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Drake may be responsible for 5 percent of Toronto’s $8.8B tourism economy

Drake is a walking economic stimulus package, and Toronto politicians love it

Drake isn’t a just rapper. He’s a walking economic stimulus package.

In his hometown of Toronto, a Drake shoutout can mean an immediate boost for local business. Tourists swarmed Joso’s Restaurant after they realized Drake shot the cover of his Take Care album there, and two years after the Drake and Rihanna “Work” video, tourists are still showing up at The Real Jerk restaurant to ask what kind of roti Drake ordered (chicken).

Recently, politicians are getting proactive about the Drake brand – using the rapper’s name to attract foreign investors. One market analyst gives Drake credit for 5 percent of Toronto’s $8.8 billion tourism industry – meaning that Drake drove at least $440 million to the local economy in the last year alone. And some people think that number might be a bit conservative.

VICE News went to Toronto to see just how much the Drake Effect has changed Canada’s largest city.

This segment originally aired June 3, 2018, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.

Cover image: Drake attends "The Carter Effect" premiere during the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival at Princess of Wales Theatre on September 9, 2017 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)