Chrissy Van from the Weather Network visited High Park Zoo on August 29, 2014.
Click here to see the video of Chrissy Van with Noel the reindeer!
July 11, 204: Bloor West Villager
The Friends of High Park Zoo is looking for a few good runners (or not-so-good runners).
The group is seeking runners in this year’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon to run and fundraise in the name of animals that call the zoo home.
Consider this: the Toronto Zoo attracted as many as 1.4 million visitors last year while the High Park Zoo, at a fraction of the size, attracted more than 500,000 visitors in 2013, said Friends of High Park Zoo vice-chair Simone Stock.
Torontonians managed successfully to keep the zoo from closure in the wake of the citybs decision to cut funding in 2012, raising more than $340,000 to keep the zoo in operation over the past two years. Since the zoo’s funding was restored at the end of January, Friends has turned its attention to capital projects to enhance and sustain the facility.
“The zoo is desperate for capital improvements,” Stock said.
The goal is to enhance the zoo for both animals and visitors. This includes creating a much larger watering hole for the llamas so they can cool off in hot weather and update their stable.
The goal is also to re-do the surface of the front of the pen where visitors go in to feed the llamas,
The Friends of High Park Zoo is in the midst of a fundraising match campaign with help from the Honey Family Foundation.
Over the past two years, the Honey Family Foundation matching initiatives have raised more than $200,000 in support of the zoo. This year, the organization has agreed to increase the size of the matching program by 20 per cent to $60,000. If friends can raise $60,000 by the end of June, the Honey Family Foundation will match the funds for a total of $120,000.
Friends is just under half way to reaching its goal of $60,000. Given the late start this year due to weather, the deadline has been extended to July 31.
As part of the annual waterfront marathon, the Friends of High Park Zoo will host a neighbourhood cheering section to encourage not only those running in the name of the zoo, but all participants on Oct. 14.
“It’s a fun, community event that takes place on the waterfront,” Stock said.
Anyone interested in running for the High Park Zoo can contact Stock atB firstname.lastname@example.org
For further details, visitB www.highparktoronto.com/zoo
Click here to see the article by Inside Toronto.
B High Park Zoo Llama Pen will be open on Victoria Day weekend, including Monday May 19th from 11am to 2pm to allow the public to interact directly with the llamas, capybaras, rabbit and baby chicks at High Park Zoo. Visitors can feed and pet the llamas, and kids can color in the craft area at the Llama Pen. They can also see the baby animals born this spring, including a reindeer, highland calf and Barbary sheep.
High Park Zoo is open from 7am until dusk with free admission. The Zoo is home to a variety of animal species from around the world including bison, llamas, peacocks, reindeer, highland cattle, emus and sheep. This community Zoo has been open for 120 years and is one of the oldest zoos in North America.
The Zoo is located in High Park, Toronto’s largest public park. The May long weekend is the perfect opportunity to visit the Zoo and see the cherry trees begin to bloom. As the park will be very busy with people visiting to see the cherry blossoms, use of the TTC, walking or cycling is recommended for easy access to the park.
High Park is a great place for all kinds of visitors: children, adults, and even four legged friends. The Jamie Bell Adventure Playground is a fantastic place for kids, located near High Park Zoo. Visitors can also explore nature trails to connect them to the dog parks, tennis courts, baseball diamond, and much more included in the park.
Friends of High Park Zoo collects donations to help support and enhance the Zoo. Through the Honey Family Foundation Matching initiative for 2014, donations made to the Zoo by June 30th will be doubled. If Friends of High Park Zoo goal of $60,000 is raised by the end of June, the Honey Family Foundation will match the funds for a total of $120,000. Donations raised will be used to improve High Park Zoo, starting with refurbishing and building new additions to the llama pen.
In order to be eligible for the Honey Family Foundation Matching initiative, a donation can be made through Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation (TPTF) online or onsite at the Donation Stations. For more information about High Park Zoo, please visit www.HighParkZoo.ca.
March 5, 2014
Bloor West Villager
By Lisa Rainford
Friends of High Park Zoo has launched its 2014 fundraising match campaign with help from the Honey Family Foundation.
Since the zoo’s funding was restored at the end of January, Friends is turning its attention to capital projects to enhance and sustain the zoo.
“This initiative is critical since no capital funding has been allocated to the zoo in the city budget; help us ensure High Park Zoo is around for another 120 years,” said the group in a statement.
Over the past two years, the Honey Family Foundation matching initiatives have raised more than $200,000 in support of the zoo. This year, the organization has agreed to increase the size of the matching program by 20 per cent to $60,000. If Friends can raise $60,000 by the end of June, the Honey Family Foundation will match the funds for a total of $120,000. This coincides with the zoo’s legacy of 120 years.
Proceeds from this initiative will help to enhance the zoo and will be directed exclusively toward improving High Park Zoobs llama pen b llama Honey’s home.
To make a donation, visit torontoparksandtrees.org/high-park-zoo
Donations of $10 or more will receive a tax receipt.
More than 24,300 signatures presented in petitions offering support
January 31, 2014
Bloor West Villager
By Lisa Rainford
Toronto city council officially reinstated the High Park Zoo’s annual operating cost of $228,000 when it finalized the 2014 budget Thursday, Jan. 30.
Calling council’s decision bbrilliant news,b Parkdale-High Park Councillor Sarah Doucette said she presented petitions boasting more than 24,300 signatures in support of the zoo, including more than 950 from children. It took Doucette and two of her colleagues to carry the pile into council.
bYou couldn’t see me behind my desk,b she said.
Friends of High Park Zoo, organized in the wake of the city’s decision to cut funding in 2012, raised more than $340,000 to keep the zoo in operation over the past two years.
“Thank you to our visitors, volunteers and all of our stakeholders for helping to raise awareness and support for High Park Zoo over the past two years,b said Chair John Formosa in a statement. bWith over one million visitors passing through the gates since the beginning of 2012, Toronto residents have shown that the 120-year-old High Park Zoo is a valuable resource that should be supported by their tax base.”
Now that operating funding has been restored to the zoo, Friends of High Park Zoo said it will be looking to include capital project fundraising this year in an effort to improve and enhance the zoo b this in addition to running the llama pen and other family activities throughout the year. The goal is to make the zoo more accessible to the public, improving the animal paddocks and creating more educational components for visitors.
Even though funding has been restored, the Friends’ vision remains unchanged: bTo ensure there is always a free community zoo in High Park for families to enjoy.b
Its mission is bto 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.b
December 2, 2013
Bloor West Villager
By Lisa Rainford
Friends of High Park Zoo has submitted a proposal to the city’s budget committee to create a public-private partnership model to ensure the zoo remains open for years to come.
The group is proposing establishing a High Park Zoo Conservancy in an effort to provide a zoo that is enduring and exceeds visitors’ expectations.
“This is our idea on how to make the zoo sustainable,b said Friends of High Park Zoo spokesperson Chris Diceman on Monday, Dec. 2 as public deputations continued at the budget committee at city hall. bThe city alone can’t fund the zoo.”
The High Park Zoo has been operating for the past two years without city funding and the budget committee has not included it again for 2014, pointed out Diceman.
“The status quo is not an option. We need to propose restoring funding as well as a bigger picture option,b said Diceman, adding the proposal should be received bfavourably.”
According to Friends of High Park Zoo research, the zoo attracts as many as 500,000 visitors per year, 40 times the visitors per hectare per year versus the admission-supported Toronto Zoo. The group has successfully raised enough money to keep the zoo open for the past two years, however, has found it challenging to entice money from corporations.
“No corporation is willing to risk its capital without the city playing an active role to ensure the sustainability of the zoo” said Friends in a statement.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 two per cent or more each year since cutting the funding for High Park Zoo while not restoring $1 of funding for the zoo.”
Friends, along with Parkdale-High Park Councillor Sarah Doucette, called on zoo supporters to attend the budget committee meeting Monday, Dec. 2 and Tuesday, Dec. 3 and to make a deputation about why the zoo should be back in the citybs budget. Its annual operating cost is $228,000. People were also invited to make a written submission or show support at the meeting by wearing zoo buttons or by waving a peacock feather.
Friends of High Park Zoo are calling on 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 the organization 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.
Friends is proposing the city provide the $228,000 in operating costs for 2014 while both partners work toward consummating an agreement to implement a plan that creates a High Park Zoo Conservancy.
Established in 1893 for deer, the zoobs animal paddocks have always been a popular attraction. Today, 120 years later, the zoobs 11 paddocks are home to a variety of animal species from around the world, including bison, llamas, peacocks, reindeer, highland cattle, wallabies, emus and sheep. The zoo is free to the public. For further details about the Friends of High Park Zoobs proposal submitted to the budget committee, visit www.highparkzoo.ca
The fate of the 120-year-old zoo remains uncertain.
December 2, 2013
By Sarah Sweet, Torontoist
A Highland calf. Photo from the Friends of High Park Zoo Facebook page.
There have been animals at High Park since 1893, when a group of deer was invited to take up residence there. Those deer set a trend, because the High Park Zoo now features a whole lot of creatures including bison, llamas, wallabies, and capybaras (the noble giant guinea pigs of the animal kingdom)bwho are visited by an estimated 500,000 people each year. In 2012, though, the future of the zoo and its many inhabitants was thrown into doubt when the City, looking to reduce its bottom line, cut funding for the attraction.
The zoo was able to remain open because the non-profit group Friends of High Park Zoo dedicated itself to raising the nearly $230,000 needed to keep it up and running. The Friends have received financial support from big-name donors (like the Honey Family Foundation and Moses Znaimer) and from generous zoo-lovers who donate through Friends of High Park Zoo, the Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation, and automated donation stations set up in the park itself.
But Friends board member and city councillor Sarah Doucette (Ward 13, ParkdalebHigh Park) was hoping the group wouldn’t be forced to fund the park again this year. bVolunteers have worked so hard, and they’ve done a brilliant job,b she says. “Can you really ask them to do it indefinitely?”
It seems the City intends to do just that: the $228,000 needed to cover the annual cost of three full-time animal attendants, maintenance, and animal upkeep doesn’t appear in next year’s draft budget.
Doucette isnbt ready to give up on getting the zoo written into the 2014 budget quite yet. She and Friends of High Park Zoo are inviting zoo-lovers to show up at budget committee meetings on December 2 and 3 to voice their support and help advocate on behalf of a new plan, which would see the City once again take on the zoo’s operating costs while the Friends concentrate on rounding up funds for capital projects. (The llamas would benefit from a larger area, for example. It seems female llamas don’t always wish to keep company with male llamas.)
If the zoo can make its case between now and January’s city council budget meeting, Doucette’s aim is to have its 2014 funding restored and made retroactive to January 1.
Doucette stresses that it’s in the interests of all Torontonians to secure the future of High Park Zoo. bHigh Park is a destination park,b she says. “And the zoo is part of that destination park. It’s not a ward zoo; it’s a city zoo.”
For more information about how you can get involved, visit the Friends of High Park Zoo or Sarah Doucette’s website.
ZOOMER THE WALLABY IS OFFICIALLY NAMED AT TORONTO’S HIGH PARK ZOO
Posted on October 28, 2013 by Jane Brown
A baby wallaby at Toronto’s High Park Zoo has officially been named Zoomer after Moses Znaimer’s company ZoomerMedia. “Webll come and visit her regularly,b said Moses at Sunday’s naming ceremony, bI can see her on a big billboard!”
Moses attended the naming ceremony yesterday at High Park, along with zoo activist, Parkdale-High Park Councillor Sarah Doucette. ZoomerMedia donated $10,000 toward the Honey Family Foundation earlier this year, to help the Zoo stay open after funding was cut off by the City of Toronto. Sean Lee is one of many Toronto residents who regularly brings his kids to see the animals at the High Park Zoo. His family is happy that Zoomer has her name. “I think it’s a great name for a great animal. My kids love watching the wallabies!”
The High Park Zoo is celebrating its 120th anniversary this year. It’s the oldest zoo in North America.
– See more at: http://www.zoomerradio.ca/news/latest-news/zoomer-the-wallaby-is-officially-named-at-torontos-high-park-zoo/#sthash.dHTKUTbo.dpuf
Peter Kuitenbrouwer | 25/10/13 | Last Updated: 25/10/13 6:29 PM ET
The Ontario government will give $5.5-million a year to the Ontario SPCA to create a bspecial investigations unit that will lead enforcement of zoos and aquariums and puppy and kitten mills,b Madeleine Meilleur, minister of community safety, told reporters at the High Park Zoo Friday morning.
The OSPCA will also use the cash to also set up a round-the-clock call centre to help enforce animal welfare rules.
The government also announced a voluntary registration regime for the 60 zoos and aquariums in Ontario.
bA fair and just society must protect the animals who live among us,b Ms. Meilleur said, while llama and geese looked on from a pen behind her. Honking from the geese drowned out some of her remarks.
Rob Godfrey, chair of the Ontario SPCA, called the announcement ba watershed moment.
bIt is our job to protect those in our society who do not have a voice,b Mr. Godfrey said. bWe will now have a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week call centre to take calls of abuse and neglect. It is this minister and this government that have taken the first step.b
The OSPCA will schedule inspections at zoos and aquariums twice a year, Mr. Godfrey said. He said there could also be surprise inspections.
Ms. Meilleur said the province would establish standards of care for all marine mammals in captivity.
bI care deeply for these wonderful creatures, including whales, dolphins and seals,b she said.
Asked about Kiska, a killer whale at Marineland who has suffered in captivity, according to news reports, Mr. Godfrey said, “We are looking at engaging an expert to look at what the proper move is for standards of care.”
Ms. Meilleur added, bI am expecting the report from the expert in June.b
Cheri DiNovo, the local MPP for High Park, who is a New Democrat, told reporters that bmore money is not going to solve the problem. What we need is a law change.
She added that, “Whistleblowers [of conditions at Marineland] are being sued and nobody has supported them.”
By: Linda Diebel Canada, Politics Liam Casey, Published on Fri Oct 25 2013
The province has introduced sweeping reforms to protect animal welfare in Ontario.
Changes, revealed Friday morning by the Star, include more power and money for the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, twice-a-year inspections of all zoos and aquariums in the province and specific standards of care for the well-being of marine mammals.
The changes, more than a year in the making, were announced Friday by Community Safety Minister Madeleine Meilleur. Her ministry is responsible for the OSPCA.
“It’s just the start,” said Meilleur, at times drowned out by the geese at a morning press conference at the High Park Zoo.
Meilleur began a review of animal laws in Ontario in the wake of a Star series in which former trainers blamed health problems at Marineland on sporadically poor water and insufficient staffing. John Holer, owner of the Niagara Falls animal park, has always denied any problems or staffing shortages. He told the Star last year that bwe take care of the animals better than I would take care of myself.
The changes, including more power and money for the OSPCA, have been more than a year in the making.
Meilleur said of the Star investigation: “If it weren’t for their work, we wouldn’t be here today.”
Meilleur told the Star she quickly realized the OSPCA lacked the power and ability to deal with the kind of large, complex investigations the province now requires.
Ontario will give the OSPCA $5.5 million annually to bcreate a team of specially trained investigators’ to inspect the province’ 60 zoos and aquariums, which in future will be registered. The team will also deal with bpuppy and kitten mills,b and the OSPCA will bprovide regular progress reports to the government.
The marine mammal standards are being drafted by a team of experts, with a deadline of June 2014. In the meantime, inspections of marine parks will be carried out under the existing animal laws of Ontario.
“Our government cares very deeply for the well-being of animals wherever they live in this province,” said Meilleur. The money will help enforce animal welfare laws in under-served areas such as rural and northern communities.
Official inspections are a big change for Ontario.
Currently, the OSPCA goes in only when a problem is reported. Inspections are done every five years by Canadabs Accredited Zoos and Aquariums, the industry’s self-governing association. But it has only eight member facilities in the province.
The government’s goal is bensuring animals live free from abuse and neglect,b said a ministry statement obtained by the Star.
The OSPCA will implement a 911-style phone dispatch service to provide around-the-clock response to reports of animal abuse throughout the province.
Revamping the rules was a massive task for Meilleur, who consulted cabinet colleagues, travelled across the province talking to industry officials, animal welfare activists and whistleblowers, and dealt with a labyrinth of competing interests and legal problems.
The ministry looked hard at licensing zoos and aquariums b her first choice b but it would have required legislation. That would have been time-consuming and might have failed in a minority Liberal government.
Instead, Meilleurbs team decided to set up a registry immediately with twice yearly inspections, which a ministry aide described as breal surprise visits.b That route doesn’t require a new law.
bItbs a registry b for now,b said the aide, bWebll be closely examining it and, if it’s not working, webll move forward with a bill. In practice, it’s the same as a licensing regime.b
The aide was unclear about how or if results of inspections would be released to the public. The source said one idea bandied about was Toronto’s DineSafe’ program, with restaurants given passes, conditional passes or being closed.
Another major problem was that the OSPCA lacked expertise when dealing with marine mammals, agricultural livestock and exotic animals. The inspectors will get special training.
The OSPCA is a registered private charity that currently receives about $500,000 annually in government funding. The society investigates reports of abuse and neglect and can order changes in animal care or lay charges under both the OSPCA Act and the criminal code.
The aide said the OSPCA signed a contract with the government to cover its new authority and funding, but wouldn’t reveal details. A contract is also being completed with a specialist who will head the marine mammal team.