The Ups and Downs of The Richard L. Hearn Generating Station

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Gritty and raw, iron and steel beams, industrial, passageways and tunnels, brick and concrete. Toronto History. If any of this makes sense to you, then you know we are about to talk about the Richard L. Hearn Generating Station, one of Toronto’s largest and most rarely used spaces.

Toronto’s massive wealth of space in the Portlands has seen its years of ups and downs since it opened in 1951. Originally, the Richard L. Hearn Generating Station burned coal which was shipped out on the Saint Lawrence Seaway to ports around the globe.

Environmental complaints in the early 70’s about the heavy smog that was emitted from the Stations eight chimney stacks lead to the installation of a single smokestack, which cost nine million dollars but it also landed the Station in the record books at the time with having one of the world’s tallest smokestacks (215 m/705 ft.). This move greatly reduced Toronto’s air pollution and the area around the plant came to be known as a popular fishing and recreation spot.

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The Smokestack at the Generating Station which was once the tallest in the world at 215 m. Photo courtesy of P. McDines.

The Station was decommissioned in 1983 after it was unable to meet the increasing financial demand that cogeneration ( natural gas and coal) would cost.

Since it was decommissioned there were many talks and many different plans to restart the generators and switchboards, with none coming to fruition mostly because of city and provincial politics

In 2002, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) gave a long lease to a film studio ( 32.5 years, according to the City of Toronto’s Waterfront Secretariat) who had ambition plans to convert the Station into a 28 thousand sq.m. multi purpose film and production studio and call it ‘Great Lakes Studios’. Many of the interior boilers and equipment was removed to make room for the renovations, which sadly also did not make it to completion.  

Since then, the Station has been a haven for urban explorers and photographers. It began getting serious about opening up its doors as a venue for events and film in 2010 when it was used in a movie, and in 2014 for Luminato’s Big Bang Bash and Yves Saint Laurent Opening Night Party. In 2015 Luminator hosted UNSOUND on the property and again in 2016 Luminator used the grounds as their festival hug, utilizing most of the space for art and performance.

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The original brick exterior painted with “Don’t Look Back” at the loading entrance for Luminato ’15. Photo courtesy of P. McDines

 

 

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One of the tunnels inside of the Station lit with artist installations during Luminato ’15. Photo courtesy of P. McDines.

 

Recently there have been a few commercial shoots, but that’s about it. So far, Luminato Festival seems to be the only lucky infrequent resident of the Station. Stats show that the 5.6-acre venue has proved to hold 10,000 people.

 

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A look inside the Station at the still exposed wiring and steal.

Written By: Paula McDines

How To Market Your Event And Create Buzz With Social Media Walls

February 25, 2017 by  
Filed under Ask Deb, CitySocial, Event tips, Ontario, Toronto, Uncategorized

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If you have been following our series of how to market and create the buzz on social media, here is our new video!

Do you ever find it hard to keep your guests interested, awake and engaged at your events? Social media walls could be used by anyone from wedding planners to corporate event planners to community leaders onsite at their events and meetings. Social media walls provide their attendees with a great way to interact.

A Social Media Wall shows content, not only from Twitter (Twitter Wall), but also from other social networks like Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, or YouTube.

 

Top Tips On Social Media Walls:

 

  • Hashtags: Create an easy to remember, short relevant Hashtag. Ensure the hashtag  you create is on your Instagram posts and in your tweets. Ask guests to use the same hashtag when discussing the event on social media.This hashtag allows you to search who else is talking about your event. Tag all of your posts with it, and encourage attendees to do the same.
  • Tweet a lot and listen: Share those pre-planned Tweets, ask questions, pictures and videos as much as you can. Don’t forget that communication is a two-way conversation, so don’t just Tweet and Post and leave it there. Listen to the conversation and contribute when you can. RT or Favorite Tweets, Like and Share posts, answer questions and respond to comments. You’ll be surprised how it can encourage more interaction and build a connection with your followers.
  • Display branded content: If you are sharing a lot of official updates during the event, social media walls are a great way to maximize the lifetime and reach of all your branded social media content via TV displays around the venue. Connect your Facebook page, Twitter feed, Instagram etc. and your attendees will never miss an update while walking around the event. Share announcements, prize winners, next speaker in line etc.
  • Onsite Contests: Consider organizing a contest and asking followers to submit their own photos/videos — the winner could win a prize! Social Media Walls will make it more visual and will help you track the hashtag of your event and contest. You can display photos of prizes, tags and hashtags your attendees can use.

 

Watch our video below for more complete information and tips on how to market your event and create the buzz on social media.

Thank you for watching, and don’t forget to like this video, share it and subscribe to CityEvents to gain valuable knowledge about planning your future events.

If you liked this video you may also like our video on How to market your event on Periscope and Google +.

How To Market Your Event And Create Buzz With Instagram

February 24, 2017 by  
Filed under Ask Deb, CitySocial, Event tips, Ontario, Toronto, Uncategorized

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If you have been following our series of how to market and create the buzz on social media, here is our new video!

Everyone uses Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to advertise and market events, but why not try something new? Instagram. This social media platform is often under-used but most effective when it comes to promoting your event, building your brand identity and gaining a stronger following for your company. It is building in momentum and is a must have.

As Instagram is all visual, photos are always a great way to provide a visual to your event. An Instagram photo diary is a wonderful way to promote your events to your target market and audience. Instagram live is also popular.

 

Top Tips On Instagram:

 

  • Get Posting: Just like other social media platforms, the key to be successful on Instagram is being active. This means taking lots of pictures or videos and posting them for your followers to see. Consider setting a posting schedule and stay on top of that, whether it’s five times a day or five times a week. Study your past posts to see when they got the most audience engagement.
  • Create a Story: Let your followers and audience in on the details of the event.  You want to make them feel involved in the event right from the beginning. For timing it is important to create excitement before tickets are on sale. You can do this by making your posts tell a story, updating them regularly and let them in on the planning and preparation right through to after the event. Having regular updates will make people look forward to the next update and keep them wanting more!
  • Hashtags: Create an easy to remember, short relevant Hashtag. Ensure the hashtag  you create is on tickets, website, signs, email reminders, facebook event/posts and in your tweets. This hashtag allows you to search who else is talking about your event. Tag all of your posts with it, and encourage attendees to do the same.

 

Watch our video below for more complete information and tips on how to market your event and create the buzz on social media.

Thank you for watching, and don’t forget to like this video, share it and subscribe to CityEvents to gain valuable knowledge about planning your future events.

If you liked this video you may also like our video on How to market your event on Social Media Walls and Facebook.

How to Market Your Event and Create Buzz with Facebook

February 23, 2017 by  
Filed under Ask Deb, CitySocial, Event tips, Ontario, Toronto, Uncategorized

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If you have been following our series of how to market and create the buzz on social media, here is our new video!

Social media sectors such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and your surrounding neighbourhood are great ways to network and spread the word about your past, current, and future projects.  Today we are focusing on Facebook: one of the most popular social media tools.

Facebook is a powerful and cost-effective social media tool. Creating and promoting an event on Facebook is free and requires a series of easy-to-follow steps.  You can also enhance your facebook marketing with a custom facebook ad campaign.

Top Tips On Facebook:  

 

  • Create an event on Facebook: Ensure to have any staff, ambassadors with permissions as a host. Once someone has accepted the invitation you are able to change their status to host so they can edit the event and update and post easily. Once you have created the event start to invite friends, ask others to invite others to increase the reach.  You will need to keep the event as a public event so that guests can invite others and people can find your event through facebook search.
  • Facebook Campaigns: Many events have grown tracking or increased its exposure and attendees through facebook campaigns and Facebook Ads.  These can be useful as you can be very specific of the geographic area, age, status and other elements so you are only paying for advertising to your target market.
  • Photos: Always a great way to provide a visual to your event.  This is a wonderful way to promote your events to your target market and audience and show people enjoying past events. It also gives them a better understanding of what the event looks and feels like. Change your profile and cover photo with the main banner of your event.
  • Videos: You can also create promotional videos or video photo slide shows about your event to post.  This can be done using a slide show of photos related to your event, any related footage you have access to, link to music and add text with your main event details.
  • Tags: A tag is a hyperlink making it easier for your followers or guests to click and visit the  page or person that you’ve tagged. Your post is usually displayed onto the Wall or Timeline of the Page or friend that you’ve tagged. By tagging speakers or guests, you will make your event more visible and have a chance to reach future attendees.

 

Watch our video below for more complete information and tips on how to market your event and create the buzz on social media.

Thank you for watching, and don’t forget to like this video, share it and subscribe to CityEvents to gain valuable knowledge about planning your future events.

If you liked this video you may also like our video on How to market your event on Hootsuite and YouTube.

How To Market Your Event And Create Buzz With Twitter

February 22, 2017 by  
Filed under Ask Deb, CitySocial, Event tips, Ontario, Toronto, Uncategorized

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If you have been following our series of how to market and create the buzz on social media, here is our new video!

This marketing video outlines how to prepare effective techniques to market your events on Twitter.  Because posts on twitter are only 140 characters, your tweets have to be creative and engaging. It’s better to tweet something short and eye catching and include a link that people can click for more information.

Top Tips On Twitter:  

 

  • Text/Quick Stories/ Bytes: Different people are interested in different things, write tweets about all aspects of the event and don’t forget to mention sponsors, ambassadors. One text byte explains charity or the cause or explains official message, while another is all about the talent, celebrities or DJ, and another could perhaps showcase the venue or the food, or signature drinks etc.
  • Photos and Videos: Photos show up well on twitter, so similar to facebook, tweet and post photos so followers can get a visual of the event. You can also create promotional videos about your event to post on various sites online.  This can be done using a slideshow of photos related to your event, any related footage you have access to, link to music and add text with your main event details or can try Vine that is integrated into twitter recently.
  • Twitter contest: Setting up a twitter contest is a perfect way to increase your reach and have your followers engage or retweet.  The most common is a Retweet to win, another way is to ask ppl to mention a hashtag and account name (@Mention)  These can also be held onsite at the events to increase engagement by attendees.
  • Hashtags: Create an easy to remember, short relevant Hashtag. Ensure the hashtag  you create is on tickets, website, signs, email reminders, facebook event/posts and in your tweets. Hashtags will make it easier to find any tweet related to the event and can also be very useful if you have a social media wall during your event.

 

Watch our video below for more complete information and tips on how to market your event and create the buzz on social media.

Thank you for watching, and don’t forget to like this video, share it and subscribe to CityEvents to gain valuable knowledge about planning your future events.

If you liked this video you may also like our video on How to market your event on Instagram and Hootsuite.

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