Deputation to Toronto Zoo Board Meeting Agenda Item: ZB 12.

11 Food Services May 31 2012 Title: “ DIVERSITY OUR STRENGHT”

Dear Board Members: Thank you for allow me to address the board again; I am here to submit suggestions and ideas to the board for “Future consideration”. For the record, I am in no way connected to “Compass Canada” or an agent of the Company to be contracted which is part of the discussion to be held in camera.

BACKGROUND: Toronto—a city that prides itself on diversity, but whose only street food until recently had been essentially limited by law to hot dogs and Hamburgers. After New York City, The City of Toronto is the second largest Multicultural City in North America. At City Hall next to the office of the Mayor Ford there is a huge placard that exalts the city virtues “DIVERSITY OUR STRENGHT” but in practice it is a different story altogether. This past Tuesday on “Goldhawk Live TV”, I had the pleasure of called in the show and express my opinion in relation to “Ethnic Foods” in the City of Toronto. Our dear Councilor Josh Colle was in attendance as part of the panel discussing several alternatives to remove the “bureaucrat red tape” for vendor/truck operators in the City of Toronto. For the record again I don’t have any business interest but rather to provide you with “alternatives to the Menu” provided at the Toronto Zoo.

Last Monday eve after attending the Toronto Public Library Board my good friend Miroslav and I were talking of the Zoo’s Board agenda..and said Miroslav .. item ZB 12.11 sounds interesting maybe we could provide some comments and suggestions of our own. How about provide a suggestion to the Zoo Board that in each of the Zoo’s pavilions have a cart or stand to provide quick meals from the Ethnic Communities that come to the Zoo? So we agree each will speaking on this item today. So here it is my idea : FOOD Ambassadors for the Communities coming to the Toronto ZOO. Going back to the Goldhawk Show last Tuesday evening, Toronto’s street food could and should showcase our city’s ethnic diversity, it’s fabulous chefs, and its entrepreneurs. ... “”Fast food does not need to be unhealthy or boring. Great street food should celebrate our diversity, encourage healthy eating, support local food producers, and provide greater access to affordable nutritious food.” This comment appeared in a local blog not long ago.

SUGGESTIONS: Imagine the opportunity to show the bureaucrats’ at City Hall that the Toronto Zoo can be proactive and innovative in moving forward with food choices for Toronto Zoo’s visitors a Le Carte Menu sore of speak —How about next to the Malayan Pavilion provide Korean stands, How about at the African Pavilion Eritrean/Ethiopian and Pakistani cuisine— that are generally considered healthy, tasty and affordable. How could I forget the delicious Colombian’s Empanadas, Mexican Burritos, Caribbean hot dishes and Salvadorian Pupusas in the America’s Pavillion? Along with Thai dishes next to the Australian Pavillion?

I don’t know about you but I am getting hungry already, .and to finish it all a large stand featuring local soft drinks from all regions of the world and for adults of course a unique place to taste wines and spirits as well from every region display at the zoo. COMMENT: Remember, The City of Portland- Oregon has been celebrating its street food for years, thanks to a laissez-faire approach by the government and available space on privately owned lots. With few zoning restrictions and much opportunity, Toronto could just do the very same and what a unique opportunity to do it right here at the Toronto Zoo. I am aware that the “Licensing And Standards Committee” have deferred to the City’s Staff a motion to provide a report to come back in June 2012. 13.7.. And Of course it is an approach to gradually convince City Bureaucrats that alternatives and solutions are available. The heavy pressure of bylaws and regulation by the Health Department are a deterrent for local business to provide ethnic foods in the City of Toronto, As you all know well the Zoo is an arm’s length agency of the City. Nevertheless knowing off all this impediments, we still could all hope that change is possible and it is just a matter of time.... knocking on wood. Thanks again for allowing me to speak again and will see you again in June for another kick at the can to establish a Citizens’ Advisory Committee for the Toronto ZOO, a reminder to you all that TORONTO’s Diversity is our Strength” Miguel Avila

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