November 15, 2014

INSPIRE! Toronto International Book Fair Recap – The First Day and a Half


I decided to break this trip down to 2 posts, as it will be a pretty lengthy post!
Thank you to Inspire!, Knot PR, and Tourism Toronto for making this possible!

Chapter by Chapter was among a small group of international bloggers that were invited by Inspire with Tourism Toronto, through Knot PR, to attend the Inaugural Inspire! Toronto International Book Fair .  To say that we were thrilled was an understatement.  We were over the moon ecstatic and so honored to have been asked.We jumped at the opportunity to take part in the celebration of this book fairs inception!

After a month and a half of waiting, the departure day was upon us.  We left the Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport, and boarded our plan via Air Canada to Toronto Pearson International Airport.


The flight itself was pretty quick and uneventful…which, in my books, is pretty dang good.  I did a bit of reading, and watched a couple episodes of The Goldbergs (which I had to stifle my laughter.  For those of you who know me, my laugh can be pretty boisterous, so I’m sure a few snorts were heard here and there), and Gabby took a nice nap.

Before long, we touched down on Ontario soil, and our adventure in Toronto was ready to begin!


Prior to the commencement of this trip, my husband had suggested that we use the services of Uber to get us to our hotel from the airport.  As this is not a service provided in Winnipeg, my friends were a little concerned about our safety and such.  Turns out, using a taxi and taking the flat rate is cheaper than using Uber.  So we piled into the cab, and headed off to our first destination: the Renaissance Toronto Downtown Hotel at 1 Blue Jays Way.  Upon our arrival, we found out that our room got upgraded to suite (le gasp), but it wouldn’t be ready until 3:00 pm. Oh what to do…what to do…Oh, of course…shopping!

So back into the cab we went and off to the Toronto Eaton Centre.  We killed a couple of hours at the tri-level shopping mall, and Gabby walked away with some pretty sweet purchases.


Before long, it was time to head to hotel to check in and unload our bags, and start getting ready for the first items on our itinerary; a Blogger Toast in the Media Room at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre; followed by a Special Media Preview of the event; and ending with the Lift-Off Opening Party.  The Renaissance Toronto Downtown Hotel was a beautiful place to stay.  The staff was wonderful, the food in the restaurant located inside the hotel was great (Arriba Restaurant), and it was quick 5 minute walk to the venue.  The suite itself was beautiful and spacious, and the restaurant had a great view of the inside of the stadium. We were also both given a gift bag which was a wonderful surprise!



Finally, it was off to the Blogger Toast at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre! In MaryAnn-fashion, we got lost inside the Convention Centre, and inadvertently got a sneak peek of the venues inside.  We were a little late in showing up for the Blogger Toast.  We enjoyed a glass of bubbly, had some great conversation with some of the bloggers and with the Executive Directors of the fair, Rita Davies, John Calabro, and Steven Levy, as well as with the Media Relations Manager for Tourism Toronto, Vanessa Somarriba. Since we had gotten up super early that day (and both had a lack of sleep the night before) we were pretty wiped out.  We walked the convention floor and checked out some of the booths that were set up during the Media Preview.  The food and drinks were flowing, but me and Gabby couldn’t make it through the rest of the night for the Lift-Off Party.  The sleepies took over, and we had to call it a short night.

The next day, we were up bright and early for the Welcome Breakfast at the Arriba Restaurant in our hotel.


There we had a wonderful hearty breakfast and got to know the other amazing bloggers that were also invited.  They included:

Ana and Thea from The Book Smugglers
Jane from Dear Author
Kelly from Stacked Books
Liz from Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

The food and the girls were amazing and we were ready to start our Book Shop Tour of Toronto!


We were taken to various Indie Bookstores in the Toronto area with travel writer, Michael Kaminer, along with some local book bloggers!  Below you’ll see the different places we set foot in, and you can click the images to go to the bookstores website and find out more info!



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And then it was off to the Inspire! Toronto International Book Fair!

Tune in for that post coming up on the blog where we will be highlighting some of the events that took place during the Inspire! Toronto International Book Fair!




  1. Ahh what a wonderful trip! Oh my god, those food photos are making me hungry. I love that you were at the Renaissance Hotel in the Rogers Centre..Too bad baseball season is over. That book store tour looked like lots of fun!

    I’m still so sad I missed you two :(

  2. Chapter by Chapter

    It would have been pretty sweet if there was something going at the Rogers Centre! So so bummed that we missed you. One day, I swear! lol

  3. […] Jane on INSPIRE. The Book Smugglers on INSPIRE. Kelly on INSPIRE. Chapter by Chapter on INSPIRE. […]

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