General

High Park Zoo Conservancy: A Partnership Reconnecting the City to the Residents of Toronto

High Park Zoo Conservancy: A Partnership Reconnecting the City to the Residents of Toronto

  • Friends of High Park Zoo Proposes a Public-Private Partnership For High Park Zoo
  • Successfully Executed Our Operating Business Plan, But Capital Investment Remains Challenging
  • No Corporate Partner Is Willing To Risk Their Capital Without Sustainability – the City Has A Role
  • Proposing the City Provides 2014 Zoo Funding While High Park Zoo Conservancy is Consummated

TORONTO, December 1, 2013
Friends of High Park Zoo is today proposing a public-private partnership model – High Park Zoo Conservancy – where the City of Toronto and Friends of High Park Zoo partner to deliver a community Zoo that is both enduring and exceeds residents expectations.

While most Toronto residents saw the budget cuts to High Park Zoo in 2012 as a crisis, Friends of High Park Zoo saw an opportunity. Not only did we see a business opportunity to raise the funding necessary ($228,000 per year) to keep High Park Zoo operating, but the possibility to reconnect the City of Toronto to its residents through the Zoo. We were surprised to find out that at 500,000 visitors per year, High Park Zoo generates 40 times the visitors per hectare per year versus the admission-supported Toronto Zoo.

While Friends of High Park Zoo has been successful in executing on the operating portion of its business plan in the past two years, we have found it challenging to raise impactful capital funding from corporations. No corporation is willing to risk their capital without the City playing an active role to ensure the sustainability of the Zoo. Residents also find it hard to fathom that the Budget Committee and City Council will, if approved for 2014, have raised residential property taxes by 2% or more each year since cutting the funding for High Park Zoo while not restoring $1 of funding for the Zoo.

The status quo is no longer an option. One million residents and visitors have spoken, they expect the City to step up in the 2014 Budget and partner in funding the operating costs of High Park Zoo. Such a partnership would allow Friends of High Park Zoo to focus more on raising capital and other funding with corporations, businesses, foundations and grants for the enhancement (and ultimately the possible self-sustainability) of the Zoo. Our role is to inform the Budget Committee and City Council that the residents of Toronto not only expect their property taxes and the parkland levies from new development to be directed to supporting High Park Zoo but for the City to be part of collaborative business models with private organizations to deliver the services that its residents expect.

In order to achieve this vision, Friends of High Park Zoo is proposing that: (a) the City of Toronto provides the $228,000 of operating costs of High Park Zoo for 2014; and during that period, (b) both partners work toward consummating an agreement to implement a plan that creates the High Park Zoo Conservancy.

For more details of Friends of High Park Zoobs proposal submitted to the Budget Committee, visit

http://www.deondesigns.com/highparkzoo2/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/FoHPZ-Budget-Committee-Submission-High-Park-Zoo-Conservancy-December-1-2013-FINAL-CD.pdf

Read more

Residents of Toronto – Show Your Support For High Park Zoo

Residents of Toronto-Show Your Support For High Park Zoo: 9:30 am December 2-3, 2013

  • Residents of Toronto Show Your Support For High Park Zoo
  • Show Toronto City Council That Funding For High Park Zoo Should Be Restored In The 2014 Budget
  • Speak/Submit and/or Join Us At The Two-Day Public Hearings Beginning 9:30 am on December 2, 2013

TORONTO, November 28, 2013
Friends of High Park Zoo invites residents of Toronto to show their support for High Park Zoo. Residents have the opportunity to show the Budget Committee and Toronto City Council that funding for High Park Zoo should be restored in the 2014 Budget.

At the launch of the 2014 Budget process on Monday November 25, 2013, Friends of High Park Zoo was informed that as part of the Staff Recommended Operating Budget the operating costs of High Park Zoo ($228,000 per year for 2013) were not restored. bWhile disappointed by the oversight by City staff, this is simply the beginning of the process,b says Friends of High Park Zoo. We plan to re-connect the Budget Committee and City Council to the residents of the City by demonstrating what High Park Zoo means to the nearly 500,000 visitors per year.

Friends of High Park Zoo will be submitting a plan that outlines a proposed partnership with the City. bSurly, the Budget Committee can justify 9 cents per resident toward High Park Zoo, the gem of High Park, in the context of the Staff Recommended $9.6 billion 2014 Operating Budget. High Park Zoo generates 40 times the visitors per hectare per year versus the Toronto Zoo and accounts for roughly 40% of the annual visitors to High Park as a whole.

Friends of High Park Zoo notes that the Recommended Operating Budget (before a special tax levy) includes a 1.3% total average tax increase that is to be shouldered by residents while businesses enjoy a tax reduction (2% residential property tax increase and a business reduction of 0.67% for 2014). Residents find it hard to fathom that City Council will, if approved, have raised residential property taxes by 2% or more each year since cutting the funding for High Park Zoo in 2012 (2012 2.5% and 2013 2.0%) while not restoring $1 of funding for the Zoo. To learn more about the City Budget, visit, http://www.toronto.ca/budget2014.

To show the Budget Committee and City Council how important High Park Zoo, which celebrates 120 years in 2013, is to the residents of Toronto, we need supporters to come to the Budget Committee at City Hall (100 Queen St. W. in the Committee Room) beginning at 9:30 am on Monday December 2, 2013 and Tuesday December 3, 2013.

Three Things Residents and Supporters of High Park Zoo Can Do:

  • Speak to the Budget Committee (up to 3 minutes) on why High Park Zoo should be included in the 2014 Budget;
  • Send in a written submission stating the same.
  • Come and show your support by wearing zoo buttons and waving peacock feathers.

You must register to be allowed to speak so please contact the city clerk at buc@toronto.ca as soon as possible. If you are unable to attend you can submit your written submission to the same email address.

Please contact Friends of High Park Zoo at friends@highparkzoo.ca if you are planning to speak.

Thank you for supporting High Park Zoo.

Read more

Santa Visits High Park Zoo – Dec 1, 2013

Friends of High Park Zoo Welcomes Santa to High Park Zoo

Sunday December 1, 2013: 2 pm – 3 pm

  • Friends of High Park Zoo Welcomes Santa to High Park Zoo on Sunday December 1, 2013 2 pm – 3pm
  • Bring The Whole Family to See Santa and Feed the Reindeer at the Zoo
  • Festive Activities, Silent Auction and Refreshments at the Grenadier Restaurant from 2 pm to 5:30 pm

TORONTO, November 27, 2013
Friends of High Park Zoo welcomes Santa back to High Park Zoo on Sunday December 1, 2013 from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm where he will be checking on his reindeer to ensure they are in tip-top shape for Christmas Eve. This is a special event for children and their families to see Santa in person as he tends to his reindeer.

After your visit with Santa at the Zoo, join us back at the Grenadier Restaurant patio for festive activities, a silent auction and refreshments. Our silent auction will feature artwork, clothing and items from our wonderful community supporters:

  • Wallabyb and bWest Highland Cowb metal quill etchings by local artisan Nathan Cole (details below)
  • Friends of High Park Zoo Sugoi running jerseys donated by DiceMark
  • A gift basket from Cheese Boutique
  • One month free video rental membership from FILM BUFF; and
  • More to come!!

Santa knows that these will make ideal Christmas gifts b especially recognizing that proceeds from our silent auction will support High Park Zoo, who compared with the spry Mr. Clause, is celebrating a mere 120 years this year. Friends of High Park Zoo continues to need the support of the community to raise funds to in order to operate the Zoo.

Other festivities at the Grenadier Restaurant patio are part of the 2nd Annual High Park Christmas Celebrations (sponsored by highpark.org and the High Park Resource Group) and run from 2:00 pm to 5:30 pm. These include: traditional holiday carols, hot chocolate and cookies, face painting, make a decoration, a Toronto Fire Truck. All this will be topped off with a tree lighting at 5:30 pm.

 

About Nathan Cole

Nathan Cole is an editor at Marketwired and a fine artist living in the Roncevalles neighbourhood in Toronto. Nathan has had shows in both London, ON and Toronto for both his paintings and photography work.

Currently his focus is animal portraits, done using a metal quill to etch an image on a pre-inked black scratchboard. Nathan is creating one-of-a-kind works that will be auctioned off to raise money for the High Park Zoo. He has donated two works, Wallab and Highland Cow, for their December 1st auction and tree-lighting at the Grenadier Cafe. All the animal subjects are based off ones that are found at High Park Zoo.

http://society6.com/NathanCole/The-Wallaby_Print#1=45

http://society6.com/NathanCole/West-Highland-Cattle-Scratch-Art-High-Park-Zoo_Print#1=45

Read more

Thank You For Your Support at STWM

Friends of High Park Zoo Welcomed Runners from The World, THANK YOU

  • Friends of High Park Zoo Welcomed Runners from Across Toronto, Canada and the World
  • Fun Was Had By the Whole Family. We Cheered on 25,000 Runners and Enjoyed Free, Live Entertainment & Refreshments
  • Raffle for great prizes included a Danier Leather Jacket was held on October 27, 2013
  • See you next year at Ellis Ave. & Lakeshore Blvd. Sunday October 19, 2014, 8:45 am-11:15 am

TORONTO, November 1, 2013
Friends of High Park Zoo on behalf of the neighbourhood of Swansea-Bloor West Village-High Park was pleased to host a Neighbourhood Cheering Section for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on Sunday October 20, 2013. This was followed up by a raffle at our 120th Birthday Party on Sunday October 27, 2013.

The marathon, our cheering section and subsequent raffle were outstanding successes. We would like to thank the hundreds who turned out to cheer on the runners, our volunteers, our sponsors and supporters (listed below), our entertainment and our marathon champions. In addition to raising awareness and support for High Park Zoo, we raised thousands of dollars for High Park Zoo. bThe community came out in full support which was just wonderful,b says Simone Stock, vice-chair of Friends of High Park Zoo board and NCE3 Cheering Section lead organizer. bWe really had a ball. I can’t wait to start planning next year event!

We invite everyone to join us in cheering runners at the 2014 Scotiabank Marathon to be held on October 19, 2014. Bring the family down to Ellis Ave. & Lakeshore Blvd., at the 13K mark and cheer on more than 25,000 runners as they race through our neighbourhood. There will be free entertainment, including singers, dancers and a DJ, and refreshments. For sponsors, this is a great way to connect with the residents of Swansea-Bloor West-High Park. Interested sponsors for 2014 can contact us at: sponsors@highparkzoo.ca

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon 2013 NCE3 Sponsors and Supporters:

EmuB Sponsors

Dicemark 5_72dpis

Wallaby Sponsors

HighPark Org

new_logo_ca

125 The Queensway Unit B2 M8Y 1H6

 

Supporters

Danier Leather

The Film Buff

The Grenadier Group

Lardon Restaurant

Pizzeria Defina

Rowe Farms

She Said Boom

The Westerly Restaurant

The Wine Shop (Bloor West Village)

Tim Hortons

Total Two Way

Read more

FoHPZ Welcomes Runners

Friends of High Park Zoo

Welcomes Runners from The World, Come Cheer with Us

  • Friends of High Park Zoo welcome runners from across Toronto, Canada and the world
  • Fun for the Whole Family. Cheer on 25,000 Runners. Free, Live Entertainment & Refreshments
  • Raffles for great prizes including a Danier Leather Jacket
  • Ellis Ave. & Lakeshore Blvd. Sunday October 20, 2013, 8:45 am-11:15 am

TORONTO, October 8, 2013
Friends of High Park Zoo on behalf of the neighbourhood of Swansea-Bloor West Village-High Park is pleased to invite everyone to our Neighborhood Cheering Section for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on Sunday October 20, 2013.

We invite everyone to celebrate the Zoo’s 120th year with us by cheering runners at the Scotiabank Marathon. Bring the family down to Ellis Ave. & Lakeshore Blvd., at the 13K mark and cheer on 25,000 runners as they race through our neighbourhood. There will be free entertainment, including singers, dancers and a DJ, and refreshments.

Come help us be the best Neighbourhood Cheering Centre by cheering our Neighbourhood Champions and the thousands of runners. There are cash prizes (as determined by a panel of celebrity judges) for the best Cheering Centre based on the most people, most noise, best costumes and best entertainment. We will have thundersticks, pom-poms and cow bells to help us amp it up at NCE #3.

High Park Zoo costs only $228,000 a year to operate and is a long-standing family tradition in Toronto b in fact it has been for 120 years. The Zoo began as a deer pen and bird aviary in 1893 at a time when gas lamps lit the city streets and Torontobs streetcars where pulled by horses. Today the Zoo is the gem of High Park and attracts over 400,000 visitors annually (more than double the population of Toronto in 1893) and is older than prominent Toronto landmarks such as Massey Hall and Old City Hall. Friends of High Park Zoo has been raising the funds required to keep the Zoo operating after the City of Toronto cut funding for the Zoo in 2012.

Our most recent awareness and fundraising initiative celebrates 120 years of High Park Zoo and is two-fold: webre seeking support from the Zoobs visitors by signing a petition to keep the Zoo open and we hope to raise $120,000 to cover the remainder of the Zoo annual operating cost. As of the end of September we still needed to raise $65,000 to meet this goal. With the support of a growing petition of nearly 25,000 visitors we are pressing to partner with the City to restore operating funding while we raise funds to make much-needed capital investments at the Zoo.

In addition cheering with us on Sunday October 20th, there are two ways to support Friends of High Park Zoo for the 2013 Scotiabank Marathon:

(1) Pledge a donation now to support one of our Neighbourhood Champions (High Park NCE3) for the October 20th race: http://www.torontowaterfrontmarathon.com/en/nchamps.htm

(2) Make a donation directly to Friends of High Park Zoo through Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation (our partner and registered charity): https://www.donationaid.com/high-park-zoo

 

Read more

FoHPZ Says Hello World, Again!

Welcome to Friends of High Park Zoo’s new website!

Read more

FoHPZ Unveils Vision, Mission and Values

Friends of High Park Zoo Unveils Its Vision, Mission and Values

  • Friends of High Park Zoo Takes Another Important Step as an Organization
  • Formation of Vision, Mission and Values Culminated at a Recent Board Retreat
  • Our Vision, Mission, Values form the Basis of Who We Are, What We Do and How We Operate

 

TORONTO, September 10, 2013
Friends of High Park Zoo is pleased today to unveil its Vision, Mission and Values. These strategic cornerstones are an important step in the evolution of Friends of High Park Zoo. They form the basis of who we are, what we do and how we operate. These were formed (and subsequently ratified and adopted) at a recent Board retreat where Board members and volunteers collaborated to establish these foundational components of Friends of High Park Zoo.

Specifically, Friends of High Park Zoo Vision, Mission and Values are:

VISION: To ensure there is always a free community zoo in High Park for families to enjoy.

MISSION: To enhance High Park Zoo for the benefit of all visitors by leading activities that engage the community, while promoting education, awareness and fundraising for the Zoo.

VALUES:

Accountable - we will be responsible, transparent and accountable to all of our stakeholders

Professional - we will at all times conduct ourselves in a manner that is both professional and respectful

Collaborate - we will work collectively with each other and others in order to achieve our goals

Community oriented - we will engage in initiatives and activities that support High Park Zoo and the community

 

Chris Diceman, from Friends of High Park Zoo board of directors notes, “We are pleased to take this step today in solidifying Friends of High Park Zoo Vision, Mission and Values. It’s an important step in the evolution and strategic direction of our organization. While we are a relatively new not-for-profit organization (NPO), our Vision, Mission and Values establish the long terms goals, direction and tone of our organization. These strategic factors help to form the foundation to enable us to explore additional sources of revenue to ensure High Park Zoo continues operating for families 120 years from now.

The elegance of our Vision is its simplicity. This also reflects the purpose of our organization. Furthermore, ba free community zoo in High Park for families to enjoy echoes back to John George Howard’s gift of High Park to the City of Toronto. The park which was bequeathed to the City in 1873 later established a deer pen in 1893. Now 120 years later, High Park Zoo thrives with eleven pens that house a variety of animal species from around the world. We envision that there will always be a Zoo in High Park for families to enjoy.

Our Mission builds on our Vision and effectively lays out how Friends of High Park Zoo will achieve its Vision. We will enhance the Zoo for all visitors by leading activities that engage the community, while promoting education, awareness, and fundraising for Zoo. Said differently, we will work to ensure we enhance and promote the Zoo for all visitors.

Our Values represent how we will conduct ourselves as an organization and individuals. We strive to: be accountable to all our stakeholders, always be professional, collaborate to reach our common goals and be community oriented in everything that we do.

Read more

Grandparents Day at High Park Zoo

Join Friends of High Park Zoo For:

Grandparents Day at High Park Zoo

Sunday September 8, 2013 11:00 am to 3:00 pm

  • Come Celebrate Grandparents Day at High Park Zoo b Runs from 11 am to 3 pm
  • We Will Have both Animal and Special Activities For Visitors of All Ages
  • High Park Zoo is celebrating 120 years in 2013. Support our 120 Years of High Park Zoo Initiative

= Donate online through TPTF to ensure that High Park Zoo is here for another 120 years

 

TORONTO, August 30, 2013
Friends of High Park Zoo today invites all Grandparents and their families to celebrate Grandparents Day on Sunday September 8, 2013 at High Park Zoo. Come visit our wonderful animals such as our llama Honey, our wallaby Zoomer and all of their High Park Zoo friends. We will have special activities including a fire truck and storyteller that will appeal to the kid in all of us. Also representatives from CARP will be in attendance.

Please don’t forget that we need your help to support the Zoo which is funded by donations received by Friends of High Park Zoo. Support our 120 Years of High Park Zoo initiative where our goal is to raise $120,000 needed for the Zoo’s continued operations which cost $228,000 annually. Major benefactors to date in 2013 include: the Honey Family Foundation ($50,000), Moses Znaimer ($10,000), CUPE 79 ($7,000), and Grenadier Group ($5,000).

Our initiative has a dual focus. Firstly, we need the support of the thousands of visitors to the Zoo in order to ensure the Zoobs operating costs go back into the 2014 City budget. Please sign our petition (on location or online at highparkzoo.ca) to ensure the City is aware of our request. Secondly, we need to raise $120,000 to ensure the Zoo continues to service our community for another 120 years. Please continue to support High Park Zoo by donating directly or through the Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation for a charitable tax receipt.

Our 120 Years of High Park Zoo not only celebrates the longevity and legacy of High Park Zoo, one of the oldest zoos in North America and one where admission is free, it seeks the support from the thousands of visitors who enjoy the Zoo each year.

Funds to operate the Zoo were provided by the City of Toronto through two World Wars, the Great Depression and all through the economic ups and downs of the last half century. Only in 2012 did the City eliminate funding for the Zoo. Since then Friends of High Park Zoo has stepped in to raise the funds to keep the Zoo operating.

Read more

120 Years of High Park Zoo

Join Friends of High Park Zoo’s New Initiative: 120 Years of High Park Zoo

  • High Park Zoo is celebrating 120 years in 2013
  • Following our successful Honey Family Foundation Matching Initiative (raising $103,387), support Friends of High Park Zoo’s 120 YEARS OF HIGH PARK ZOO Initiative
  • Help us ensure High Park Zoo is around for another 120 years. Friends of High Park Zoo needs to raise $228,000 for zoo operations in 2013
  • Donate online through Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation to ensure that High Park Zoo is here for another 120 years

 

TORONTO, August 27, 2013 – Friends of High Park Zoo today announces the launch of our new initiative: 120 Years of High Park Zoo. Our successful Honey Family Foundation Matching initiative which concluded on June 15, 2013 raised $103,387 since January 12, 2013. With additional funds raised subsequently, the goal for our 120 Years of High Park Zoo initiative is to raise $120,000 to, in aggregate, raise the $228,000 needed for the Zoo’s continued operations and enhancement to the Zoo.

Our 120 Years of High Park Zoo initiative will not only celebrate the longevity and legacy of High Park Zoo, one of the oldest zoos in North America and one where admission is free, it will seek support from the thousands of visitors who enjoy the Zoo each year to ensure it is here for at least another 120 years. Funds to operate the Zoo were provided by the City of Toronto through two World Wars, the Great Depression and all through the economic ups and downs of the last half century. Only in 2012 did the City eliminate funding for the Zoo. Since then Friends of High Park Zoo has stepped in to raise the funds to keep the Zoo operating. However, we continue to need the support of the Zoo’s visitors and the residents of Toronto.

Friends of High Park Zoo’s 120 Years of High Park Zoo initiative will focus on two factors. Firstly, we need the support of thousands of visitors and residents to help ensure we get the Zoo’s operating costs back into the City’s budget for 2014. Please sign our petition (physical or online) to ensure the City is aware of our request. Secondly, we need to raise $120,000 to ensure the Zoo is around for another 120 years. Please continue to support High Park Zoo by donating through the Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation. In the coming weeks we will announce more activities, events and further support.

Thank you once again to the Honey Family Foundation for their $50,000 match for 2013. With the support of visitors from Toronto and beyond we reached, in fact surpassed, that goal,b says Councillor Sarah Doucette, who is an ex-officio board member of Friends of High Park Zoo. bNow we are looking to make sure the zoo is around for another 120 years by asking residents to sign the petition asking the City to restore the funding of the Zoo in the 2014 budget. With restored funding any extra funds that Friends of High Park Zoo has raised will then be used to enhance the Zoo.b

Friends of High Park Zoo note that supporting the Zoo for visitors has become easier this summer thanks to Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation’s Donation Station program. The two stations in High Park are located outside the Llama Pen and outside the Grenadier CafC). These specifically programmed parking machines, which accept cash or credit cards, will immediately issue supporters of High Park Zoo a printed voucher. This voucher can then be redeemed online for a charitable tax receipt for donations over $10.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/585/551/096/restore-funding-to-the-high-park-zoo/

Read more

Llama Pen Activities

Friends of High Park Zoo invites visitors of all ages to join us at High Park Zoo, celebrating its 120th year, this weekend.

VISIT:B While the Zoo is open every day from 7:00 am to dusk, come get closer with the animals this weekend in the Llama Pen.B Friends of High Park Zoo volunteers open the Llama Pen weekends and statutory holidays from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm (beginning in March until the end of October) allowing visitors to feed and pet the llamas (Honey and her friends) and interact with other animals such as chickens, rabbits, wallabies (Zoomer, Aussie and their friends) and capybaras.

VOLUNTEER: Volunteers are needed at High Park Zoo to support these activities.B If you are interested, email us at: friendsofhighparkzoo@gmail.com

DONATE:B Friends of High Park Zoo was formed in 2012 to raise the necessary funds to ensure that the Zoo stays open.B The Zoo costs only $228,000 for 2013, or 9 cents per Toronto resident to operate for an entire year.B Donations to support High Park Zoo can be made through Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation online, onsite or by mailing a cheque. Donate online at: torontoparksandtrees.org/high-park-zoo and click bb&donating nowb

Email: friendsofhighparkzoo@gmail.com

Read more