Toronto's black heritage draws recognition and visitors

TORONTO, Feb. 9 /CNW/ - Tourism Toronto and the Ontario Science Centre have come together to stage a celebration of African-Canadian heritage in Toronto.

"The diversity of this city is well-known and celebrated," said David Whitaker, President and CEO of Tourism Toronto. "And the cultures here add to the history and vibrancy of the region that is enjoyed by visitors and residents alike."

Curated by renowned historian Dr. Sheldon Taylor, "Northern Lights: African-Canadian Stories" is a special exhibition showcasing 55 period artifacts and photos tracing the region's earliest African-Canadian families back 10 generations. Included in the exhibit are vintage wedding gowns from three distinct periods - 1882, 1918, and 1942 - depicting very different eras in Toronto's history.

The exhibition runs from February 10 to March 2 at the Ontario Science Centre in the Procter & Gamble Great Hall. The Centre is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and entrance to the exhibition is included in the price of admission.

"The Ontario Science Centre is delighted to host this exhibition of African-Canadian heritage," said Lesley Lewis, CEO, Ontario Science Centre. "Reaching out to diverse communities is built into our DNA - from our varied lineup of films and exhibitions, to the makeup of our board of trustees, to our staff and to the visitors we attract. We are pleased to contribute to a better understanding and recognition of one of Toronto's oldest communities."

Tourism Toronto is providing bus transportation for several school groups who will visit the exhibition in the coming weeks.

"The richness of Toronto's story is part of what enables us to attract a wide range of visitors, including professional groups that want to hold their meetings and conventions here," said Mr. Whitaker. "We are recognized as a place that embraces multiculturalism and opportunity."

Toronto will welcome more than 7,000 delegates of the National Society of Black Engineers in March 2010. Recently, several other major U.S.-based associations selected Toronto for upcoming conferences including the National Medical Association in July 2013 that will attract 6,500 attendees and consume over 9,000 hotel room nights.

About Tourism Toronto

Tourism Toronto, Toronto's Convention and Visitors Association, is an industry association of more than 1,200 members established to strategically sell and market the Greater Toronto Region as a remarkable destination for tourists, convention delegates and business travellers around the globe. For more information on Tourism Toronto, please visit

About the Ontario Science Centre

The Ontario Science Centre opened on September 26, 1969, a global pioneer of the concept of an interactive science museum. Since then, well over 44 million visitors have passed through its doors. It is a model for over 2,000 science centres built since its inception around the world.

The Ontario Science Centre uses science as the lens to inspire and actively engage people in new ways of seeing, understanding and thinking about themselves and the world around them. The Ontario Science Centre is an agency of the Government of Ontario. For more information, visit or call our box office at 416-696-1000.

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at Images are free to accredited members of the media/

SOURCE Tourism Toronto

For further information: For further information: Cathy Riches, Tourism Toronto, (416) 987-9077,; Ellen Flowers, Ontario Science Centre, (416) 696-3154,

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