Noble’s East Coast Swing: Part 2

Toronto, Canada

Noble Studios CEO Jarrod Lopiccolo and CMO Michael Thomas are currently on a multi-city trip to visit several Noble clients and partners. Yesterday’s blog post covered their visit to Chicago. Here, the journey continues in Toronto as Michael checks in and Jarrod shares photos he’s taken. 

 

‘We The North’

The flight from Chicago to Toronto is a short hop across the Great Lakes. Toronto is a sprawling metro area with more rural countryside than I expected. Those that get to have a second home in the country call it a “cottage” up here.

Toronto, Canada

Toronto, Canada

Toronto, Canada

Toronto, Canada

This was the first time I have been to Eastern Canada. The city is a combination of modern and historical buildings and traffic is congested most times of the day. Just like everywhere else in the world, everybody complains how bad it is as new high rises pop up in the center of town.

 

Innovation Hub

Noble visited our client Autodesk Research here. This is the headquarters for the division that innovates 3D design technology for the giant software maker. Noble just completed a relaunch of the Autodesk Research website.

Toronto, Canada

The research division is in the process or relocating to an emerging research park in Toronto. The MaRS Discovery District is the innovation hub in the city. An historical location for medical research dating back to the 1800s, the park now houses some of the most innovative companies in Canada including Airbnb, Facebook, and startups galore. The park is adjacent to University of Toronto and its affiliated teaching and research hospitals, which are in the top three North American institutions for medical research.

Toronto, Canada

Autodesk has secured a ground-floor prime location that will eventually become a huge consumer activation area. The space will allow visitors and residents alike can interact with Autodesk technology and better understand real-world applications. This will build on the success of the Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco. Check out either space if you are in either city.

Noble is excited about what this project can represent to one of our favorite and longest tenured clients. This is going to be a great challenge for our collective teams in figuring out a digital web-based extension to the physical location. The build out for the new Autodesk space should be done by Fall 2016.

It is clear that Toronto is continuing to build on the promise of being an east coast tech hub. This place feels like it’s positioned to be the next big thing and is ready to explode. I had not heard that they have a music festival called NXNE that is similar to the Austin, Texas counterpart.

Toronto, Canada

 

Exploring Toronto

Toronto is cold in the winter. Biting cold that now makes me laugh at what we call winter in the west.

Got to check out a Toronto Raptors basketball game in the Air Canada Center. It is just as sexy as it looked during the NBA All-Star Game just a few weeks ago. LeBron James and the Cavaliers were in town. One of the top three games I have ever seen in person with the Raptors pulling out the win on a last second shot by Kyle Lowry. Throughout the building, the Canadians have adopted the mantra of “We the North.” Canada is cool again, or at least we are remembering it as such. I have to say, it’s a nice marketing campaign and merchandising. Makes me miss having a professional sports team in Nevada.

Toronto, Canada

The next morning, we walked most of the urban core. Toronto is dense with colleges and university locations in the town. The institutions vary from modern to historic. Many of the buildings look like colonial outposts or military bunkers from the 19th century.

Toronto is very diverse. Lots of international students are busy studying away on a weekend. Interesting architecture dots the landscape. There is a focus here on mixing modern architecture with historic buildings. The most impressive is the Royal Ontario Museum.

Toronto, Canada

Interesting arts and culture scene in the town. It includes notably unique venues such as the Bata Shoe Museum. Did not think I could be entertained for an hour learning about the history of footwear. My best memory: seeing the shoes worn by Jimmy Stewart and Judy Garland. There’s something very grounding about seeing the shoes worn by historical figures, as though you have experienced an intimate connection with them.

Toronto, Canada

Toronto, Canada

Toronto, Canada

Toronto, Canada

A long day of walking and sampling some scrumptious food ended in a historic part of Toronto called the Distillery District. The buildings housed many of the massive liquor makers of bygone eras in Toronto. In the 1990s, the region saw redevelopment and now houses some of the most interesting shops and culinary stops on the trip. Definitely check this place out when you are here.

Now on to our last stop and more client meetings in New York City.

Toronto, Canada