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July 26, 2002
World Youth Day pilgrims boost Toronto's economy
Toronto's economy got a shot in the arm this week with the arrival of more than
200,000 World Youth Day pilgrims. In addition, more than 3,500 journalists from
around the world are covering World Youth Day until Monday, July 29.

"World Youth Day is the largest event of this kind ever held in the City of
Toronto," said Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, chair of the Economic Development
and Parks Committee. "There is no question about the economic benefits as
preliminary estimates indicate that World Youth Day will inject approximately
$110 million into the city.

"More importantly, this event raises Toronto's international profile as the
image of the city is broadcast around the world. As host, we are delighted to
have this special opportunity to welcome the people of the world to our home."

While their pilgrimage is a religious one, World Youth Day registrants are also
interested in exploring what the city has to offer, as many youth are seeing
Toronto for the first time. Since the start of World Youth Day, they have been
visiting Toronto's landmarks and cultural sites, dining at restaurants and
buying souvenirs.

"We're setting records of attendance and we've been at capacity like we've
never seen before," said Bud Purves, President of the CN Tower.

"Toronto Tours has been well-served by the visitors," said Lisa Elkind,
Vice-President Sales and Marketing, Toronto Tours Limited. "By Wednesday, sales
at our Harbour Tours boat business increased by 20 per cent and sales at our
Info T.O. business increased 25 per cent over the same time last year."

Cindy Simpson, the senior vice-president of Vinnie's Social Hall restaurant
said, "We have already seen larger groups than normal at the restaurant. We
expect business to be even busier by the end of the week."

World Youth Day began July 23 and will conclude this Sunday with a Papal Mass
estimated to draw between 750,000 and one million people.

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