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Toronto Zoo Receives Largest Single Financial Donation In Its 40 Year History

Today the Toronto Zoo announced it has received a donation of more than $2 million. This donation is the largest single donation in the history of the Zoo.

Earlier this year, the Toronto Zoo was notified that the value of the donation from the estate of Mary Millard was $2 million.

"We are truly honoured to have been chosen to receive such a significant financial contribution," said Joe Torzsok, Chair Toronto Zoo Board of Management.

"This is a true testament to the outstanding work done at the Toronto Zoo and we are pleased to have received such a significant bequest," said John Tracogna, Toronto Zoo's Chief Executive Officer.   

Born on October 8th, 1925 in Toronto, Mrs. Millard lived here her whole life until she passed away on May 21st, 2013. Her father was a Justice in the Supreme Court of Ontario. She attended Havergal College and later graduated from the University of Toronto where she studied Philosophy and Sociology. After University, Mrs. Millard worked for some time as a high school teacher.  She was predeceased by her husband and had no children.

A naturalist who loved plants and animals, Mrs. Millard's home in Hogg’s Hollow was a source of pride and joy. In keeping with her love of nature, it was kept in a very natural state.

It was very likely Mrs. Millard's interest in nature that motivated her to choose the Toronto Zoo as a recipient of a bequest from her estate.

"This wonderful gift will ensure Mary's legacy will make a difference for future generations connecting to wildlife and nature at the Toronto Zoo," said Gloria Lindsay Luby, Vice-Chair Toronto Zoo Board of Management.

"On behalf of the Development Division at the Toronto Zoo, I am very thrilled that donors like Mary Millard wish to support our ongoing efforts to save and protect species and their habitats at home and abroad," said Marion Zimmer, Senior Development Officer at the Toronto Zoo. 

In 2014 the Toronto Zoo is celebrating 40 Years of saving and protecting animals and their habitats at home and abroad.


More than a tourist attraction, the Toronto Zoo boasts a number of leading programs for helping wildlife and their natural habitats - from species reintroduction to reproductive research. A world-class educational centre for people of all ages, the Toronto Zoo is open every day except December 25 and attracts approximately 1.3 million visitors each year.

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