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London, Ont. hopes to bring Olympic trials to the city after Brier’s success

Posted Mar 14, 2023 6:30pm ET

Last weekend the Tim Hortons Brier 2023 came to an end. But the success of the national sporting event has left its mark on the forest town.

Brad Gushue and Team Canada are Canadian men’s curling champions after winning Sunday’s final. Gushue and his Newfoundland team defeated Matt Dunstone and his Manitoba team 7-5.

This is Gushue’s fifth win in the past seven years, making him the most decorated skip in Canadian history.

“It was a group of everyone that came together that made this event so successful,” said Peter Inch, vice chairman for hosting Tim Hortons Brier.

Inch commended the work of the 400 volunteers who took the opportunity to help throughout the Brier.

“They had smiles on their faces, welcoming everyone to the city. Without them, the thornbush would not exist and it was they who made it successful,” said Inch.

The 10-day event brought together some of the best curlers in the country along with over 100,000 visitors, according to organizers.

“This time of year if you look at a Monday or Tuesday afternoon, early March, it’s usually not a very busy day and in some places there were queues out the doors, they couldn’t keep up,” said Zanth Jarvis, director of sports tourism at Tourism London.

London tourism officials said the Brier brought an economic boost of between $10 million and $15 million. However, the economic impact has helped several sectors including hotels, restaurants and local businesses.

“We’ve heard tremendous feedback from local businesses, institutions and even Curling Canada and when we talk about wanting to host future events, they’re ready to come back,” added Jarvis.

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The Brier was a welcome event for business owners who are yet to see pre-pandemic numbers.

“We’ve been busy,” Jim Davies, co-owner of JDee’s Market Grill, told Budweiser Gardens. “We would be empty and the draw would go out and we would be full in 15 minutes.”

Davies told CTV News London that their sales have increased by 300 to 400 per cent in recent weeks thanks to the tourists who have come from the games.

“It definitely reminded us of the days before the pandemic when you see lineups with all the vendors, so there’s activity like this downtown,” said Amy Shackleton, manager of Covent Garden Market.

The vice-chairman hopes hosting an event of this magnitude will help the city attract more events in the future, including the Olympic Trials in 2025.

“I put a sign on the door where they go to the ice cream and say, ‘965 days we’ll see each other again,'” said Inch. “We’ll hopefully make an offer for that, win that and they have back here.”

Team Canada will now represent the country at the Men’s Curling World Championships April 1-9 in Ottawa.

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“It was a group of everyone coming together that made this event so successful,” said Peter Inch, vice-chair of hosting for the Tim Hortons Brier.

Inch applauded the work of the 400 volunteers who jumped at the opportunity to help out throughout the course of the Brier.

“They had smiles on their faces, they welcomed everyone to the city. If it weren’t for them the Brier wouldn't be here and they were the ones that made it successful,” said Inch.

The 10-day event brought with it some of the country’s top curlers along with over 100,000 visitors, according to organizers.

“This time of year when you look at a Monday or Tuesday afternoon, in early March doesn't tend to be a very busy day and there were lines out the doors in some places, they couldn't keep up,” said Zanth Jarvis, director of sports tourism with Tourism London.

London Tourism officials said the Brier brought an economic boost between $10 and $15 million. But the economic impact has helped multiple sectors including hotels, restaurants, and local businesses.

“We’ve heard tremendous feedback from local businesses, establishments, and even curling Canada, when we talk about wanting to host future events they’re ready to come back," Jarvis added.

The Brier was a welcomed event for business owners who still have yet to see pre-pandemic numbers.

“We were busy," said Jim Davies, co-owner of JDee's Market Grill, located across from Budweiser Gardens. "We would be empty and the draw would get out and we’d be full in 15 minutes.”

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Davies told CTV News London their sales were up 300 to 400 per cent over the last few weeks, thanks to tourists coming from the games.

“It definitely reminded us of the pre-pandemic days when you see lineups at all the vendors so having activities like this in the downtown," said Amy Shackleton, manager of the Covent Garden Market.

By hosting an event of this magnitude, the vice-chair hopes it will help the city attract more events in the future including the Olympic trials in 2025.

“I put a sign on the door where they walk to the ice saying, ‘965 days we’ll see you back,'" said Inch. "We’re going to hopefully put a bid for that, win that, and have them back here.”

Team Canada will now represent the country at the World Men’s Curling Championship in Ottawa from April 1 to 9.  

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