It's official: Toronto's Harbourfront got a duck bump
There was a pay-off to the giant duck, says payment processor company Moneris.
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It's official: Toronto's Harbourfront got a duck bump.
Malcolm Fowler, vice-president of financial institutions and partners at Moneris, said the payment-processor company looked at credit and debit transactions at participating merchants. They found a 13 per cent increase over last year for Canada Day weekend in downtown Toronto.
However, there was a 17 per cent increase in the Harbourfront — defined as Queen Street to north, Yonge Street to the east and Strachan Ave to the west — which Fowler dubbed "the duck zone."
"You see the spending holding up in the Harbourfront area throughout the whole weekend, and certainly that area had the duck and all of the excitement around that, all the flap around the duck," said Fowler.
The giant inflatable rubber duck was rented by the province for Canada Day weekend, drawing plenty of controversy for its $120,000 price tag.
Tourism Toronto executive vice-president and chief marketing officer Andrew Weir said that while hotel occupancy was up for the week leading to July 1, it was actually slightly down for Canada Day weekend, according to their figures.
"On a whole, the week was up; it's certainly been a positive tourism period for sure," he said.
While it's probably not due to any one event, he added, the duck certainly helped raise the Toronto waterfront's profile by flooding people's Instagram feeds, both in and outside the city.
"People understand that the duck is temporary," he said, "but look at how exciting our waterfront looked."
Weir called the duck a "powerful symbol" of the vitality of Toronto's waterfront.
"All the images coming out of the destination are this exciting, vibrant urban place, and that makes people want to come here," he said.
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