From TORONTO SUN – High Park could become home to a heavy petting zoo if one company offering sponsorships money gets its way.
Noel Biderman, the CEO of Ashley Madison, the adultery-enabling dating website, said Tuesday he will pay the $220,000 needed to save the Far Enough Farm on Centre Island — and any additional funds required to keep High Park Zoo operational — if he has control of the naming rights.
“In principle, I would be interested in having one of my brands sponsor three local, well-known zoos and have them re-named to represent those brands,” Biderman said.
“I’d do it if the economics and terms made sense and if it didn’t come with so much rigmarole that everyone just got irritated. Maybe this could turn a corner for our brand in this community.”
Biderman said he likes the sound of Ashley Madison Farm, but would also be willing to stick Cougar Life in the title, another one of his brands.
He said he wouldn’t want a long-term relationship with the facilities, but promised to make sure whoever is running the zoo and farm would be fiscally accountable.
The Centreville farm will no longer receive funding from the city after June 30 and Tuesday is the last day for interested parties willing to take over the attraction to speak up.
Riverdale Farm, on the other hand, received donations and funds to keep plowing ahead. The High Park Zoo received a last-minute $50,000 donation last week to run over the next three years.
Councillor Pam McConnell — whose ward includes the farm — wasn’t interested in Ashley Madison’s offer.
“I think this is a farm — not a zoo — and I wouldn’t think that would be appropriate at any rate,” she said.
McConnell was confident the farm will survive without the help of the infidelity website.
“This is a place for children, it is not a place for people to promote their salacious businesses and I’m sure that we will find solutions to Far Enough Farm and I think that they could take their business somewhere else,” she said.
—Files from Don Peat