Toronto steps closer to killing bid for Expo 2025
After hours of deputations, Toronto's executive committee has taken the recommendations outlined by city staff and voted to not support the development of a bid to host Expo 2025 in the city.
On Friday, city staff released a report outlining why they couldn't responsibly support such a bid. They did, however, recognize the magnitude of such an event, writing, "Expo 2025 has the potential to be the largest and most impactful economic and cultural event held in Canada since Expo '67."
Yet, they had trepidations about securing funding from all three levels of government.
Expo could have cost $6 to $7 billion, a number that included the cost of certain capital projects, such as the development the Port Lands (including flood protection), East Bayfront Transit, the Gardiner East and Lake Shore Boulevard Reconfiguration as well as the construction of the Expo pavilions and grounds.
The staff report also spoke of concerns about whether these projects could be completed on time and the possibility that potential delays might lead to significant cost overruns.
Proponents of Expo 2025 said the benefits of it far outweighed the cost. Along with generating money for the city, Expo advocates said it would help expedite infrastructure projects (like the Port Lands), while thrusting Toronto further into the global spotlight.
Marcello Cabezas, co-chair of Expo Next - a group engaging under 45 and millennials to be inspired by Expo - told us he thought Expo 2025 was a unique opportunity to showcase Toronto as a diverse and technologically advanced city.
"We, in our group, would not be recommending this, if we didn't fundamentally believe this was the best thing for our city and our country."
Earlier tonight, Mayor John Tory put forward a motion to leave council open to considering future Expo bids, like in 2030, for instance. And, the motion regarding whether or not to bid for Expo 2025 still has to go before city council. So hope isn't completely lost for Expo proponents just yet.
Photo by Kelvin Sei in the blogTO Flickr pool.
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