Director X and Mustafa share their vision of Toronto

Toronto’s tourism marketer Destination Toronto has been sharing a new view of the city, as seen through the lens of two of its proudest creators.

A continuation of the “You Gotta See What We See” campaign launched last year, the new short film is a collaboration between acclaimed director Julien Christian Lutz, known professionally as Director X, and Juno Award-winning singer and songwriter Mustafa.

“To really get Toronto, you need to see it through the eyes of the people who make this city what it is,” said Paula Port, vice-president of global marketing at Destination Toronto. “Toronto is a reflection of its people. Their diverse perspectives and identities infuse the city’s culture, festivals, and food. It’s what makes Toronto unique and special and worthy of a visit.”

The platform, which was developed by Bensimon Byrne, was introduced last year as the city finally started to put pandemic travel restrictions behind it and invited tourists back. In 2019, the last full year before the pandemic, Toronto drew almost two million American travellers, who brought $1.36 billion in spending to the economy.

In five different videos, well-known Toronto natives including MCU star Simu Liu shared “insider” suggestions for things to do and see in the city.

While those videos spotlighted specific tourist attractions, the new video, by Lutz’s production company Fela, feels slightly less literal, but just as loving—a poetic and cinematic ode to Toronto, thanks to Mustafa and Lutz. The campaign began in Late May, targeting New York City, San Francisco/San Jose, Chicago, and Washington DC, with additional collaborations coming later in the summer.

“We’re excited to collaborate with our local creative community in sharing these stories with potential visitors through the You Gotta See What We See series,” said Port.

Last year’s campaign resulted in 39 million video views and 1.2 million website visits.

David Brown