Best Zoos and Places to see Animals

Thanks to the fantastic zoos and animal destinations in the Greater Toronto Area, families have the opportunity to see animals from across the globe without ever leaving the city. From the massive Toronto Zoo to the more intimate High Park Zoo, these family attractions invite kids to learn about numerous species through exhibits, activities and hands-on interactions with nature. You'll find petting zoos and critter-themed shows to keep your gang entertained all day long. Don't forget to hit up Ripley's Aquarium of Canada, for kids who are fascinated by marine life.

African Lion Safari
1386 Cooper Road, Cambridge, ON N1R 8B2
1-800-461-WILD (9453)
Your day of family adventure at African Lion Safari begins as you set out on a “trek” along 9 km of safari trail in your own vehicle or aboard a Safari Tour Bus. Visitors get closer than they ever imagined to over 1,000 exotic bird and animals that roam freely throughout seven large Game Reserves. Explore thrilling birds of prey performances, take a cruise aboard the "African Queen" boat, or see elephants swim daily. Visit the Pets' Corner and see a variety of animals and birds. Monkey around in the Jungle Playground featuring the Safari Venture, and Toddlers' Play area. Then cool down in the Misumu Bay Wet Play splash pad area.

What you need to know for Summer of 2020: The Drive-through experience is open and now, as part of your day “On Safari!™” tour, visitors may now explore the walking area. The Pets’ Corner is also now open so you can get up close to animals. Select food locations are also now open throughout the park. Guests must purchase tickets in advance online as they are not sold at the gate. Masks are required in all buildings. Park attractions such as Misumu Bay Wetplay, playgrounds, presentations and tours, are still closed to the public.

Bird Kingdom
5651 River Road, Niagara Falls, ON L2E 7M7
Bird Kingdom is the World’s Largest Free-Flying Indoor Aviary. Discover hundreds of tropical birds as you explore the pathways throughout the multi-level rainforest. Meet friendly parrots and exotic animals at Bird Kingdom’s Animal Encounters. Explore the ruins of the Night Jungle that is home to curious owls, bats and fascinating creatures. Lorikeet Landing provides an unforgettable experience where you may feed and interact with the playful lorikeet birds. Bird Kingdom is an exciting adventure that is fun for all ages. This world class attraction is located a 5 minute walk from Niagara Falls and is open all year. Be sure to bring your camera as you encounter exotic birds and animals up close in their natural habitats.

What you need to know for Summer of 2020: Face masks are mandatory. Bring your own, or purchase a single-use paper mask for just $1. Tickets available online (save) and at the door. Tickets are regular admission - not timed entry. Café is currently closed. The Lorikeet feeding attraction is currently closed. There will not be any holding birds or animals in 'Encounters', however there will be an interpreter available.

Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory
2500 Kossuth Road, Cambridge, ON N3H 4R7
The Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory is situated on a 117 acre site which includes the environmental sensitive Kossuth Bog. The 25,000 square foot facility includes a 10,800 square foot indoor tropical garden featuring 1000’s of free flying butterflies from all over the world, over 100 different varieties of tropical plants, waterfalls, streams, reflecting pools, tropical finches, Chinese painted quail, and red-eared slider turtles. Discover 1000's of free-flying butterflies in a tropical garden. Explore a vast collection of insects, meet live giant exotic bugs and experience the tropics!

What you need to know for Summer of 2020:  Face masks are mandatory throughout the facility. Timed tickets are required for all visitors and must be purchased online. Contactless payment only, no cash onsite. Coat racks and water stations are temporarily closed. No food or drink is permitted on-site, with the exception of personal water bottles. A selection of hot food, snacks, and refreshments are currently available for take-out and can be enjoyed outside at the Cafe patio. The Chrysalis Cafe is open daily from 10:30am to 4:00pm.

Far Enough Farm at Centreville
Centre Island, Toronto, ON
Far Enough Farm is a small farm and petting zoo located within Centreville Amusement Park. A wide variety of animals are always ready for up close and personal contact. This unique petting farm is located just minutes from Toronto's bustling downtown core, and provides city-dwelling children and visitors the opportunity to get up close and personal with over 40 different species of farmyard animals and exotic birds. Everyone is sure to find a new friend. Admission to the farm is free.

What you need to know for Summer of 2020: Currently closed.

High Park Zoo
Bloor Street and Queensway Avenue, Toronto, ON
Established in the 1890s for deer, the park's animal paddocks are a popular attraction. Today the zoo's nine paddocks are home to a variety of animal species from around the world including bison, llamas, peacocks, deer, highland cattle, and sheep. The zoo is open every day from 7:00 am to dusk. The llama pens are open to the public on weekends and holidays for special activities and feedings (March to October). Admission is free.

What you need to know for Summer of 2020: Before entry to High Park Zoo, you must complete the Ontario Ministry of Health self-assessment for COVID-19, on their web page. You must physically distance, wear a cloth mask or face covering if you cannot maintain physical distancing. Keep your hands as clean as possible and avoid contact with surfaces. If High Park Zoo is busy, please consider returning another time when it is less busy. The llama pens are closed.

Jungle Cat World
3667 Concession Road 6, Orono, ON
Since 1983, Jungle Cat World Wildlife Park has been offering visitors the unique opportunity to see and experience wild species, many threatened with extinction, in an up-close and personal environment. What you need to know: General Admission tickets sales will only be available online, valid only for a specific date and redeemable only in 30-minute increments, between 10am-5pm daily. This will keep visitors well spaced and maintain a good flow. Wildlife Education Programs that require a level of close interaction with guests have been cancelled. These include Safari Zoo Camp, Behind the Scenes, Night Safari and Guided Feeding Tour. Face covering are required when indoors, and strongly recommended when outdoors in the park.

Reptilia Zoo 
Locations in Vaughan and Whitby
Reptilia is a State of the Art 25,000 square foot facility complete with large exhibits showcasing hundreds of different reptiles and amphibians. Each day there are a variety of opportunities to interact with our animals and learn from our exceptional Cast Members during our shows, tours, and animal feedings! With reptile feedings every day, free live theatre shows or zoo keeper tours, and a chance to interact with the reptiles and the Zoo Cast, Reptilia is a destination worth visiting. Reptilia's zoo is the first of its kind and it adds another destination to Vaughan and Whitby's growing list of attractions.

What you need to know for Summer of 2020: Timed ticketing is in effect to monitor the flow of guests. All visitors are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance and will be directed into the zoo’s entrance at their allocated time slot. Masks are mandatory. Indoor and outdoor playground areas remain closed. Contactless payment is preferred. for any purchases.

Ripley's Aquarium of Canada
288 Bremner Boulevard, Toronto, ON M5V 3L9
Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is the newest and most anticipated attraction in the heart of downtown Toronto, next to the CN Tower. The 135,000 sq. foot (12,500 sq. metre) thrilling interactive attraction is an immersive adventure showcases more than 16,000 marine animals and over 450 species.

What you need to know for Summer of 2020: Timed tickets will be sold and need to be purchased online ahead (no tickets at gate). The Aquarium is limiting hourly attendance to control guest flow. Face coverings are mandatory. All programs, dive shows, and tours have been suspended temporarily. The café, playground, and coat check are closed. No food or beverage will be available for sale. Contactless payment via debit or credit is preferred for all purchases.

Riverdale Farm Zoo
201 Winchester St., Toronto, ON M4X 1B8
Don’t let the location fool you. The Riverdale Farm is a perfect example of a turn of the century Ontario farm, and it allows visitors to experience life on a farm and gain appreciation for a rural environment. Kids can see many farm animals, including cows, horses, donkey, sheep, goats, pigs, chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, rabbits, and farm cats. The Farm is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and admission is free.

What you need to know for Summer of 2020: Before entry to Riverdale Farm, you must complete the Ontario Ministry of Health self-assessment for COVID-19, on their web page. You must physically distance, wear a cloth mask or face covering if you cannot maintain physical distancing. Keep your hands as clean as possible and avoid contact with surfaces. If Riverdale Farm is busy, please consider returning another time when it is less busy.

Toronto Zoo
361A Old Finch Avenue, Toronto, ON M1B 5K7
The Toronto Zoo is Canada's largest Zoo, home to more than 5,000 animals, representing 450 species. The Toronto Zoo is committed to fighting extinction and connecting people to wildlife. There are over 10 km (six miles) of walking trails. At 287 hectares (710 acres), the Toronto Zoo is one of the largest Zoos in the world!

What you need to know for Summer of 2020: Pre-booked time slots are required for both Zoo Guests and Zoo Members and tickets must be purchased online (no tickets at the gate). Face coverings are required inside the buildings. This includes: African Rainforest Pavilion, Gift Shops, Membership Building, Washrooms & Restaurants (most restaurants are open). Rides, Zoomobile, Lockers, Wagons, Stroller & wheelchair rentals, Drinking fountains, ATM and Splash Island are all closed. Open daily 9:00 am to 7:00pm. Last timed-ticket at 4:00pm. You can still book a Scenic Safari from the comfort of your own car. The zoo is closed Mondays for deep cleaning.

More to explore - Check each website for COVID-19 updates

Elmvale Jungle Zoo
14191 County Rd. 27, Elmvale, ON L0L 1P0
Discover an exciting and educational outdoor adventure. See majestic lions, tigers, jaguars, monkeys, and lemurs. More

Lionel's Farm
11714 McCowan Rd., Stoufville, ON L0H 1L0
A unique outdoor petting zoo, a play barn which includes an eating area, a play castle, rock climbing wall, as well as pony and hay rides. There is a small admission fee to access the farm. More

7657 Portage Road, Niagara Falls, ON L2E 6X8  
Marineland is a theme park featuring performing marine mammals, amusement rides, and land animals. More

Oshawa Zoo & FUN FARM
3377 Grandview St North, Oshawa, ON L1H 8L7
Oshawa Zoo and Fun Farm is a clean, green, interactive mix of friendly exotic and domestic animals. Features over 40 species of friendly and tame birds and animals and 22 fenced acres, picnic area, refreshment and animal food kiosk. Feeding and petting opportunities. More

Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory
2405 Niagara Parkway, Niagara Falls, ON L2E 3E8
This attraction features over 2,000 colourful tropical butterflies floating freely among lush, exotic blossoms and greenery. More

Mountsberg Conservation Area
2259 Milburough Line, Campbellville, ON
Mountsberg is the ideal destination for families. There are horse-drawn wagon rides. Kids can pet a grazing goat and of course a stop at the Play Barn. Mountsberg also offers 16 km of trails, bird-watching, a bison herd, and even private Raptor Encounters. More

Riverview Zoo and Park
1300 Water St., Peterborough, ON K9J 6Z5
The park covers 55.5 acres and is the largest and most diversified playground in the city with animals, a splash pad, and more. More

Safari Niagara
2821 Stevensville Road, Fort Erie, ON L0S 1S0
Safari Niagara, a 150-acre, nature park, invites you to spend the day with more than 750 animals of native and exotic mammals, reptiles, and birds. More

Twin Valley Zoo
84 Langford Church Rd, Brantford, ON N3T 5L4
Built on 25 beautiful acres in Brant County, Brantford Twin Valley Zoo is a great place to observe a collection of native and exotic animals maintained in natural surroundings. Come visit the animals, bring along your lunch and enjoy a picnic area, and take a stroll on a short nature trail in 5 acres of woodland. More

Note: This information was accurate as of July 15, 2020. Due to the rapidly-evolving nature of the COVID-19 response, some information may become outdated. Always check the attraction's website for final details and how to prepare for your visit before heading out. 

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