Mandate and Responsibilities

Under the City of Toronto Act, 2006, the Board of Management of the Toronto Zoo is a city board and City Council determines its mandate and structure. The Board of Management oversees the strategic and operational management of the Toronto Zoo, one of the largest zoos in the world.  The Toronto Zoo is a leader in conservation, education, and research with innovative programs to save endangered species and conserve natural habitat.

The Board of Management is responsible for the operation, management and maintenance of the lands and assets of the Toronto Zoo on behalf of the City of Toronto, and is responsible for the following specific matters:

  • works with the Toronto Zoo staff to develop strategic plans, goals and policies for the Toronto Zoo and ensures that these plans are efficiently and effectively implemented;
  • approves the annual operating and capital budgets for recommendation to Council;
  • hires and evaluates the Chief Executive Officer, who is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Toronto Zoo and its staff;
  • considers matters relevant to the management and delivery of quality programs and services; and
  • is accountable for the Toronto Zoo’s activities and for ensuring that it complies with all applicable legislation.

Board Size and Composition

The Board of Management consists of 12 members and is composed of:

  • the Mayor or a designate appointed by the Mayor;
  • 3 Council Members; and
  • 8 citizen members.

Chair and Vice-Chair

City Council appoints the Chair of the Board of Management.  The Board elects a Vice-Chair from amongst its members.

Eligibility Requirements

Citizens are eligible for appointment to the Board of Management, and eligible to remain on the Board after being appointed, if they satisfy the eligibility requirements for appointment as set out in the City’s Public Appointments Policy.


Citizen members of the Board of Management 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;
  • large-scale fundraising or public-private partnerships, leadership and partnership development; and
  • general public sector board experience.

In addition, a youthful perspective, defined as an individual in the 18-30 age range, is a desired qualification for at least one citizen member.

Appointments Process – Citizen Members

Citizen members of the Board are recruited through an advertised recruitment process.  The appointments process is conducted according to the policies and procedures in the City’s Public Appointments Policy.


The Board meets approximately 10 times a year or at the call of the Chair. Board meetings are open to the public, except for meetings or parts of meetings where a subject matter is being considered that is set out in section 190 of the City of Toronto Act, 2006.


No remuneration is paid to Board members.