In a surprising move to some Toronto Mayor John Tory has stated it’s not in the best interest of Toronto to be supporting an Expo World’s Fair 2025. Now the Mayor is supposed to be relatively neutral on this issue, according to Mayoral etiquette.
Mr. Tory said Wednesday the cash-strapped city could not support a bid for a world’s fair without federal or provincial assurances that those governments would help pay for it, and do so without siphoning away money still needed for the city’s long list of transit and public-housing repair projects.
“I will tell you right now, I am not going to take money out of what we need to fund transit and housing to support an Expo, or just about anything else for that matter,” Mr. Tory told the committee after nearly five hours of presentations from Expo boosters.
Private-sector boosters paid for a feasibility study that concluded Expo 2025 could be held for just $1.9-billion in capital costs, a number that excludes billions needed for flood-protection and other infrastructure in the Port Lands. The event itself would cost another $1.6-billion to run, an amount covered by revenues and corporate sponsors, the report says, adding that it would create jobs and big economic benefits. Other Expos have not been nearly so cheap. Milan’s event in 2015 ended up costing $19-billion (Canadian). Shanghai’s, in 2010, cost an estimated $60-billion.
The late Mayor Rob Ford had a “war on the car” and announced an end to Transit City light rail in Toronto, insisting that subways were the only way to go in the vast metropolitan area. Needless to say the region is paying catch up in bringing the region together and going forward with a transit program. Kudos to the current mayor who is valuing good transit and housing for Torontonians over a world’s fair and the requisite summer party.