Market Overview

What the Duck?! The True Economic Impact of the World's Largest Rubber Duck


TORONTO, Oct. 12, 2017 /CNW/ - The Redpath Waterfront Festival (RWF), presented by Billy Bishop Airport, announces today the results of their 2017 Economic Impact Study conducted by Enigma Research. Through the analysis of onsite surveys completed by event attendees, results show that the economic impact of the 2017 RWF was $7.6M, the highest impact achieved in the history of the RWF. The festival, which celebrated Canada's 150th anniversary July 1-3, 2017, drew a record 750,000 people to Toronto's waterfront with programming that included the West Coast Lumberjack Show, Rhythm of the Nation, the Royal Canadian Navy, Waterfront Artisan Market, and the much talked about, World's Largest Rubber Duck.

World's Largest Rubber Duck makes its Canadian debut at the 2017 Redpath Waterfront Festival. Photo by Jim Orgill. (CNW Group/Water's Edge Festivals & Events)

Local restaurants and business benefited greatly from the festival's enhancement project of bringing the World's Largest Rubber Duck to Toronto, which brought hundreds of thousands of visitors to Toronto's waterfront. Wais Noorzada, Manager of Swiss Chalet said, "It was crazy. There were so many people in this neighbourhood, there was a line-up from the moment we opened until close. Most of the people that I talked to were families who said they came to see the duck." Other businesses reported record sales over the weekend, including The Rose Tea Gallery, Rabba Fine Foods, Shoeless Joe's and Spicy Thai Café. "It was the busiest Canada Day I've had in my 30 years with Rabba Fine Foods," stated Elias Haddad, Manager of Rabba Fine Foods waterfront location. The city's water taxi industry also received a boost after a challenging summer due to the closure of the Toronto Islands. Tiki Taxi tripled their business and had their full fleet running 30-minute trips out on the lake all three days of the festival weekend.

Key highlights from the 2017 Redpath Waterfront Festival Economic Impact Study:

  1. Total economic impact of 2017 Redpath Waterfront Festival estimated at $7.6M. Non-local attendees and event operations resulted in approximately $10.6M of new spending.
  2. Local residents spent $16.5M related to the event, including $4.8M at local restaurants.
  3. Estimated $3.6M in tax revenue generated by event-related spending.
  4. Festival attracted visitors from many regions. 31% of attendees resided more than 40 km from the event site and the festival had record visitors from the United States.
  5. Toronto waterfront businesses will benefit from return visits as 83% of respondents said they will return to the area for shopping or dining.

This year, RWF was the launch port of the ONTARIO 150 Tour presented by Redpath Sugar, which took the World's Largest Rubber Duck, West Coast Lumberjack Show and Rhythm of the Nation to six locations across Ontario throughout the summer. In a separate study conducted by Enigma Research, it was found that the economic impact of the entire ONTARIO 150 Tour was $11.2M.

"As we celebrate Ontario's 150th anniversary, our government has supported an expansive suite of festivals and events that are leaving economic and cultural legacies across the province," said Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. "The Redpath Waterfront Festival was a shining example, as tourists flocked to our waterfront in record numbers, creating jobs and leaving a strong economic impact. Today's study demonstrates that our support for the festival contributed to robust public interest, critical opportunities for businesses and fun for local families."

The Redpath Waterfront Festival is an annual summer event providing on-land and on-water programming for people of all ages and interests, with the goal of promoting Toronto locally and internationally as a premiere waterfront destination. With music, food, nautical programs and entertainment, the festival offers something for everyone to enjoy. Every three years, the event welcomes majestic TALL SHIPS® to Toronto.

Water's Edge Festivals & Events is an Ontario not-for-profit corporation created in 2011 with a mandate to be the driving force behind the successful Redpath Waterfront Festival in Toronto.

SOURCE Water's Edge Festivals & Events

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