World’s largest rubber duck returning to Toronto’s waterfront
People celebrate Canada Day near the giant inflatable duck that sits on Toronto's Harbourfront on Saturday, July 1, 2017. A Toronto waterfront festival that hosted an unexpectedly controversial giant rubber duck says it generated millions of dollars in economic activity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov
TORONTO -- The world’s largest rubber duck is set to return to Toronto’s waterfront this summer, three years after the massive inflatable ruffled feathers over its cost to the city.
The six-stories-tall, 30,000-pound spectacle named Mama Duck is being brought back by the Redpath Waterfront Festival, presented by Billy Bishop Airport, which runs June 19 to 21.
In a news release issued Monday, Redpath said it was important to bring the duck back to “recapture the magic” of the viral moment.
“We have received countless comments and inquiries asking when the duck will return. With our 10th anniversary this year, it was obvious that we needed to bring the duck back to recapture the magic and thank our visitors for their ongoing support of the festival,” the release said.
The duck first made headlines in the city in the lead-up to Canada 150 celebrations after it was revealed that an Ontario grant worth $120,000 was being used to rent the duck from the United States, plus another $80,000 in corporate sponsorship.
At the time, Tourism, Culture and Sport Minister Eleanor McMahon defended the decision saying the province had been funding the festival for years and that the event does a good job in promoting tourism in the city.
According to Redpath, Mama Duck brought in more than 750,000 visitors over the three-day event and $7.6 million in economic activity. The inflatable was so popular that 75 per cent of those polled said the duck was the main reason for attending.
This year, however, Redpath says they will foot the bill entirely through the festival's operating budget and not through grants or government funds.