Ontario champions new convention facility
McGuinty Government sparks momentum for proposals
The McGuinty government is eager to move forward with proposals for the Ottawa Congress Centre (OCC) redevelopment project, to stay on track to open a new international-class convention facility in Ottawa in April 2011.
Ontario has provided an additional $20 million for the OCC redevelopment, for a total contribution of $50 million. Ontario's money is in the bank, and the City of Ottawa is finalizing the details of its participation. The province looks forward to the federal government delivering on its commitment to a matching contribution of $50 million.
The new convention facility will be a huge boost for the local economy. It will enhance tourism in the Ottawa region and help make Ottawa a prime location for major conventions and meetings. There are already more conventions booked for the new facility than were in place for the existing centre during the two and a half year construction period, with commitments in place for 28 conventions and an additional 39 pending.
- The number of international travellers is expected to double to nearly 1.6 billion by 2020.
- Convention business is a key contributor to tourism activity in Ontario. Spending by business convention visitors reached $779 million in 2004.
- Convention visitors are big spenders. In 2004, the average convention attendee spent $598 per visit —that’s 312 per cent more than what the average visitor to Ontario spends.
“The McGuinty government is committed to the redevelopment of the Ottawa Congress Centre. Getting the Request for Proposals underway will help ensure that Ottawa gets the great new convention facility it deserves, on time and on budget. A modern convention centre will showcase Ottawa and Ontario to the world.”
“On behalf of the OCC Board of Directors, I’d like to thank the Province of Ontario for its ongoing support of this important economic initiative and for the additional $20 million in capital funding. The Province of Ontario has from the beginning been solidly behind this redevelopment which will give Ottawa, a G-8 city, a highly attractive and desirable convention centre that is worthy of our nation’s capital.”