Toronto – HITEC 2017 – Welcome to Canada!!

As a Canadian in the hospitality industry, I am beyond elated that one of the biggest shows in Hospitality is coming to Canada!! HITEC is a little over a month away and Toronto will prove to be an excellent venue!

I have always been a proponent of bringing people north of the border, which is evident by two previous HTNG events in both Halifax, NS and St. John’s NFLD

For many in the hospitality industry, Canada is the untouched frontier. Many of us have travelled to all the main hubs in the US (several, several times), so much so that Toronto is going to be a very nice change of pace for everyone.

With this in mind, I wanted to pass along a few key tidbits (or timbits) of information to my American Colleagues to help them with their visit north this June.

1- Getting Here! Toronto is a great city, but suffers as many cities do from large issues with traffic. In 2015 Toronto had the worst traffic in Canada and the 47th worst in the world. With this in mind, leave extra time for travel. Toronto has Uber, Taxis, Lyft and other forms of transit……….. however traffic and delays are common so be prepared. Your trip from Pearson International Airport (YYZ) to downtown will cost you between $60 & $130 Canadian and take you between 45 minutes and an hour (on a good day) with a distance of 17.97 miles. If possible, land at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ), which lands right downtown on an island a short ferry ride to downtown. Additionally, YTZ is not undergoing a major runway construction project, so you are less likely to get delayed as at YYZ.

2- The Weather! Despite what you have heard about Canada, you can leave your parka, toque (i.e. knitted winter cap) and winter gloves behind. Current forecasted weather during HITEC should range from a high of 25′ to a low of 12′ (Ha! Welcome to Canada! This is celsius………… in Farenheit you are looking at a balmy 77’F & 53.6’F). This is perfect walking around and patio weather…………..at least for a Canadian!

3- The Beer! Being north of the border, you are bound to experience a little bit of our brew. Canada is known for our beer and Canadians are known for enjoying beer……… a perfect combination. This brings us back to an all time question for the ages: “is Canadian beer really stronger?” According to websites (link included), the average “normal” beer has just a slightly higher alcohol content than American beer, with a range of 4.0% to 6.1% alcohol by volume (ABV) as compared to America’s 4.1% to 5.9% ABV. There also appear to be more popular Canadian beers with an ABV over 5% than popular American beers in that range. All in all, Canadian beer is excellent, and there are some great choices…… ask me in person and I will give you plenty of recommendations!

4- Conversions, conversions, conversions……. In Canada, you are going to need a few good conversion tools to calculate the difference in distance, temperature and dollar value. You can download an all in one converter here that will cover all these items for you.

5- Tim’s / Timmie’s / Tim Horton’s – Yes, if you need it, Canada has Starbucks to give you that daily fix. However, while in Canada, why not enjoy one of the Canadian local favorites! At Tim Horton’s you won’t find your Iced, Haff Caff, Ristretto, Venti, 4-Pump, Sugar Free, Cinnamon, Dolce Soy Skinny Latte (whatever the heck that is) but you will get an excellent, no nonsense coffee. Coffee here is simple, with the usual types being Black / single-single / double-double / triple-triple (with each number representing first cream then sugar). A complete guide to ordering the perfect Tim’s coffee can be found here.

6- The People! – Yes, you will find the people in Canada very, very friendly……….. and history has proven that there is a good chance we know that other Canadian you know (this has happened time over time to both myself as well as many other people I know). Please remember however that Toronto is also the 4th largest city in North America (after Mexico City, NY NY, and LA), and therefore not everyone will be looking out for your best interests…….. and “No – Tim Horton’s does not have a valet” despite what someone tells you.

Hitec is bound to be an excellent show and an excellent venue, and I for one am super excited to welcome you all to Canada! Remember bring your passport, your thirst for knowledge, brew and a good time……………. and if you have a chance, stop into our booth #535 and say ‘Hello!’

The author manages Safety NetAccess’s relationships with key accounts. Find out more at: safetynetaccess.com