In some parts of Scarborough you can borrow more than books with a library card. You can also take out a pass for the Toronto Zoo.
This has been made possible by the zoo joining the Toronto Public Library’s Sun Life Financial Museum + Arts Pass program.
The program serves 32 branches in the city’s priority neighborhoods, including Malvern and the Kingston/Galloway and Orton Park community.
Each pass grants free access for two adults and two children to the Toronto Zoo and can be borrowed from the library using an adult library card.
Because of their passion for reading, one of the first things the Teshaev family did when they arrived in Canada was get a library card.
Zafar Teshaev moved to Toronto from Tajikistan with his wife and three children last July.
Teshaev said he is thankful the library has given his children opportunities to visit interesting places in Toronto.
“We still need to complete our roaming of the Royal Ontario Museum,” he said. “Thanks to the passes, we’ve gone a few times but we still haven’t seen everything.”
The program also offers admission to Toronto attractions including the Art Gallery of Ontario, Black Creek Pioneer Village and Casa Loma.
The Toronto Zoo will join this lineup this coming weekend.
“The 32 branches serve priority neighborhoods where people otherwise might not have the opportunity to visit institutions like this,“ said Jane Pyper, city librarian.
Since its launch in 2007, the program has grown in popularity. Nearly 10, 000 passes are borrowed every month.
“I’ve had a number of families come to me and tell me how much they’ve enjoyed using the MAP program,” said councillor Paul Ainslie, whose ward includes the priority area of Kingston/Galloway and Orton Park.
He said he enjoys the Toronto Public Library because it is one of the best community resources in Canada.
Some program passes are offered at all 99 of the Toronto Public Library branches.
Teshaev said he is waiting for the summer weather to take his family to the zoo.
“Target number one is the Toronto Zoo,” Teshaev said.
Hope this would mean the end of free passes for city councilors.