Those who know shop Corso Italia

    Toronto's Corso Italia Launches New Campaign to Promote Unique Culture
    on St. Clair West

    TORONTO, June 6 /CNW/ - Coloro Che Sanno is Italian for Those who Know.
It is also the centre of a new brand image being adopted by the local business
community in Toronto's Corso Italia. The campaign is designed to raise
awareness of the unique retail products, services and experiences that are
common in this still vibrantly Italian Toronto neighbourhood.
    "Corso Italia is one of the best hidden gems for smart shoppers in
Toronto who are looking for authentic European fashion, food and house wares,"
said Connie Lamanna, Chairperson of the Corso Italia Business Improvement
Association. "We are launching this campaign to draw attention to the
authentic charm and experience that is our community. Where customers still
connect daily with retailers, who work with pride and passion in the stores
they own and operate."
    The campaign, which launches today, includes new street banners and
flower baskets, street festivals, plans for new boulevard improvements with
new street lighting and park benches, and a new logo and website to showcase
the wide variety of retail experiences available.
    The area, which was home to the largest wave of Italian Immigration in
the 1950's and 60's, has experienced a resurgence in recent years. Young
professionals and their families are rediscovering Corso Italia and moving
back to restore the sturdy but elegant brick houses on stately tree-lined
streets which are characteristic of the area. They relish the large yards and
the front verandas that are still prevalent on most homes and feel a
connection to the roots of the cultural energy that exists and can be
witnessed in the Italian and European character of the stores and cafes that
make up the retail district between Dufferin and Calendonia Road on St. Clair
Avenue West.
    "We know from independent research and personal experience that people
come to Corso Italia from all over Toronto and from places as far away as
New York and San Francisco to find items they can't find anywhere else" said
Lamanna. "From one of a kind selections on olive oil to the latest high
fashion designs from labels such as Anna Sui and Ermenegildo Zegna, our
business owners often personally travel to Europe to find unique and special
creations suited to their clients individual needs."
    Many retailers in the men's and women's fashion stores are known for
their repeat customers and will often make European purchasing trips with
specific customer needs in mind. Other stores offer individual consultation
and custom designs in such specialized areas as bridal fashion and children's
formal wear. Relying on word of mouth and individual customer references,
local retailers have carved out a loyal clientele who value the personal
attention to detail and service they can't find elsewhere.
    "From welcoming regular customers through the back door to offering you
an espresso while you shop, stores in Corso Italia find a way to make the
experience personal and attentive," says Gene Di Matteo of Genesis who has
operated a men's apparel shop in the district for 20 years. "People know that
what they have here is special and it doesn't hurt that we have the best
gelato you can find anywhere in the country right on our street."
    Corso Italia is a recognized centre of vibrant Italian culture in Toronto
as evidenced by the large number of local sports fan clubs where European
Football is watched with knowledge and passion. When Italy won the 2006 World
Cup for Football the neighbourhood drew huge crowds of soccer fans throughout
the tournament culminating in a crowd estimated at more than 100,000 people to
celebrate the victory over France in the World Cup final. As the focal point
for the largest celebrations in the city, Corso Italia once again confirmed
its status as the recognized home of Italian culture and energy within the
    "For Those who Know, Corso Italia is where Torontonians come to celebrate
and share in all things Italian, "said Lamanna. "We hope this campaign will
make the charm of our neighbourhood more widely known to people looking to get
a taste of the real and authentic Italian experience."

    The Corso Italia BIA represents more than 250 local business owners and
community members from the St. Clair West area. The BIA was founded in 1984
and works to support the ongoing development and promotion of the retail
district and surrounding community.

For further information:

For further information: Lars Hansen, C2E Consulting,, (416)
466-4484 or (416) 406-9966

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