TORONTO COUNCIL CLOSES DOOR ON EXPO 2025 (But Leaves It Open for 2030)
The fight to persuade the City of Toronto to pursue a bid for Expo 2025 ended in late October when the City’s Executive Committee recommended Council not support the development of a bid to host Expo 2025 in Toronto.
However, the Executive Committee also recommended City Council confirm it remains open to the consideration of future EXPO bids including EXPO 2030 on their merits, and with input from City staff.
For many in the construction industry including the Ontario Construction Secretariat (OCS) which has been a big supporter of furthering the process, the decision was extremely disappointing after months of intense lobbying efforts based on a Feasibility Study which said the benefits of hosting EXPO would far outweigh any potential risks. In the end, City staff pointed to concerns including what it described as a lack of capacity within the construction industry to meet the required timelines.
In their presentations before the Executive Committee, representatives of the construction industry including Geoff Smith – President and CEO of Ellis Don and Andy Manahan – Executive Director of the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario, spoke passionately about the industry being able to get the job done – on time and on budget.
Joe Keyes, General Manager of the Construction Labour Relations Association of Ontario and President of the Board of Directors for the OCS says the decision by the City’s Executive Committee is “not surprising”. He says “there was a strong feeling among Committee members that Ottawa and the Province had to commit ahead of time.”
In thanking all of the volunteers and supporters of the EXPO 2025 initiative, the EXPO 2025 Canada Committee said “we’re building a movement.” It says the Committee may see if it can get traction on another motion at City Council, trying to determine how it can keep some of the momentum alive for 2027 (a smaller EXPO) or a 2030 EXPO.
Toronto Councillor Kristyn Wong Tam who has been pushing hard for the City of Toronto to bid on EXPO 2025 called EXPO an inspirational event, adding all of those who supported the bid process have been inspired.
“The effort to bring EXPO 2025 to Toronto has brought together an incredibly diverse coalition – leaders from the arts and business, community groups and the labour movement. Truly we had the widest group of thought leaders join the pro-EXPO movement…. It takes a truly transformative event to bring together this cross-section of our City. This is the magic of EXPO 2025. I want to see this magic continue.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Ontario Construction Secretariat (OCS)
180 Attwell Drive, Suite 360, Toronto, ON M9W 6A9
P 416.620.5210 ext. 222