During the long weekend in September, my family and I headed to Toronto for back to school shopping, take in a Blue Jay’s game, and to visit a few attractions such as the Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, the largest indoor aquarium in Canada. It’s conveniently located next to the CN Tower and the Rogers Center, and near the Toronto Convention Centre at 288 Bremner Boulevard. You will find below our review of Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada!
We opted to visit during a less busy time on Friday afternoon at 4 pm. I heard it can get very busy on weekends and holidays or during peek day time, so best to go early in the morning or after 4 pm to closing to avoid crowds. We spent 3 hours at the Ripley’s Aquarium and were impressed with the variety of fishes, sharks, green sea, turtles, jellies, rays, and more! The Aquarium is 12, 500 square-metre with more than 5.7 millions of water depicting marine and freshwater habitats and from around the world.
Educational Afternoon at the Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
Ripley’s Aquarium is divided in 9 galleries:
1. Canadian Waters
The Canadian Waters Gallery offers 17 curated and diversify habitats, one as precious as the other.
2. Rainbow Reef
View Nemo and Dory, as the younger children at the Aquarium were calling them, and many others in the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region. This exhibit offers an interactive dive show every other hour to the delight of children of all ages!
3. Dangerous Lagoon
This exhibit is definitely the most spectacular and fun at Ripley’s Aquarium! You can view the sea creatures such has sharks, turtles, and fishes in the underwater tunnel using a slow moving walkway. They swim in the tunnel above you, so now how exciting is this!!
4. Discovery Centre
Now is the time to take part in some hands on experience by touching Horseshoe Crabs in the tank, pop-up into two cylinders including two underwater. You can see Clownfish, Palette Surgeonfish, and Horseshoe Crab. You can also stop for a bite to eat at the Ripley’s Café. They serve cold and hot food, snacks, and drinks.
5. The Gallery
The Gallery features delicate species like Red Lionfish, Electric Eel, Lined Seahorse, Weedy Sea Dragon, Archerfish, and a live coral exhibit.
6. Ray Bay
In the Ray Bay, you can explore the world of stingrays: Bonnethead shark, Cownose Ray, Southern Stingray, and Roughtail Stingray. It’s exciting to watch the diver give a daily show. You can join the interactive dive shows every two hours starting at 11:15 am. Not positive I would want to join him!
7. Planet Jellies
I could have stayed for hours watching the Jellies! The transfixing gallery is mesmerizing with its backlit and colour-changing displays. As you look up, the ceiling showcases translucent Moon Jellies! It’s so relaxing!
8. Life Support System
Wow, impressive! View behind the scene life support and filtration equipment used to maintain the Aquarium with real-time stats and information about the water quality and conditions.
9. Shoreline Gallery
Educators teach fun facts about the Whitespotted Bamboo Sharks, the Brownbanded Bamboo Sharks, the Southern Stingray, and the Cownose Rays in the Shoreline Gallery.
Did you know that you can spend the night at Ripley’s? You can explore the Aquarium, participate in educational experiences, and learn at the overnight reef adventure! You are provided with a snack, a breakfast, take home activity, and a chance to sleep in your sleeping bag overlooking the “Dangerous Lagoon” shark tunnel. The cost is $99/person plus taxes. The Aquarium also offers other specialty programming and events such as the Stingray Experience, Morning Yoga and Friday Night Jazz.
Tickets can be purchased online for a specific day and time. I strongly recommend purchasing before as the wait time in line is significantly less in the ticket holder line.
The gift shop is located as you exit the Aquarium. Of course, it’s difficult not to leave without purchasing a sea creature and a t-shirt. They are so adorable!
We really enjoyed visiting the Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada. We loved learning about the different sea creatures, from fishes to sharks. The aquarium is very well laid out from informative and interactive exhibits to tanks and underwater tunnels. It’s definitely an attraction you want to bring the kids when staying in Toronto!
Disclaimer: I received complimentary tickets to Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada for the purpose of writing this review. All honest opinions are my own.