize company profits, teams of four to 10 must locate clients in a complex marketplace. Planning and priority-setting are rewarded as you locate caches, meet unforeseen challenges and return “contracts” for rewards.
“Summit blends engaging interactive experiences with leading edge theory to get your team and leaders performing beyond your competition,” says Keyes.
When delegates are enjoying some off-time, there’s no shortage of things to see and do in Muskoka. The 120-year-old RMS Segwun Steamship is a must-see. Built in 1887, the Royal Mail Ship Segwun sailed the Muskoka lakes from early