Giant rubber duck proved to be an economic boon, festival says

The big duck was also booked for Rotaryfest 2017 this past summer in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

TORONTO — A Toronto waterfront festival that hosted an unexpectedly controversial giant rubber duck says it generated millions of dollars in economic activity.

The Redpath Waterfront Festival says a study conducted by Enigma Research shows the economic impact of the festival was a record $7.6 million.

About 750,000 people attended, which the festival attributes in part to the attraction billed as the world’s largest rubber duck.

The six-storey, 13,600-kilogram yellow duck was brought to Toronto by the festival at a total cost of $200,000.

The Ontario government gave the festival an approximately $120,000 grant, which Opposition politicians called a “cluster duck” and an absurd use of taxpayer dollars.

The festival says area businesses reported record sales over that Canada Day weekend and that water taxis received a boost in business after a challenging summer due to Toronto island closures.