Toronto Zoo Board Issues Recommendations Including new Governance Model

Plan preserves education and conservation mandates while eliminating financial contributions from City

TORONTO, Sept. 5, 2012 /CNW/ - The Board of Management of the Toronto Zoo today endorsed recommendations regarding the creation of a new governance model for the Toronto Zoo. Largely drawn from a report regarding established best practices for Zoo management, the new model would direct the Toronto Zoo to form an independent Board of Directors under the name the Toronto Zoological Society.

"Today we have put forth recommendations to create a new governance model for the Toronto Zoo. Established best practices from world class zoos throughout North America show that an independent Board of Directors functions efficiently and with clear direction. In essence, they more effectively develop plans that serve zoo core mandates while enhancing its ability to raise funds through sponsorships and charitable donations," said Cal Bricker, Chair, Toronto Zoo Board Governance Subcommittee. "Additionally, our recommendation calls for the elimination of the operating contributions from the City within 10 years."

The report clearly illustrates that 76% of other zoos in North America have already adopted this model with an abundance of success. In almost every case, private donations increased substantially in the immediate year, and every year thereafter, once an independent community based model was adopted.  Correspondingly, the majority of zoos were able to increase attendance under the new management structure.

"The creation of a new governance model is the only foreseeable way to simultaneously decrease the Zoo's financial reliance upon the City of Toronto while serving its responsibilities regarding education, conservation and species preservation," said Joe Torzsok, Chair, Toronto Zoo Board of Management. "Moreover, our ability to develop sustainable relationships with important national and regional partners will allow the Toronto Zoo to continue to evolve to best suit the needs of the community".

To see the full report, go to

About Toronto Zoo:
The Toronto Zoo is Canada's premier zoo and a leader in animal preservation and environmental protection.  More than a tourist attraction, the Toronto Zoo boasts a number of leading programs for helping wildlife and their natural habitats - from species reintroduction to reproductive research.  A world-class educational centre for people of all ages, the Toronto Zoo is open every day except December 25 and attracts approximately 1.3 million visitors each year.

SOURCE: Toronto Zoo

For further information:

Odette Coleman
(416) 315-6343

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