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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.