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Thursday, July 21, 2011
Privatize zoo, councillors urged
The elephants are lucky they’re leaving.
A review of the city’s core services suggests selling the Toronto Zoo.
It’s the latest city asset KPMG recommends the city wash its hands of.
Mayor Rob Ford dodged a question Wednesday about whether he’d sell it.
“This is about priorities and what we can afford,” Ford said when asked directly about the suggested zoo selloff.
At its meeting Thursday, the parks and environment committee will consider pulling the city out of the business of running the Riverdale Farm, the High Park zoo and the Far Enough Farm on Toronto Island.
Councillors on the executive committee will have to mull selling off the Toronto Zoo, too, at next Thursday’s meeting.
Selling the zoo would yield $3.5 million in net savings, according to a confidential document viewed by the Sun.
The zoo won’t be the only city facility that could be up for sale.
Consultants also recommend councillors consider selling one or more of the city’s theatres, specifically the Toronto Centre for the Arts.
Weeks before the Canadian National Exhibition starts, the report recommends councillors think about making the CNE independent from the city.
- Sell the zoo to private owners.
- Partner or give the zoo to the federal government or other governments.
- Create a non-profit entity to run and operate the zoo.
- Integrate finance, infrastructure management and administration services with the city.