Meet Toronto’s newest residents
With Ripley’s Aquarium Canada now officially open, Toronto has become home to the largest indoor aquarium in Canada.
That honour doesn’t come without impressive numbers to back it up. So let’s take a look at some stats:
- 15,000+ marine animals call the aquarium home
- tanks take on over 5.7 million litres of water
- 97 pumps required to run the tanks
- 130,000 square-foot attraction
- over 100 interactive displays
- 7 galleries featuring marine animals in their natural habitat
- largest tank, Dangerous Reef sitting at nearly 2.5 million litres of water
- underwater tunnel with moving sidewalk is the longest of its kind in North America at 315 feet in length
There’s something about aquariums and marine life that fascinates us. Maybe it’s because we would otherwise never get that close to a Pacific Octopus or Sand Tiger shark. Many creatures live in the deep dark depths of the world’s oceans, seas and lakes that young and old alike are curious to meet these wet and slippery animals up close.
Explore marine habitats
Visitors will come face to face with deep sea creatures in several habitats – Canadian Waters, Rainbow Reef, Dangerous Lagoon, Touch Tanks, the Gallery, Ray Bay, Planet Jelly and the Discovery Centre. Here’s a quick synopsis on what to expect from each:
- 17 tanks featuring marine and freshwater animals native to Canada waters such as the Largemouth Bass, Wolf Eel, Pacific Octopus and Lumpfish
- colourful tropical fish (over 100 species) such as Picasso Triggerfish, Emperor Angelfish, Butterfly fish and Clownfish
- interactive dive show every 2 hours with divers in tanks speaking to visitors
- first of 2 tanks is home to deadly sea creatures such as sharks, sawfish, stingrays, barracudas, eels and more
- second tank features the largest groupers you’ll ever lay eyes on
- features moving sidewalk and underwater tunnel
- get up close and personal as you touch friendly creatures such as Whitespotted Bamboo Sharks, Spotted Eagle Rays and more
- features 6 saltwater and 3 freshwater exhibits showcasing delicate species from around the world
- discover how they adapt to living in fragile waters
- look for venomous fish, electric eels, piranhas, seahorses and more
- 3 distinct species of stingrays including the Cownose Ray and Southern Stingray
- look for meal time dive shows showcasing their high-end diets
- features the world’s largest specialized tank for jellyfish
- 7 various jelly habitats surrounds you above your head and under your feet
- 5 species of jellyfish such as Moon Jelly, Upside-down Jelly and Spotted Lagoon Jelly
- look for “pop-up” exhibits that gives you underwater viewing from a different perspective
- get a unique view into Dangerous Lagoon from the “research submarine”
- get your hands wet at the horsehoe crab touch pool
Programs for all ages
All this makes for a day of fun but nothing beats a night at the aquarium with 15,000 of your closest friends! Explore the aquarium after hours, with educational hands-on activities, a bedtime snack and breakfast in the morning. You’ll be sleeping with sharks as you tuck into your sleeping bag at the shark tunnel in Dangerous Lagoon. Family sleepovers will take place once or twice a month. Pricing not yet confirmed.
Ripley’s has recruited 12 eager teens (14-18 years old) to participate in the aquarium’s initial Marine Teens program. The student advisory council will meet bi-monthly to learn about marine environmental issues and help plan events for youth.
The aquarium will be the hottest place to have a birthday party in Toronto. 2 hour themed parties include admission, lunch, cake, refreshments, loot bags, a take home craft and an Aquarium Educator host. No pricing released yet.
Ripley’s Aquarium is conveniently located at the base of the CN Tower in downtown Toronto and is open all year round. You can visit Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada for information on pricing, hours and directions.
Images: courtesy of Ripley’s Aquarium Canada
About Wendy Morelli
Wendy loves her 2 kids and her iPhone, not necessarily always in that order. She is an app obsessed mom who loves everything tech and is (unfortunately) old enough to remember the brick Motorola cell phone and the Commodore computer. Her love for technology stems back to the 10+ years of working for technology based companies. Wendy's alter ego, "AppHipMom" has been featured in Canadian Family, iVillage, Women in Biz, EverythingMom, BlogHer and Savvy Mom.