Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
Welcome to Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, the Toronto home to thousands of underwater wildlife creatures from all over the world. From a rainbow reef to vibrant jellyfish, Ripley’s Aquarium is a playground of discovery for families with children and adults looking to learn. With a unique gallery of Canadian creatures, as well as sharks and turtles from the other side of the globe, visitors have no shortage of exhibits to explore. Watch the mesmerizing tanks from outside, or jump in with both feet during a Discovery Dive into a shark tank. The aquarium prides itself on providing educational opportunities, like its Aquarist for a Day program, where patrons peek behind the scenes to discover how the aquarium cares for its animals and fish and how it keeps the tanks clean and functional. The aquarium’s gift shop is an attraction of its own, chock full of adorable plushies of your favourite sea creatures and Toronto themed trinkets to remember your trip. And don’t forget to snap a photo at the Photo Port!
Located in downtown Toronto steps away from the sky-high CN Tower, the Toronto Railway Museum and Steam Whistle Biergarten, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is a great addition to your downtown day trip. Pay for parking at one of the several lots near the aquarium, or take public transit to avoid the crowds — parking around the aquarium often fills up. Take the subway to Union or St. Andrews stations or hop on the TTC streetcar to John Street, and walk a few minutes to the aquarium.
Although the aquarium is a great place to visit anytime, there are some interesting special events, like Friday Night Jazz, Sensory Friendly Day or Paint Nite.
For up-to-date information and details on Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, we recommend you visit their website. For information about other places of interest to explore nearby, keep scrolling to see what Destination Ontario recommends.
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With 10 beautifully colorful galleries, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is a beloved destination for families, solo adventurers and date nights. Dive into the learning experience with a photography class or a morning yoga class in the aquarium. Throughout the day, make sure to catch a live interactive dive show, where an educator narrates a diver’s live plunge into the animal habitat. You can also learn about the creatures under the sea directly from an aquarist, with the aquarium offering feeding and educational talks each day. If you plan your day well, you can catch all the talks — and they change every day of the week!
For those looking for underwater entertainment, book a close encounter with the stingrays in the aquarium’s Ray Bay, where a slew of stingray species live. Visitors could spend hours at Dangerous Lagoon, searching every nook and cranny of the enclosure for the magnificent sand tiger sharks, sawfish, green sea turtles, moray eels and shiny lookdown fish. Planet Jellies is another eye-catching exhibit, where bright alien-like jellyfish float around a backlit kreisel tank so they can be seen from every angle. Don’t miss the Life Support Systems gallery, which showcases the complex and surprisingly colourful pipes, tubes and chemistry that maintain all of the delicate aquarium environments.
Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is a perfect fit for families of all types, as the aquarium is fully accessible by wheelchair. The aquarium also offers sensory friendly events periodically and prides itself on helping people of varying abilities have a great time at the aquarium. If you have any questions, just ask an aquarium employee.
Make sure to check out the Shipwrecks exhibit, which is a museum-style historical exhibit about famed wreckages like Canada’s infamous Edmund Fitzgerald shipwreck. The Discovery Centre, designed for children but certainly entertaining for visitors of all ages, gives patrons a hands on experience with some slimy, wiggly and dangerous creatures. Touch a spiky horseshoe crab, watch a wobbegong disappear in the sand and get an inside look into a replica of a marine research submarine. Kids will love playing on the clownfish slide, but they’ll also have the opportunity to learn about the Great Lakes, sea creatures and Canadian water animals.
Nearby, the iconic CN Tower offers exceptional views of the city. If you’re afraid of heights, keep it on the ground at Steam Whistle Biergarten, which is a few minutes’ walk away from the aquarium and offers tons of stylish seating in an historic railway roundhouse. Nearby, the waterfront offers breathtaking views of Lake Ontario. You can even catch a live show at the Harbourfront Centre or the Toronto Music Garden to get the full Toronto experience. Alternatively, plan to end your aquarium visit with a sporting event at Rogers Centre, across the pedestrian SkyWalk, so you can cross the busy city street safely (and with a great view of downtown).