Our Visit to Ripley's Aquarium
After months of anticipation, Ripley's Aquarium of Canada finally opened its doors on October 16th. My family went to check it out and here are a few of the highlights:
When you first enter, you go through the Canadian Waters exhibit. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised to see the amazing and varied fish that live right in our own backyard. The exhibit also includes habitat from the Atlantic and Pacific ocean. Throughout the exhibit there are informative signs and interactive learning stations for all ages.
The most magnificent thing about the aquarium, the reason you want to... NEED TO GO, is the Lagoon. It's honestly one of the most amazing things I've ever seen. The Lagoon is filled with sharks, sea turtles, unique fish, and splendid marine plants and algae. You can either walk at your own pace or go on the moving sidewalk which will take you through the exhibit in 16 minutes (if you stand still). We did a bit of both. While I was in awe of the remarkable marine life, my three year old was a little intimidated by some of the sharks and my 9 month old watched in amazement.
This area is a perfect place to let your little ones run around and take a break from viewing the exhibits. There is a big yellow submarine, a few slides, a glass tunnel where you can crawl right through an aquarium, and if you want to get your hands a little wet, there is an area where you can touch Horseshoe Crabs.
The Gallery, Ray Bay & Planet Jellies
The Gallery features a variety of delicate species from around the world. Here you'll discover living corals, venomous fish, electric eels, seahorses, sea dragons, cuttlefish, piranhas, and more. There is also a huge exhibit of stingrays where daily feeding shows are held. Next on the "journey" is the beautiful, yes, BEAUTIFUL display of jellyfish that continually change colour. One of my favourite on display is the "baby" jellyfish.
Touch Tanks & Life Support System
As you make your way towards the Touch Tanks you pass the Life Support System, which as the name states, is the marine species life line. This is a behind the scenes look of how the aquarium operates, filters, and provides water to the various galleries. The Touch Tanks is a great place to get up and close with the animals you just saw behind the glass. Roll up your sleeve and reach down to touch one of the tame marine species including Bamboo Sharks and a variety of stingrays.
- Go in the morning. We went right when the aquarium opens and it was practically empty. You can take your time going through the exhibits and your kid can "run" around without much worry. By the time we left it was getting much busier.
- It's easily accessible by subway but if you are driving, park at the lot off Simcoe Street south (convention centre parking). The elevators take you right to the entrance of the aquarium.
- The entire building is stroller accessible and friendly (no stairs). There is lots of room to maneuver around, so bring the stroller if you need.
- There's a café area where you can either purchase food or bring your own (located in the Discovery Centre).
For more information, visit: www.ripleysaquariumofcanada.com.