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Toronto Centre Island’s Far Enough Farm to be saved

A goat waits for handouts at the petting zoo at the Centreville Amusement Park on Toronto's Centre Island on Saturday July 10, 2004. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Steve White

One of Toronto’s popular urban farms under threat of closure is one step closer to being saved.

Far Enough Farm, the petting zoo at Toronto Centre Island, was slated for closure last June due to budget cutbacks. But the city allowed the farm’s operator to run the 2012 season until a new operator was chosen.

Now, the city’s parks, forestry and recreation department has recommended that Far Enough Farm be leased to William Beasley Enterprises Ltd., the operator of the children’s amusement area on Centre Island.

Billy G. Amusements Inc. was the only other company that applied to the request for proposal to run the children’s amusement area and Far Enough Farm, according to a staff report.

The lease would be for 10 years beginning March 1, with an option to renew for an additional 10-year term. Terms of the agreement wouldn’t be disclosed until it’s finalized.

Far Enough Farm wasn’t the only city farm under threat of closure last year by the city.

As part of the 2012 budget process, High Park Zoo was also slated for closure in June. But the Honey Family Foundation offered to match donations up to $50,000 over the next three years in a bid to keep the farm afloat.

Riverdale Farm also got a reprieve last spring when the city agreed to fund it while a new stewardship group was established to oversee its new business plan that includes recruiting members to raise the $500,000 a year needed to run the urban farm.

The city’s government management committee will consider the Far Enough Farm contract on Jan. 21, and if approved it would go before city council for debate on Feb. 20.