Over the course of any given year, more people visit this city than actually live here: In 2012, 10 million tourists came to the Toronto area, according to Tourism Toronto (and that’s counting only those out-of-towners who spent the night here). So where are you likeliest to bump into one? To find out, we asked some of the city’s top attractions to crunch their numbers and tell us who they see more of over the course of the year: tourists or locals.
Your odds of bumping into an American at the Hockey Hall of Fame, by the way, are greater than bumping into someone from the Greater Toronto Area—almost twice as many annual visits there came from the United States (34 per cent) than here. At The Ex, on the other hand, less than 0.2 per cent of the visits (that’s two-tenths of one percent) aren’t from Canada. And at the Zoo, 82 per cent of visits come from somewhere in Ontario.
Not every attraction, unfortunately, keeps rigorous track of where their visitors come from. (The Art Gallery of Ontario, Bata Shoe Museum, St. Lawrence Market, and Toronto Island Ferry—the last one a decent way to find out the Toronto Islands’ numbers—were some of many we asked who couldn’t oblige.) Others do, but couldn’t or wouldn’t tell us. (Like Fort York and Canada’s Wonderland.) These five do keep track, but measure using boundaries other than the Greater Toronto Area’s:
The CN Tower’s numbers, in case you were wondering, come from their tracking visits from people with postal codes beginning with either M or L, which, taken together, means their numbers include the entirety of the GTA and then some: Hamilton, St. Catharines, and Barrie, for example, are counted as part of their total. (The Royal Ontario Museum and Black Creek Pioneer Village also use the same measure, in addition to measuring visits that come just from the City of Toronto; for the sake of comparison, 85 per cent of the ROM’s visits came from that same larger area of Ontario, and 74 per cent of Black Creek’s did.) Since Pride Week uses the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area rather than the Greater Toronto Area, their numbers include several GTA municipalities, but exclude others; it would not include visits from, say, Oshawa or Whitby, two areas whose residents may or may not take kindly to being called tourists when they’re here.
All data courtesy of each attraction. Note that, while we’ve only included those attractions that are confident their data is accurate, each measures their attendance using a different method—so some, inevitably, may have larger margins of error than others.
IS THERE SOMETHING ABOUT TORONTO YOU’VE ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW? Whether or not it involves avoiding out-of-towners, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll see if we can figure it out.