By a vote of 26-8, Toronto City Council has overwhelmingly backed looking at bidding for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games and the 2025 World Expo.
Although the agenda was limited to a vote on the 2025 World Expo, Toronto Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong moved to add the Olympics to the vote.
Minnan-Wong told reporters after the vote, “we’re due, it only makes sense to consider both global events and not put all your eggs in one basket. It’s the number one global event that a city could host. I don’t want to diminish the value of having an Expo, but if I had my choice, the Olympic Games is the one to pursue.
“I think it’d be great for the city, great for the economy, and create a lot of jobs”.
Toronto Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, who had moved to look at the 2025 Expo, said looking at two bids sends a confusing message, when only one bid is practical. She said, “I doubt very much we’ll make a run at both bids. They’re very, very costly. It requires basically all oars in the water pulling in the same direction.
“There’s no financial wisdom to actually submitting two bids. They’re very large undertakings. I don’t think we have the capacity or the political will for both bids”.
Council asked the city manager and the city’s head of economic development to check with provincial and federal governments and key agencies and submit reports to council’s economic development committee next March.
If council decides to formally pursue one or both bids, Toronto would still need the support of the federal and provincial governments.
Minnan-Wong said council would insist that both governments would have to shoulder any financial losses while providing money for venues.
This would be Toronto’s third attempt at an Olympic bid since losing the 1996 Games to Atlanta, and the 2008 Games to Beijing.