Canada is famous for its many mountain ranges, prairies and forests. It is also known because of hockey, lacrosse and the maple leaf, which is on the Canadian flag as well. There are places in this country which are very scenically blessed with wildlife and nature. If you are a nature lover and staying in Capital of Canada, Toronto, then Toronto Zoo is the first place you should visit. This beautiful zoo is set in the Rouge Valley and the main entrance is located on Meadowvale Road, north of Highway 401. The Zoo is home of over 5000 animals representing over 500 species with over 10 km of walking trails. This zoo is also one of the largest zoos in the world with 710 acres of area. The Toronto Zoo works with other accredited zoos throughout the world to help conserve and breed endangered species. Many animals come to the zoo through rescue efforts.
The zoo has recently started Access to Entertainment Program which provides A2E card to its participants and offers 50% admission discount with their attendants receive complimentary admission in the Zoo.
How to get here?
The Toronto Zoo is just minutes from the Rouge Hill Go Station. You can board a TTC 85 Sheppard East bus to the Zoo right at the station. This bus serves the zoo directly from about 7 am to 8 pm. During the peak season of summer, there are shuttles from Kennedy and from the Scarborough Town Centre to the zoo. The admission fee is $ 23 for adults,$ 14 for children and free for members.
The Giant Pandas
Recently, two giant Pandas came to their new home, the Toronto Zoo. Er Shun and Da Mao are the names of these pandas. Just when you enter the Panda zone, you will first travel through the new, state of the art panda Interpretive Centre, before meeting the adorable new giant Panda pair. There are three themes which include Eating Bamboo, Threats to Giant Pandas and Saving Giant Pandas. Here you will be able to learn how much bamboo do Giant Pandas eat, their habitats, their style of living and more.
Just after going through Interpretive Centre, you will get a chance to see Er Shun and Da Mao in either their outdoor exhibits or in their indoor holdings. You will see them exploring their new home as they are still settling down in their new habitat and eating a lot of bamboos. You can capture some good photos of this cool duo.
Tundra Trek opened its gate to public in August 1, 2009. It is an award winning exhibit, anchored by a state of the art polar bear habitat, snow geese, Arctic fox and wolves, reindeers and snowy owl. You can enjoy seeing polar bears in their newly refurbished exhibit and featuring a bear den where you can go eye to eye with a live polar bear.
There are two alpha male and alpha female Arctic wolves, who are the only ones in the pack to produce. Although the exhibit is very large, it displays only these six species in total area of 10 acres. The exhibit is set up in such a way that it takes into account animal welfare as well as the desires and educational needs of a demanding public.
In 1974, the Toronto Zoo opened their award winning Gorilla Rainforest exhibit which is the world’s largest indoor gorilla exhibit. The Rainforest provides a new and exciting experience for visitors to observe the gorillas in a natural environment. Discovering the gorillas requires patience and at least half an hour is needed to explore the full Gorilla Rainforest. High, rocky outcrops and trees allow the apes to get an overview of the surrounding landscape while streams and dense vegetation allows the gorillas to forage and move into private resting spaces.
Interactive Kids Zoo
Kids zoo is specially designed for young visitors which allows the families to meet and interact with much loved domestic animals like alpacas, goats, rabbits, woodchucks and domestic ferrets. You can take pictures of you kids as the burrow through a dog tunnel, climb in a turtle shell or play in the giant spider web. Kids zoo is also home to pony rides which are open daily.
There is also Discovery Zone for children with water play area, a theatre where the kids can get together and cool off at waterplay area “the Splash Island” before visiting children’s zoo or attending an animal demonstration or children’s entertainment at the new amphitheatre.
Must see Animals
Apart from Pandas, Gorillas and Polar Bears there are plenty of other wild friends that you would like to visit.
Stingrays at Stingray Bay
The stingray is a flat marine fish found in warmer waters around the globe. Here you can enjoy watching them and touching too but with strict instructions.
These rare and beautiful cats have not been seen very often in the wild in over 15 years now. With their population dwindling, they are now classified as a vulnerable species. You can see new white lions here and increase your awareness about them.
The African Penguin is also known as the black footed penguin and formerly as the jackass penguin. This Medium sized penguin has a robust body with black plumage on its back and white plumage with black marking on its chest and belly.
It is the heaviest North American owl and one of the largest in overall size. They have large, round heads, black peaks, yellow eyes and no visible ear tufts.
Toronto zoo is working great towards nurturing a culture of best practice, passion and commitment in protecting wildlife populations and the places that sustain them. Plan a trip to Toronto and experience the wildlife at Toronto Zoo.