Donations safeguarded by Toronto Zoo Foundation

    Agreement with Toronto Community Foundation ensures independent
    stewardship of funds

    TORONTO, May 8 /CNW/ - The Toronto Zoo Foundation today ensured that the
donations with which they were entrusted will go directly toward the causes
intended. The Superior Court of Justice has approved the Toronto Zoo
Foundation's plan to transfer the Foundation's assets to the Toronto Community
Foundation. The funds will be held and administered by Toronto Community
Foundation and used to benefit programs and initiatives at Toronto Zoo.
    "The Foundation is extremely confident in the Toronto Community
Foundation's ability to provide the responsible, independent stewardship of
funds our donors expect and require," said Elizabeth Huggins, Vice-Chair of
the Toronto Zoo Foundation. "With this agreement, the Zoo Foundation has
safeguarded the interests of our donors through the continued independent
management of their gifts."
    In September 2008, following the move by the Toronto Zoo to purportedly
terminate its relationship with the Toronto Zoo Foundation, the Foundation's
volunteer board voted to dissolve the organization pending transfer of
stewardship of the approximately $9 million in assets to a new independent
trustee. The Zoo Foundation applied to the Superior Court of Justice for
direction on this matter in order to ensure that donor funds were handled in
the most appropriate manner for the future.
    The agreement endorsed by the Court today will govern both how the money
is transferred and how it will be disbursed. Currently administering an asset
base of $225 million, the Toronto Community Foundation has, for over 25 years,
been connecting philanthropic individuals and families with a wide range of
charitable organizations that help improve Toronto's quality of life.
    "Through its actions, the Toronto Zoo Foundation has pursued a
responsible and reasonable approach to protecting donor interests," said
Garnet Siddall, long-time Zoo donor. "The Zoo is one of Toronto's crown
jewels, and the direction announced today helps further its continued
    Prior to the transfer of Toronto Zoo Foundation's assets to the Toronto
Community Foundation, the Zoo Foundation's Board of Directors is pleased to
announce its final gift to the zoo of $2.5 million. This significant gift is
made possible by donors to the Foundation and helps establish the new Tundra
Trek Exhibit at the zoo, scheduled to be completed in August 2009. The $12.5
million Tundra Trek is the first of a phased plan to redevelop the North
portion of the Zoo site.
    This recent gift is one of a series of large capital gifts previously
raised by the Foundation, including more than $2 million towards the
establishment of the Kids Zoo in 2001 and $4 million towards the creation of
the African Savanna exhibits at the zoo in 1998.

    The Toronto Zoo Foundation is a volunteer driven registered charity that
was incorporated in 1969. As the original founder of the Zoo, the Foundation
is proud of its 40 year tradition of success, stewardship and fundraising in
support of vital conservation, education and research programs at the Zoo.

For further information:

For further information: Elizabeth Huggins, (416) 421-0074,

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