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Toronto Zoo

The Toronto Zoo’s vision is to be a dynamic and exciting action centre that inspires people to love, respect, and protect wildlife and wild spaces.

The Toronto Zoo has over 5,000 animals and 1.2 million visitors per year. At 287 hectares (710 acres), the Toronto Zoo is one of the largest zoos in the world. There are four major indoor pavilions, several smaller indoor viewing areas, and numerous outdoor exhibits. The Toronto Zoo is a leader in conservation, education, and research with innovative programs to save endangered species and conserve natural habitat.

Board responsibilities

The Toronto Zoo is owned by the City of Toronto and operated on behalf of the City by a Board of Management. The board is responsible for the Toronto Zoo’s oversight and the approval of certain financial and contractual obligations, including:

  • working with Toronto Zoo staff to develop strategic plans, goals, and policies and ensuring that these plans are efficiently and effectively implemented
  • approving the annual operating and capital budgets for recommendation to City Council
  • hiring and evaluating the Chief Executive Officer who is responsible for the Toronto Zoo’s day-to-day administration and its staff
  • considering matters relevant to the management and delivery of quality programs and services
  • being accountable for the Toronto Zoo's activities and ensuring that it complies with applicable legislation

Board size and composition

The board consists of 11 members composed of:

  • the Mayor or designate appointed by the Mayor
  • 2 Council members
  • 8 public members

Chair and vice chair

City Council appoints the board’s chair, and the board elects a vice chair from amongst its members.

Term of office

The term of office for public members is four years.

Eligibility requirements

To be eligible for appointment to the board, public members must meet the eligibility requirements in the City's Public Appointments Policy.

Qualifications

Public members of the board should collectively demonstrate a range of qualifications including:

  • financial management
  • tourism/attractions marketing
  • knowledge of zoos and the role they play in wildlife conservation and education
  • largescale fundraising or public-private partnerships, leadership, and partnership development
  • general public sector board experience
  • a youthful perspective, defined as an individual in the 18-30 age range, is a desired qualification for at least one public member

Meetings

The board meets approximately 10 times per year or more frequently at the call of the chair.

Remuneration

No remuneration is paid to board members.

Related links

Membership

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City Council appointed four members to the Toronto Zoo Board at its April 2019 meeting. Applications are always being accepted for future vacancies.