Where is the Rotaract Preconvention and/or Rotary International Convention held?
The Rotaract Preconvention will be held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
The Rotary International Convention opening and closing ceremonies, along with all of the general sessions will be held at the Air Canada Centre.
Where do I register for the Rotaract Preconvention or the Rotary International Convention? (And other registration issues.)
If you have a My Rotary account, you can register online for the Rotaract Preconvention and the Rotary International Convention at www.riconvention.org. If you only plan to register for the Rotaract Preconvention, you must contact Rotary registration staff via email at [email protected].
How much does it cost to register for the Rotaract Preconvention and/or the Rotary International Convention?
The Rotaract Preconvention registration costs $100 USD.
The Rotary International Convention has various fees for Rotaractors*, depending on when you register:
June 15th – December 15th, 2017: $70 USD
December 16th, 2017 – March 31st, 2018: $100 USD
April 1st – June 27th, 2018: $130 USD
If you encounter an issue while trying to register online, it may be because your account has not been affiliated with the “Rotaractor” status. You will need to email [email protected] for assistance for your registration. Alternatively, you can also register on-site when you arrive in Toronto.
*fees for Rotarians can be found here
Where can I find the schedule for the Rotaract Preconvention or Rotary International Convention?
The official programs for both the Rotaract Preconvention and Rotary International Convention will not be available until early 2018. At the moment, you can view an outline of what the program will contain on the Rotary Convention site.
What events do I have access to go to as a Rotaractor?
The majority of the Rotaract Preconvention and Rotary International Convention experiences are open to Rotaractors, but require proper registration. If you are registered for the Rotary International Convention, you will have access to the House of Friendship as well as all of the general sessions and breakout sessions from Sunday, June 24th through Wednesday, June 27th. You will pick up your Convention Badge at registration when you arrive, and MUST WEAR the Convention Badge to gain access to the facilities. If you are only registered for the Rotaract Preconvention, you will have access to the Rotaract Preconvention happening Friday, June 22nd and Saturday, June 23rd. In addition to the main Convention and Rotaract Preconvention sessions, there are a number of different optional social events and host events put on by both the Rotary Host Organizing Committee and the Rotaract Host Organizing Committee (that’s us!). Almost all of these events are ticketed events and require you to register and pay a fee for them.
What is the dress code?
There is no dress code strictly enforced for the Rotaract Preconvention or Rotary International Convention, however, smart casual might be a good idea while indoors in the convention halls. For first-time convention goers, keep in mind that at a convention with over 25,000 people registered, you’re going to be making a lot of first impressions. Typically, at the past Rotary International Conventions, we have seen about a third of the Rotarians who attend the convention in business suits or dress shirts during the Rotary Convention days (Sunday-Wednesday), and everyone else is in Rotary apparel or casual clothes. For the Rotaract Preconvention, you’ll see attendees from dress clothes to t-shirts/shorts. In general, it’s a good time to just bring any Rotaract apparel you might have to show-off your local club or district pride. Please keep in mind that the temperature in Toronto in June typically ranges from 27 degrees Celsius to 35 degrees Celsius with high humidity. There will likely be strong air conditioning while you are indoors at the convention centre, but it will be most likely very hot outside after you leave the convention centre.
Where do I stay? Where do you recommend?
We recommend that attendees strongly consider staying somewhere in downtown Toronto to maximize their convenience, as the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (breakout sessions and the House of Friendship) and the Air Canada Centre (general sessions) are located in downtown Toronto. Staying somewhere within walking distance (20-minute walk or less) of the Convention Centre will make it easier for you to be able to drop items off in your room (you get lots of goodies at the convention), easily change outfits and refresh yourself, easily get to and from the convention centre and be seamlessly connected to local transit. You can stay in hotels or rent apartments from sites such as Airbnb, or use one of the alternative housing options we have organized*.
Rotary also negotiates with hotels for the guaranteed lowest nightly rate for June 23rd to 27th, including applicable taxes and fees. You can book a hotel room through the official Rotary housing partner here.
*Details to be confirmed
Are there cheaper housing options than the hotels? How about hostels or university housing?
There are hostels in downtown Toronto that are well-located relative to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and the Air Canada Centre.
We have also secured a block of rooms at Victoria University at the University of Toronto. You can find more details about these rooms on the Housing page.
Do I need a travel visa to come to Canada?
We encourage you to confirm whether or not you need a travel visa to come to Canada for the RI Convention, which you can do here: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp.
Additional visa information can be found on the RI Convention 2018 website: http://www.riconvention.org/en/toronto/visa-information-toronto.
How do I get from the airport to downtown Toronto, where the Convention will be held?
Using public transit provides you with multiple options to get to downtown Toronto. You can take the UP Express from Pearson Airport to Union Station in 25 minutes. This option includes luggage racks and wifi. One-way standard tickets cost $12.35 CAD. If you have a PRESTO card, the one-way ticket cost is $9.25 CAD. You can purchase a PRESTO card at Pearson Airport’s UP Express station through a vending machine, or you can purchase once in downtown Toronto from Union Station. PRESTO card purchase involves a non-refundable $6 charge, but it is worthwhile if you plan on taking public transit while in the city, as you can load money onto your card and simply tap it on public transit to pay! It is recommended that you have some cash on hand in the event that a PRESTO paying option is not available.
If you know someone coming to Pearson Airport to greet you who is taking UP Express, you can let them know that there is a Meeter and Greeter Return ticket price option of $12.35 CAD round-trip.
An alternative public transit option is to take the TTC from Pearson Airport to downtown Toronto, which costs $3.25 CAD for the entire journey. If you purchase a PRESTO card as referenced above, the TTC fare is $3.00 per journey. You could consider purchasing tokens instead, or a weekly pass if you think you will be taking the TTC often while in the city.
One of the TTC options is the 192 Airport Rocket, which takes approximately 20-25 minutes to travel from Pearson Airport to Kipling Station (obtain proof of payment before getting off, in case it is needed). From Kipling Station, you would take the Line 2 Bloor-Danforth subway heading to St. George Station, and then transfer subways to travel southbound on the Line 1 Yonge-University subway to get downtown. You may not need this last transfer if you are staying at the University of Toronto. There are alternative TTC routes available, as well.
Other options to travel to downtown Toronto include a taxi or Uber. If you’re travelling from the Greater Toronto Area, GO Transit or the TTC subway are great options.
If you’re staying at a hotel, you might also want to check with the hotel to see if they offer any shuttle options.
What is the first thing I should do when I arrive to Toronto? Where do I pick up my Convention Badge?
Details will be provided closer to the date.
I am coming from outside of Canada, and am wondering if you have any recommendations for a cellular phone plan that will give me data while I am in Toronto or travelling throughout Canada.
The major Canadian cellular phone service carriers are: Bell, Rogers, Telus, Virgin Mobile, Fido, and Wind. We are looking into the possibility of securing a discount for phone plans for RI Convention attendees, and will provide updates here when the information is available.
What navigation apps work in Toronto if I have a smartphone with internet? And if I don’t have internet?
Google Maps and Apple Maps are all excellent map apps that will work in Toronto. If you do not have cellular data, you may consider looking for nearby free Wi-Fi locations. Many coffee shops and cafes will provide free Wi-Fi for patrons who purchase a coffee. There are also many Starbucks and Tim Hortons locations around Toronto, and each of these locations have free Wi-Fi available regardless of if you purchase any item or not.
I heard that in Canada, it is expected to provide a tip when dining at restaurants. What is the customary amount?
In Canada, the pricing on restaurant menus and at other stores do not include taxes. The harmonized sales tax in Toronto is 13%. Some items will receive a lower tax rate, such as certain goods purchased at a grocery store. The tax is added to the end of your receipt, and sometimes catches visitors from outside of the country off-guard. In addition to the sales tax, when you dine-in at a restaurant, it is customary to provide an additional 15% to 20% tip. Sometimes restaurants will have the suggested tip printed out for you on the receipt. (And yes, it’s customary to tip even if the service wasn’t that great.) When you dine in large parties at restaurants, sometimes restaurants will automatically include a mandatory tip (often 20%) to your bill. Be sure to read your bill carefully to make sure you are not double tipping (unless you want to!).
Do you have any discount codes for Uber?
We are looking into seeing if we can receive a discount code for Uber – stay tuned for updates!
Help! I am in Toronto for the Convention, and I have an emergency. Who do I contact?
For all life-threatening emergencies or medical emergencies, please dial 9-1-1 from your cell phone or any nearby phone to contact local emergency services.
We encourage you to ensure that you have travel medical insurance before leaving your country of origin, and to have the travel insurance information with you while in Canada.
If you have a non-life-threatening but urgent problem, our Rotaract Host Committee Support Team will be available June 21st through June 27th over social media. Support usernames and channels will be announced closer to the date.
You may also, at any time, consider crowdsourcing your issue by posting in our official Facebook Group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1708278826141012/
What are the official social media hashtags this year for the convention?
The official hashtags for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are #Rotaract18 and #Rotary18.
I still have an important question that has not been answered here yet. Can you help?
We can try to help answer your question as best as we can! Email us at [email protected] or alternatively consider posting your question in our official Facebook Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1708278826141012/.