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Mayor Ford and Councillor Wong-Tam Make Last Ditch Effort To Save Expo 2025 Bid
Is the World Expo still relevant in the age of the Internet? 73 million visitors in Shanghai say yes

Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam has lead the city’s effort to craft a bid for Expo 2025

After numerous appeals to cabinet ministers, Mayor Rob Ford is asking his buddy Prime Minister Stephen Harper to delay Canada’s withdrawal from the Bureau International des Expositions, a move that would effectively kill Toronto’s bid for Expo 2025. The federal government announced last year that they would no longer support any Expo bids, citing the need to cut spending and reduce the deficit. Ford sent a letter dated August 16 asking Harper for a face to face meeting on the issue, and to hold off on the withdrawal until Toronto has a chance to make its case with a full proposal.

Membership with the BIE, the governing body that oversees the World Expo bid process, only costs about $25,000 annually, but the feds are thought to be wary of covering security costs for large international events after the price tag for security at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics ballooned to about $1 billion.

Canada initially gave its one-year notice of withdrawal from the BIE in December, six months after Toronto city council voted to begin considering a bid for 2025. Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam has been leading the city’s efforts to craft a bid will hold a press conference today at 2:30 pm to discuss Toronto’s bid further.

In 2006 Toronto put forward a bid to host the 2015 World Expo, but pulled out due to financial reasons.

The 2010 World Expo in Shanghai attracted around 73 million visitors over six months. It’s thought a Toronto Expo in 2025 could attract 40 million visitors and have a $13 billion economic impact. Other cities thought to be considering bids for 2025 include Houston, Paris, London, Tehran, San Francisco and an undetermined city in China.

[via Globe and Mail]


Michael Kolberg is The Sprawl Editor at Toronto Standard. Follow him on Twitter for jokes @mikeykolberg

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