TBG Moving Ahead with its Exciting Expansion Plans

Toronto Botanical Garden in partnership with the City of Toronto is moving ahead with the exciting Master Plan to create a world-class botanical garden in Toronto. TBG has done extensive analysis of the North American botanical garden sector and has created a proposed business and operating model based on other successful non-profit botanical gardens. In early 2019, the City and TBG sent out RFPs and RFQs for phase 1 of the expansion plan which included the selection of design consultants and the development of a new service yard. In addition, Leadership and Operations/Horticulture committees were also established to move the Master Plan forward with senior representatives from both the City and TBG.

As an admission-free garden, TBG currently lacks the government support, a sufficient endowment and admissions revenue. All cultural institutions have at least one of these. The Master Plan is a roadmap to success and a visionary document to gain donor, government and public support.

Over 99% of TBG’s current $2.6M operating budget is self-generated through the generous support of many individual donors, corporations and foundations, in addition to earned revenue from education programs, membership, parking, facility rentals, retail operations and special events. In 2018 TBG made significant one-time expenditures* including a financial system upgrade that resulted in an operating deficit. As the deficit is erased, the organization will be in a position to pursue the new revenue streams identified by the Master Plan and five-year Business Plan.

October 2019, Toronto Star article by Francine Kopun, City Hall Bureau
Toronto Botanical Garden Expansion has growing pains

June, 2017, Toronto Star article by Sammy Hudes, Staff Reporter
New plan to turn Toronto Botanical Garden into international destination

While the City and TBG work towards establishing the framework for a long-term Management Agreement for the gardens, TBG continues to expand its event programming into Edwards Gardens. Last summer’s popular ZimSculpt African Sculpture Exhibition and the annual Edwards Summer Music Series took place in the Edwards Courtyard and amongst the City’s floral displays.

In July, with the City’s full support, TBG implementation paid parking for non-members. This new income directly supports the organization and is an added benefit of membership. 

And most recently, with the support of a successful grant application, TBG hired an ecologist to conduct research for ecological restoration of the Wilket Creek Ravine in preparation for Phase 2 of Expansion Project.

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* Related Link: TBG’s 2018 Annual Report