Grand Opening Weekend Festivities with Back-to-Back Concerts by Superstars Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton Mark Unveiling of Great Canadian Casino Resort Toronto’s Latest Amenities
Grand Opening Weekend Festivities with Back-to-Back Concerts by Superstars Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton Mark Unveiling of Great Canadian Casino Resort Toronto’s Latest Amenities

New 5,000-person Theatre, 400-room hotel among premier amenities at $1B destination

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TORONTO, May 5, 2024 /PRNewswire/ – The highly anticipated Grand Opening festivities for Great Canadian Casino Resort Toronto took place this weekend and began with a spectacular ceremony attended by esteemed dignitaries including Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Ontario Minister of Finance Peter Bethlenfalvy, Duncan Hannay, CEO, Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG) and Matthew Anfinson, CEO, Great Canadian Entertainment. The Grand Opening of Great Canadian Casino Resort Toronto marks a significant milestone in the entertainment and hospitality landscape of Toronto, promising unparalleled experiences while championing community enrichment and economic impact.

The weekend kicked off with sensational back-to-back concerts by three-time Grammy Award winner Gwen Stefani and five-time CMA Male Vocalist of the Year Blake Shelton, hosted in the resort’s state-of-the-art 5,000-person Theatre, the newest and most versatile live entertainment venue in Toronto.

As Gwen took to the stage on May 3, opening with “Sweetest Thing”, her vibrant energy instantly ignited the room. Singing hit after hit, Gwen’s charm, interactions with fans and the energy of the crowd created an electric atmosphere inside The Theatre. The crowd erupted when she playfully teased the audience about whether they would come see her husband, country music superstar Blake Shelton perform at the resort the following night. “I was just wondering, tomorrow night, just thinking about it, are you going to watch the Maple Leafs tomorrow (a reference to the team’s game 7 elimination game during the Stanley Cup playoffs) or are you going to watch Blake’s show? Don’t you think it’s curious, that of all the people in the world, including Blake Shelton, they picked Gwen Stefani to open the casino?”

The stage was set for an unforgettable evening the following night as country music superstar Shelton, with his signature charm and undeniable talent, weaved through a playlist that included favourites from his extensive catalogue of hits, including “Neon Light,” “Boys ‘Round Here,” and the heartfelt “God Gave Me You.” As he stood before the sold-out crowd, Shelton couldn’t resist poking fun at Stefani, teasing, “I know that Gwen Stefani played here last night, I know that that was yesterday, but let’s just say that Gwen Stefani opened for me for this weekend. For purposes of when we talk about this later in life, and we’re like, ‘oh, we were there that weekend when Gwen opened for Blake, that was cool!'” Amidst laughter and cheers, Shelton showered praise upon Canada’s newest and largest casino resort, marveling at its grandeur and amenities, exclaiming, “look at this place, not too bad, I love it! … it has a hotel, a casino, a racetrack….”

On Friday, festivities in the lobby of the 328,000 square foot casino commenced with a vibrant lion and dragon dance symbolizing prosperity, good luck, and success. Premier Ford, Minister Bethlenfalvy, Mr. Anfinson and Mr. Hannay, alongside Members of Provincial Parliament Hardeep Grewal, Dave Smith and Sam Oosterhoff participated in a traditional eye dotting ceremony in front of approximately 200 VIP guests. Attendees were treated to a short video presentation illustrating the evolution of the monumental private project situated on 33 acres adjacent to Woodbine Racetrack which will also include additional retail and restaurant development throughout the campus.

“We are immensely proud of this property, as it has been five years in the making and a $1 billion investment to bring it to life. And now with the unveiling of our new 5,000-person Theatre, with incredible shows by superstar performers Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton, we are not just filling a void in Toronto’s entertainment scene; we are creating a dynamic hub for live performances that will resonate far beyond our borders,” said Mr. Anfinson. “Coupled with our brand-new 400-room hotel, casino, dining venues and special events, we are providing elevated hospitality options and solidifying Toronto’s position as a top-tier destination for tourism and entertainment, and there is still more to come.”

Premier Ford remarked, “What a visionary team this is. They think to the future. Not just where we are today, but where we will be 10, 15, 20 years from now…this is incredible.” He highlighted the significance of the resort and emphasized Great Canadian Toronto’s role as an economic catalyst for Toronto and the Etobicoke area.

“Congratulations to Great Canadian Casino Resort on your grand opening. This venue is contributing $500 million in economic impact for Ontario, creating good jobs and with a world-class entertainment experience for customers for years to come,” said Minister Bethlenfalvy.

The resort, which generated over 2,700 construction hires to develop the property, currently supports over 1,700 jobs in its operations.  As part of its Community Benefits Agreement with the City of Toronto, Great Canadian Entertainment contributed $5M towards the construction of a new childcare centre for local residents and employees as well as adhering to certain thresholds for local and social hiring and procurement.

“Great Canadian Casino Resort Toronto is truly a premier entertainment destination and OLG is proud to be involved in this impressive new offering in the GTA. In addition to the thousands of local jobs created, the City of Toronto has received $387 million in hosting payments from OLG since first opening in 1999. These payments can be reinvested in critical services, vital infrastructure, and economic development across the city,” said Mr. Hannay.

The unveiling ceremony reached its peak as Mr. Anfinson, Premier Ford, Minister Bethlenfalvy, and Mr. Hannay jointly pulled an oversize slot machine lever, igniting a cascade of confetti, lights and sounds and officially heralding the opening of the entertainment destination.

In a gesture underscoring the resort’s commitment to social responsibility, a donation of $50,000 was presented to The Haven on the Queensway, a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for those in need through various initiatives including food distribution, clothing assistance, and tailored programs addressing poverty and homelessness.

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About Great Canadian Casino Resort Toronto

Great Canadian Casino Resort Toronto stands as Canada’s newest and largest destination for premier gaming and entertainment, and one of the largest in North America, offering an unparalleled experience that seamlessly merges contemporary sophistication with exceptional leisure. Boasting an expansive gaming floor adorned with 4,800 slot machines and 175 live table games, including craps, blackjack, baccarat, Sic Bo, and roulette, VIP rooms and sports betting kiosks. The resort recently introduced a state-of-the-art 30-table poker room, hosting the inaugural World Series of Poker Circuit event in Ontario. Moreover, guests can indulge in a plethora of exquisite dining options, luxuriate in the brand-new 400-room Hotel offering panoramic views of Woodbine Racetrack from its guest rooms and suites, and revel in the pinnacle of entertainment at the premier 5,000-person Theatre, in collaboration with Live Nation, ensuring a comprehensive and unforgettable experience for all guests.

Consistent with Great Canadian Casino Resort Toronto’s commitment to responsible gambling, the property also features two PlaySmart Centres on the gaming floor, filled with engaging interactive tools and valuable responsible gambling resources available for all players, including information on how to participate in OLG’s voluntary My PlayBreak program if they choose to take a break from gambling.

About Great Canadian Entertainment

Founded in 1982, Great Canadian Entertainment is Canada’s leading gaming and hospitality company, with a robust portfolio comprising 25 distinct gaming, entertainment, and hospitality properties located in Ontario, British Columbia, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. With over one million square feet of gaming space, 19,000 slot machines, and 650 live table games, as well as more than 60 restaurants catering to more than 20 million gaming visitors annually, Great Canadian Entertainment is renowned for providing the ultimate entertainment experiences. The company proudly boasts Canada’s newest and largest casino resort, Great Canadian Casino Resort Toronto.

Committed to investing in and offering opportunity to those in the communities in which it operates, Great Canadian supports hundreds of charitable and non-profit organizations across Canada under its PROUD program; “PROUD of our people, our business, our community”. A significant portion of gross gaming revenue from Great Canadian’s gaming facilities is retained by Crown partners on behalf of their provincial governments for the purpose of supporting programs that benefit healthcare, education, and social services in Canada. To learn more, please visit or follow us on X, InstagramFacebook and LinkedIn.

SOURCE Great Canadian Entertainment

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