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Ripley's Aquarium of Canada in Toronto

Updated on October 15, 2013
An artist's depiction of the Ripley's Aquarium of Canada building, scheduled to open in Toronto in October of 2013.
An artist's depiction of the Ripley's Aquarium of Canada building, scheduled to open in Toronto in October of 2013. | Source
Jellyfish in aquarium.
Jellyfish in aquarium. | Source

A New Tourist Attraction for Toronto

The City of Toronto is getting an exciting addition to its lineup of tourist attractions this year. As of October 16, 2013, residents and tourists will be able to visit the 135,000 square foot Ripley's Aquarium of Canada, right in the heart of downtown Toronto.

The Aquarium is expected to attract nearly two million visitors per year, and is sure to be a popular attraction for both local families as well as tourists visiting Toronto.

Located in the Heart of Downtown Toronto

Located in Toronto's downtown core, Ripley's Aquarium is located at the base of the CN Tower, and close to Toronto's Entertainment district, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Rogers Centre and Air Canada Centre. It will be easily accessible by public transportation - trains and subway in particular, due to its close proximity to Union Station.

Construction on the 135,000 square foot facility began in 2011, with funding support from the City of Toronto, the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada. When finished, the Ripley Aquarium of Canada will be home to more than 13,500 marine creatures, comprising 450 different species.

Location of the new Ripley Aquarium in Toronto

Ripley's Aquarium of Canada:
288 Bremner Boulevard, Toronto, ON M5V 3L9, Canada

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Due to open in October of 2013, this 135,000 square foot aquarium will be a major tourist attraction in Toronto.

CN Tower:
CN Tower, 301 Front Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 2T6, Canada

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Roger's Centre - Home of the Toronto Blue Jays:
Rogers Centre, 1 Blue Jays Way, Toronto, ON M5V 1J1, Canada

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Air Canada Centre - Home of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors:
Air Canada Centre, 40 Bay Street, Toronto, ON M5J 2X2, Canada

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The Shark Lagoon Tunnel at Ripley's Aquarium in Myrtle Beach

Shark Lagoon

One of the highlights of the new Ripley's Aquarium will be the 750,000 gallon Shark Lagoon. Visitors will be able to walk through a 96 metre long see-through tunnel, surrounded by swimming sharks and fish. Similar tunnels exist at Ripley's two existing aquariums in the United States, located in Myrtle Beach South Carolina and Gatlinburg, Tennessee and are hugely popular with visitors.

The Shark Lagoon exhibit will feature a moving walkway, which visitors will be able to step off in order to view areas of the exhibit for longer periods.

Shark Lagoon tunnel

A preview of what the viewing tunnel in Shark Lagoon is expected to look like.
A preview of what the viewing tunnel in Shark Lagoon is expected to look like. | Source

Other Exhibits

In addition to the Shark Lagoon exhibit, the Aquarium will also feature exhibits depicting a tropic reef, as well as Great Lakes, Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean habitats.

As well as a variety of sharks, visitors will be able to view a wide range of marine animals, including jellyfish, sea turtles, seahorses, and hundreds of varieties of fresh water and salt water fish.

There will be a variety of interactive displays, a marine and freshwater education centre, classroom spaces to accommodate school groups, a cafe and a gift shop.

The Aquarium will be open 365 days per year.

Sea turtle.
Sea turtle. | Source

Ripley's Aquarium of Canada Facts and Stats

Ripley's Aquarium of Canada
Size of facility
12,500 square metres / 135,000 square feet
Amount of water in exhibits
5.7 million litres / 1.5 million gallons
Number of species on exhibit
more than 450
Number of sea creatures
more than 135,000
Size of Shark Lagoon
2.84 million litres / 750,000 gallons
Number of operating days per year
Expected attendance
200 million visitors per year
Source: Ripley's of Canada Toronto Aquarium website and press release

Currently, visitors to Toronto who want to visit an animal attraction must leave the downtown core to do so. The closest major animal attractions are the Toronto Zoo on the eastern edge of Toronto's city limits and Reptilia in Vaughan. Both are a significant distance from downtown Toronto, and are not easily accessed by public transit other than buses. The new Ripley Aquarium helps fill this gap, for both tourists and residents alike.

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