The giant rubber duck that drew record crowds to the Toronto waterfront in 2017 is coming back this summer.
In celebration of its 10th anniversary, the Redpath Waterfront Festival is hoping to repeat this success and bringing back the duck from June 19 to 21.
Festival co-producer Lea Parrell said that the duck was the No. 1 attraction that the festival has ever had, and organizers regularly get asked when the duck is coming back.
“Mama Duck” is billed as the largest rubber duck in the world.
The World’s Largest Rubber Duck made its Canadian debut on Toronto’s waterfront in 2017 for Canada Day celebrations.
Standing at nearly six storeys tall (about 19 metres) and weighing in at 13,600 kilograms, the duck was prominently displayed on Lake Ontario during the 2017 Redpath Waterfront Festival, which coincided with the Canada Day long weekend and Canada 150 celebrations.
A report released following the festival found that the duck was an economic boon for the city. The 2017 festival saw an economic impact of $7.6 million and $3.6 million in tax revenue as a result of the 750,000 attendees that came to see the duck.
Locals businesses also saw overwhelming demand because of the duck and Parrell said many of them had “their best weekend of being on the waterfront.”
“Starbucks had to close because they ran out of coffee . . . A number of businesses said lineups started from the minute they opened that never finished until they closed,” she said.
The festival received a $120,000 grant from the province to cover the expenses surrounding the duck, which then-opposition PC MPPs criticized as a poor use of taxpayer dollars. For this year, the festival isn’t taking any government grants and is paying for the duck through its own operating budget.
The festival rented the duck for the 2017 summer from its co-owners, Craig Samborksi and Ryan Whaley.
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