Toronto Zoo - the most important information
The Toronto Zoo is a zoo located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It represents the largest zoo in Canada. It has one of the most taxonomically diverse collections of animals on the display of any zoo; it is currently home to over 5,000 animals representing over 500 species. It has special shows and events for everyone, starting with Kids Zoo, Waterside Theatre, and Splash Island, etc. The zoo is a corporation owned by the municipal government of Toronto and its first name was Metropolitan Toronto Zoo and later on, it has been changed.
History of the Toronto Zoo
Around 1880, businessman Harry L. Piper established a Zoological and Acclimatization Society (also as Toronto Zoological Garden) and open a zoological garden at Old Post Office Lane. In 1888, the Riverdale Zoo opened in Toronto, as a typical example of a zoo during this time, with animals displayed as curiosities in dark cages and cramped enclosures. Animals for Piper's zoo moved to this site. By 1966, a group of eleven people became The Metro Toronto Zoological Society. On August 15, 1974, the Metropolitan Toronto Zoo was open to the public and is now one of the largest zoos in the world. The Zoo introduced some designs to enhance the public's viewing experience and the animals' living comfort. Animals were displayed in naturalized environments and grouped according to their zoogeographic region. Since then the zoo was repaired and expanded several times and it remained one of the most impactful zoos in the world.
What to see in the Toronto Zoo?
The Toronto Zoo is divided up into seven different geographic regions. Each region showcases animals and plants from that area of the world:
- Indo-Malaya: The Indo-Malayan area contains two pavilions that exhibit plants and animals from South and Southeast Asia. Featured animals in this area include Indian rhinoceroses, the babirusa, Sumatran orangutans, great hornbills, false gharials…
- Africa: Opened in 1998, the African Savanna became the zoo's largest expansion in history. The African Savanna featured species include white lions, Grévy's zebras, olive baboons, greater kudus, cheetahs, white rhinoceroses…
- Canadian Domain: The Canadian Domain is situated in the Rogue Valley. Featured species in this area include wood bison, moose, bald eagles, cougars, trumpeter swans, raccoons, and grizzly bears.
- Americas: This area of the zoo houses animals from both North and South America. The Americas Pavilion displays a wide variety of New World monkeys, amphibians, reptiles, fish, and insects. Some of its most popular residents are the white-faced sakis, golden lion tamarins, two-toed sloths…
- Australasia: The Australasian Pavilion features animals from the Australian mainland, as well as surrounding islands. Featured species in this area include Western grey kangaroos, wallabies, short-beaked echidnas, southern hairy-nosed wombats, kookaburras, Victoria crowned pigeons, Matschie's tree-kangaroos, and Komodo dragons.
- Eurasia Wilds: Often regarded as the oldest part of the zoo, Eurasia received a large overhaul in 2014. The featured species in this section of the zoo are snow leopards, Amur tigers, West Caucasian tur, mouflon, chamois, red pandas, and Bactrian camels.
- Tundra Trek: After the closing of some of the Americas animal exhibits in 2007, the Tundra Trek opened on August 1, 2009. This area became the sixth region of the zoo and showcases a variety of Arctic animals including porcupine caribou, polar bears, snow geese, and Arctic wolves.
- Discovery Zone: This area is geared towards children by featuring educational themes and exhibits. The most prominent area is a children's water park, Splash Island, which features landscaping and themed objects depicting the three states of water. Exhibits are grouped around variously themed groups of aquatic animals, including rivers, lakes, and oceans. Waterside Theatre is an open-air enclosure where live demonstrations of a variety of animals are shown, including goats, grey crowned cranes, ravens, macaws, and ground hornbills. A third area, the Kids Zoo, consists of a variety of animals that children can interact with, such as guinea pigs, skunks, and alpacas. The Discovery Zone also hosted Dinosaurs Alive and the Stingray Bay exhibit for their respective durations.
Working hours and Zoo Tickets:
- Working hours: The Zoo is putting information about working hours for the next several months. Please remember that the last admission into Zoo is one hour before Zoo closing.
- Tickets: Zoo Members do NOT require a booked time slot prior to arrival. If you are a member you will have to have your membership ID on hand when you enter the Zoo as this will be required as proof. On the other hand, if you are not a member to visit the zoo, the time slot must be booked prior to arrival.
Because the pricing depends on the type of the event and to check out is the Zoo opens for the day of your arrival, we are highly recommending to check out the official website of the Toronto Zoo
How to get to the Toronto Zoo?
The Toronto Zoo is set in the beautiful Rogue Valley. The Main Entrance is located on Meadowvale Road, Toronto, north of Highway 401 and it is very easily accessible with public transport:
- TTC: The TTC operates two bus routes to the Toronto Zoo, from four rapid transit stations. At the Zoo, all TTC buses serve a bus stop conveniently located close to the main entrance. The 86A Toronto bus route operates to the Zoo from Kennedy Station every day during the summer. Buses run from about 6 am to 8 pm. After Labour Day, 86A Toronto buses operate to the Zoo from Monday to Friday only. On the other hand, the 85 Sheppard East bus route operates to the Zoo from Don Mills Station and Rouge Hill GO Station on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
- GO TRAIN: The Toronto Zoo is just minutes from the Rouge Hill Go Station. Board a TTC 85 Sheppard East bus to the Zoo right at the station. For more information, please visit GO Transit's website or call 416-869-3200.