PortsToronto Stakeholder Letter from CEO, Geoffrey Wilson on the re-branding of Toronto Port Authority
January 19, 2015
I am proud and excited to announce that today the Toronto Port Authority will rebrand itself PortsToronto. Created by award-winning Canadian advertising agency Ariad Communications, the new PortsToronto name and brand architecture is designed to drive increased awareness and understanding of the organization by strengthening the connection to our consumer businesses – specifically Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, the Port of Toronto and the Outer Harbour Marina – and better reflect the direction and priorities of our organization moving forward.
We made the decision to rebrand in 2012 and began the process of research and consultation to determine the best approach. We chose to launch the brand in early 2015 as it was important for us to have the new brand established prior to the opening of our new pedestrian tunnel at Billy Bishop Airport – a much-anticipated event which will take place in the next few months.
Several key learnings factored into our decision to rebrand. First, research indicated that the Toronto Port Authority name, or TPA as it was often abbreviated, was not resonating with the public. In fact the letters TPA were often confused with other organizations such as the Toronto Police Association, Toronto Parking Authority, Toronto Paramedics Association and others.
Second, there was the expressed desire to have our organization work more collaboratively, transparently and in partnership. Removing the word “authority” was an intentional move to signal our desire to work together with agencies, governments, stakeholders and the community on initiatives that benefit the city. We acknowledge that our desire to work more collaboratively is much more than just a name change. Over the last several months we have worked to put our words into action and the current Environmental Assessment that we are undertaking as part of the Porter Proposal is just one tangible example of how we are engaging with the public, stakeholders and agencies on issues that matter to the people of Toronto. We will strive to do more of this in the future.
Third, there was an opportunity to better link our businesses together. The new name and branding strategy is intended to better communicate what PortsToronto is and does by connecting more directly with the consumer-facing businesses that are known and valued by Torontonians. PortsToronto, in plural, refers to its ownership of both the Port of Toronto and Billy Bishop Airport, our two largest assets.
A vector within the logo represents the various business units using a colour spectrum. The colour scheme in the vector will be reflected in all business-unit branding elements to connect each of the units together and then back to the PortsToronto corporate brand.
Moving forward, PortsToronto will continue to be referred to as Toronto Port Authority in legal documents in accordance with our Letters Patent, but all consumer-facing materials and communications will carry the PortsToronto name.
A press release will be distributed this morning with more information about our rebranding but I wanted to provide you with some advance notice in case you had any questions or require additional information.