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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Harbourfront Centre offers patrons 17 million reasons to visit the heart of Toronto’s waterfront

TORONTO, ON (*July 25, 2012) – Harbourfront Centre is pleased to announce that the results are in, and it is clear Harbourfront Centre is truly the heart of Toronto’s waterfront, having received 17 million visits last year, according to the survey conducted by independent consultants EKOS Research. Such an incredibly high number of visits means that Harbourfront Centre is one of Canada’s most-visited public sites.

Harbourfront Centre clearly inspires loyalty among its visitors, with the average visitor attending the site 7.7 times per year, spending on average over 4 hours on site during each visit. Harbourfront Centre’s attendance is growing, with an incredible 40% increase over the attendance numbers recorded in 2004.

The EKOS survey demonstrates that visitors to Harbourfront Centre mirror the ethnic and racial diversity of the GTA in a way that is rare in any city. More than half of Harbourfront Centre’s visitors are born outside of Canada, nearly half are aged between 25 and 44 years-old, and are spread across the household income spectrum.

“The 2011 EKOS survey confirms that Harbourfront Centre is one of the most publicly visited places in Canada,” says William J.S. Boyle, C.E.O. of Harbourfront Centre. “These figures reflect the overwhelming success and public support for our mission to provide a dynamic environment for local and international visitors to experience outstanding cultural events at a vibrant waterfront site.”

“EKOS has done similar research for many different types of venues and sites and we have always been impressed with the response to this survey of Harbourfront Centre’s audiences,” says Charlie Graves, Vice President, who has managed the survey since 2003. “Harbourfront Centre has not only developed an impressively large following – an audience that is steadily increasing – but even more impressive is the high level of loyalty. Perhaps the most salient finding is that virtually all of Toronto’s diverse communities enjoy Harbourfront Centre and feel it is an integral part of their city.”

With 17 million visits in 2011, communities from across this city, region and world gather at Harbourfront Centre like at no other place in Toronto. United by the attraction to the waterfront and the unique activities and cultural programming found at its heart, diverse segments of the population come together in a way that is rare for any location in Toronto: and they do it often. Drawn by a sense of community, visitors to Harbourfront Centre have developed a strong sense of ownership for “our place by the lake.”

Underlying all of this is a very successful urban model: Harbourfront Centre has proven not only that Toronto’s waterfront is thriving, but that this environment has been created and spearheaded by a non-profit charitable organization. Entering into its fourth decade, Harbourfront Centre continues to pursue its mandate to organize and present public events that introduce Toronto audiences to artists and art forms that would not normally be seen in commercial venues, exploring new and bold frontiers in the arts and creative expression. And Torontonians and visitors to the city, in record numbers, are benefiting from that mandate, as is our city.

In order to sustain its annual operation, Harbourfront Centre receives important operational support from the Government of Canada and the City of Toronto and support for its activities from all levels of government, the corporate sector and individual donors.

ABOUT EKOS RESEARCH
At the forefront of the industry, EKOS is a market research firm and member of the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association (MRIA) and of its predecessor, The Canadian Association of Marketing Research Organization, the company’s survey on Harbourfront Centre’s attendance was conducted over the course of the summer of 2011 and comprised interviews on-site, as well as on-line and by telephone.

ABOUT HARBOURFRONT CENTRE
Harbourfront Centre is a Canadian charity operating the 10 prime acres of Toronto’s central waterfront as a free and open public site. We celebrate the multiplicities of cultures that comprise Canada and enliven the city through the creative imaginations of artists from across the country and around the globe. harbourfrontcentre.com

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Media contact: Jon Campbell | 416-973-4655 | jcampbell@harbourfrontcentre.com | media.harbourfrontcentre.com



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