Toronto Zoo approves magnetic levitation monorail project

Dec 3 2018, 7:31 pm

One of the Toronto region’s largest tourist attractions is one step closer towards getting its own monorail system.

Last week, the board of directors for the Toronto Zoo unanimously approved a recommendation by management to further explore a partnership with Magnovate to build a magnetic levitation people-mover system in the zoo.

The future of the project now depends on the Edmonton-based company’s ability to fundraise $25 million, as it has promised the City of Toronto it will cover the project’s entire construction cost.

It would be built on the existing guideway built for the original, problem-ridden zoo monorail that closed in 1994.

But this will not be a free ride for zoo visitors; there will likely be an additional ticket on top of admission to ride the train, ranging between $12 to $18.

The zoo and Magnovate will split the revenues — estimated to be about $750,000 annually — for the first 15 years, after which the ride will become a property of the municipal government. The Zoo’s proceeds would go towards further enhancing its animal care and facilities.

Magnovate’s project for the zoo, which saw over one million visitors in 2017, allows the company to showcase its high-tech train technology in North America. It could potentially also be an attraction on its own, and help the zoo increase its visitation numbers, which saw a significant slump after the departure of the Giant Pandas.

According to the company, their electric magnetic train levitation technology is nearly silent and frictionless.

If all goes as planned, the newly revamped monorail system could open by 2022.

– With files from Ainsley Smith.

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