Urban Wandering: July 2017

BigGreenChair2 As we previously shared, part of our Come Wander activation this summer involves hosting pop-up Urban Wandering Installations in both Ottawa and Toronto. With these installations, we’re taking the beauty, creativity, adventurous spirit, and authentic personality that runs through the forests, flows with the streams, weaves through the communities, and is radiated by the locals of Ontario’s Highlands out of the region and into the city!

The Wanderer travelled to Ottawa July 8 and 9 with our #BigGreenChair in tow to entice urban-dwellers to discover their Inner Wanderer, participate in a pop-up experience, take part in a larger-than-life photo-op, and share their pictures using #ComeWander on social media. BigGreenChair5

Over the course of these two days, the giant “Highlands” deck chair was a huge draw to passersby with more than 800 Come Wander compasses and promotional materials distributed and online buzz created.  This buzz resulted in an increase in both engagement and followers on our social channels as well as a reach of over 65,000 (an increase of more than 400% from the weekend before) for #ComeWander. Throughout the summer, the Urban Installations are targeting each Wandering Persona  to highlight different experiences in Ontario’s Highlands.  Here is an overview of the 2 Ottawa Installations:

  • Saturday July 8 – Britannia Beach – Freedom Finder & Memory Maker 

While children and adults flocked to the #BigGreenChair for pictures, The Wanderer and her team searched for Freedom Finders who were willing to seize the moment and spontaneously go rafting with Wilderness Tours.  A group of 5 people were chosen to immediately set out on a rafting trip on the Ottawa River. biggreenchair6.jpgThe afternoon was spent celebrating Memory Maker experiences by playing washers and ladder ball with beach goers and chatting about the ideology of wandering and escaping the city for summer adventures in Ontario’s Highlands.  As the sun set, the team set up a ‘campfire’ and brought to life the feeling of an evening on the lake with guitars and sing-alongs around the fire.

  • Sunday July 9, 2017 –ByWard Market – Rustic Roamer

Once again, the #BigGreenChair acted as a magnet, drawing in locals and tourists in the ByWard Market.  Rustic Roamer experiences were featured with visitors indulging in the tastes of Lanark County.  Samples of Hummingbird Chocolate and garlic from Two Rivers Food Hub were distributed along with Maplicious Lip Balm made by Fultons.  And to encourage further visitation to the region, free coffee vouchers for Equator Coffee in Almonte were handed out to visitors at the #BigGreenChair.


These buzz-worthy events created dialogue and fostered connections through which we shared the Wandering ideology and encouraged urban-dwellers to enter our Wandering Persona Contest for the chance to further discover their Inner Wanderer in Ontario’s Highlands. We’ve already had more than 460 contest entries since our May launch, and anticipate this number will continue to grow with the Wanderer heading to Toronto on August 5, 6, 7, our continued push of activations to support launch efforts, and the digital ads we’re running on social media and other digital platforms.

As the Wanderer heads west to visit Toronto-dwellers, she’ll be bringing along the #BigGreenChair and setting up the experiences below for the August long weekend.

  • Saturday August 5 – Ontario Place – Rustic Roamer

A Saturday in the park wouldn’t be complete without a picnic. With an expected crowd of 8,000-10,000 mingles through Ontario Place during the Art & Music Ontario festival, we will be right in the thick of it all, encouraging visitors to travel off the beaten path and join us for an artful snack. Visitors will be invited to slow down for a moment and enjoy the unique tastes of our region during an Ontario’s Highlands picnic.

  • Sunday August 6, 2017 – Ontario Place – Creative Cruiser

As Ontario Place celebrates Ontario 150 by inviting people to embrace their artsy side, we will be bringing a piece of Ontario’s Highlands’ artistic vein to the city. Festival goers will be able to express their creativity during an art workshop and not only take home the memories of the day, but a piece of their very own artwork.

  • Monday August 7, 2017 – Trinity Bellwoods Park – Serenity Seeker 

For those city dwellers that won’t be able to escape the city for the long weekend, we are bringing an Ontario’s Highlands escape to them. The uniqueness and tranquility of the Lotus Belle tent will be used to offer a relaxing space, while Gail of Holness Yoga takes Serenity Seekers through sun salutations and tree poses right there in the park!

You can get involved and leverage the buzz created by these Installations by following our social channels and joining the online conversation using #ComeWander to engage with urban-dwellers, share the beauty of Ontario’s Highlands, and invite visitors to wander over to you.

Have a wanderful day,

Julie Mulligan,

Marketing Manager, OHTO

The Wanderer’s Wanderings: July 2017

The smiling face The Wanderer, OHTO’s Brand Ambassador Carly Freeman, is hopefully one you’re familiar with. It’s also one you may see in your business or community this summer, and we hope you’ll take the time to say hello – maybe even the time to offer her an insider’s suggestion for where she should head next.

This summer, she’s embracing the philosophy that sometimes, the most memorable moments happen between the dots on the map.  What does that mean? What will you discover? What will you learn about yourself?  The Wanderer is on the road this summer to discover just that – how those unexpected moments allow you to discover a little something about yourself, allow you to discover your Inner Wanderer.

While most of us probably map out a destination before heading on a journey, it’s the unplanned moments that sometimes leave the most lasting impression.  And while last summer, The Wanderer was tasked with showing what it means to wander, this year she is embarking on a journey, to help others discover their own Inner Wanderers.  Along the way, she will be highlighting the hidden gems, authentic people, and unique experiences that Ontario’s Highlands is known for – live and in real time!

Carly officially kicked off her #WanderingWednesday escapes on June 21, starting with a trip to Lanark County to travel back in time during a walking tour with Classic Theatre Festival and discover the beauty of the Showy Lady Slipper Orchid at Purdon Conservation Area. Throughout the summer, she and her many co-pilots, will be heading off on various trips to gather stories and all the ‘wandering moments’ along the way in order to share the unique experience of Ontario’s Highlands with the consumer.

Be sure to catch her regular #WanderingWednesday feature on both Facebook and Instagram, where she will visit unique experiences in the region, and to follow along with all of Carly’s trips at www.thewanderer.blog or on Ontario’s Highlands Social Media channels.

She’s also setting off on 3 key trips planned this summer. On her first, which took place at the end of June, The Wanderer guided OTMPC Social Media Lead, Carly Kucherenko, on a journey in Ontario’s Highlands with the goal of discovering her Inner Wanderer. The two Carly’s travelled the Ottawa Valley, where they experienced the serenity of Elements Luxury Tented Camp and Nature Spa, tested their nerves at Wilderness Tours, and much more. Experiences from their trip will be shared on The Wanderer’s Blog and were posted to both Ontario’s Highlands and Ontario Travel’s social channels in real time. This was a great opportunity to expand the reach of the Come Wander message and grow our social channels.

The Wanderer will continue hitting the road over the summer with nothing but her sense of discovery, waiting to see what wandering moments she happens upon in between the dots on the map. We hope you’ll follow her journey, laugh with her along the way, and recognize many of the hidden gems she’ll be uncovering.

Happy wandering,

Julie Mulligan,

Marketing Manager, OHTO