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What hosting the 2025 world's fair could mean for Toronto

Those pushing to see Toronto host the big event in a decade's time hopeful the visit of BIE's secretary general will help their cause

Italy's judge of the 'Guinness World Record' Lorenzo Veltri (C) measures the length of the Pizza to be the longest in the world with 1600m long, on June 20, 2015 in Milan at the Expo Milano 2015.

OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images

Italy's judge of the 'Guinness World Record' Lorenzo Veltri (C) measures the length of the Pizza to be the longest in the world with 1600m long, on June 20, 2015 in Milan at the Expo Milano 2015.

Toronto is inching closer to making a bid to host 2025 World Expo.

With the visit this week of the big boss at the Bureau International des Expositions or BIE, hopes of hosting the world fair have never been higher.

“I’d say the momentum is really building up right now,” said Claire Hopkinson, CEO of the Toronto Arts Council. “There has not been an expo in North America since 1986. The appetite is there and many people really think it’s ours to lose.”

BIE’s secretary General Vicente Gonzalez Loscertales is in Toronto this week, at the invitation of Mayor John Tory. He spoke to the Toronto Regional Board of Trade and is scheduled to meet many other city officials as well as tour the Pan Am Games athletes’ village and the Toronto Port Lands, a potential expo site.

His visit may be no nod to the bid’s approval, but it nonetheless points to a growing interest in hosting and a key part in the process to review the prerequisites for an application.

Hopkinson sits on the steering committee that’s been working, for the past three years, on Toronto’s potential bid host the fair. The committee includes members of Toronto business, corporate, tourism, investment, transportation, social and cultural communities.

“In Toronto we have so much of the world already here,” she said, explaining how the city’s diversity is a matching trait to what the World Expo looks to achieve.

Hosting the 2025 World Expo would help build stronger communities in the city, and create a lasting legacy to many important plans such as the Waterfront and the Port Lands, she said.

“An expo would truly accelerate many of those infrastructure projects,” she said. “Think of the many jobs that would be created. It’s a great gift to our youth.”

If Toronto is to make a formal a bid, it needs to submit the letter of interest by November this year. The city’s economic development committee estimates the bidding process itself to cost at least $10 million.

Montreal hosted the World Expo in 1967, and Vancouver hosted in 1986.