A bid to host Expo 2025 in Toronto is getting widespread support among Canadians, according to a new poll released Friday.
A survey conducted by Hill+Knowlton Strategies on behalf of Expo Canada reveals 55 per cent of those polled nationwide support a bid with 32 per cent saying they’re not sure and needed more information. Only 10 per cent oppose the bid.
Those living in the Greater Toronto Area who were asked the same question also backed the bid with 56 per cent support, 27 per cent saying they weren’t sure and 15 per cent opposed to the idea.
The Expo, which is often associated with accelerated infrastructure projects for the host city, is an educational event aimed at promoting innovation and is held every five years.
Prime Minister Trudeau said earlier this year that if council approves a bid, the federal government will “explore next steps.”
The Expo is estimated to cost $1.9 billion which does not include money needed to build the infrastructure to host the world’s fair.
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However, Claire Hopkinson, CEO of the Toronto Arts Council and co-chair of Expo Canada’s steering committee, told reporters last week the event would give a $4.37-billion boost to the national GDP and $1.26 billion in tax revenues.
The event is being considered after Toronto hosted the Pan Am Games in the summer of 2015 and later rejected bidding for the 2024 Olympics.
Participating countries design and build pavilions in the host city with the hope of attracting tourists from around the world.
If the city were to win the bid, it would be only Canada’s second official World Expo, after Expo 67 in Montreal, because the event’s regulatory committee classifies Vancouver’s Expo 86 as an “international specialized expo.”
Toronto’s executive committee is scheduled to discuss the merits of a bid next week. If approved, the issue will be debated at a city council meeting next month.
-Mark McAllister contributed to this report