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Toronto Zoo

Toronto Zoo

True Paradise for kids and Animal Lovers

If you are traveling to Toronto with children, a visit to the Toronto Zoo is absolute must.

It is one the premier zoos in the world with over 5000 wonderful animals and species and third largest in terms of area, spanning over 287 hectares (710 acres) of land.

The Zoo is major tourist attraction of Toronto and provides a unique wildlife experience with lots of fun and knowledge.

Purchase a Toronto CityPASS and visit 5 high-flying Toronto attractions for one low-priceAvoid most ticket lines! Save time and money. Valid for 9 days.

Includes admission tickets to the CN Tower, Casa Loma, Ontario Science Centre, Royal Ontario Museum and Toronto Zoo. For more detail, visit Toronto CityPASS

The Toronto Zoo is located near the beautiful Rouge Valley in the northeast corner of the city.

I have visited many zoos in my life, but the Toronto Zoo is really special among all. It is truly the greatest Zoo that I have ever visited. I have very fond memories of my previous visits to the Zoo. Without a doubt, my most favourite activity is to watch Polar Bears playing, swimming and plunging deep into the water. I’m sure a trip to Zoo will be truly amazing experience for you and your kids.

Toronto Zoo - Zebra

Since its inception in August 1974, the Zoo has gone through numerous expansion and reconstruction. Several new exhibits have been added and few new habitats have been created for animals. Now, the Zoo houses several rare and bizarre creatures from all over the world.

The Toronto Zoo is also famous for its zoological conservations and providing natural and large habitats to animals. It has become critical centre for zoological and ecological research and creating mass awareness on grave environmental and zoological issues. It is a great place to see and learn how to take care of the animals.

The Toronto Zoo is huge, very HUGE! You need a full day to explore it and see all the animals. And that means you have to plan well and manage your time wisely. Get the informative visitor’s guide from the Front Entrance. This guide also contains map of the Zoo.

Toronto Zoo - Lake Malawi cichlids

Be prepared for a long and exhaustive walk. I recommend you to wear pair of comfortable shoes and seasonal clothes. Also, bring additional spring jacket, sunscreen lotion, quality eye wear and an umbrella. You never know when you need them.

I also suggest you to rent the strollers, wagons or wheelchairs as per your requirements. They are available for rent at the front entrance for nominal fee and refundable deposit. They are offered on first come first server bases and are in limited quantity.

The Toronto Zoo is the first in North America to group the animals according to their geographic origin. The Zoo is divided into six major sections which include Indo-Malaya, Africa, Americas, Australasia, Eurasia and Canadian domain. In August 2009, the new 10-acre Tundra Trek was officially opened for public.

Indo-Malaya Pavilion

Toronto Zoo - Sumatran Tiger

Probably this is the section with which you will start your excursion. As the name suggests, most of the animals displayed here are from Indian, Malaysian and Indonesian tropical rain forests. The animals are displayed in several indoor and outdoor exhibits.

Toronto Zoo - Orangutan

The major animals of this area that you should not miss are Lion-tailed macaque, Great Indian rhino, Himalayan tahr, Malayan tapir, White handed gibbon, Sumatran orangutan, Sumatran tiger and Clouded leopard. The Orangutan exhibit is very popular among the visitors with its multi-level viewing.

The other memorable exhibits that your kids will enjoy are aquarium featuring fresh water fishesCute turtles and colourful birds and butterflies in Malayan Woods Pavilion.

Overall this is a great section to start with.

African Pavilion

Toronto Zoo - Masai giraffe

The African Pavilion is the biggest of all the sections. And definitely one of the most exciting and enjoyable too! This pavilion has two distinct sub-sections, African Rainforest Pavilion and African Savanna Pavilion.

The African Rainforest Pavilion features Western lowland gorilla exhibit, which is the largest indoor gorilla habitation in the world. This exhibit offer enough climbing space and opportunities and the gorillas really make the most of it. Kids enjoy this great exhibit a lot.

Toronto Zoo - Western lowland gorilla

Mandrill, Pygmy hippopotamus, West African dwarf crocodile, Red river hog, Lake Malawi cichlids, African spoonbill are some of the other interesting creatures in the African Rainforest Pavilion.

The African Savanna Pavilion is an African wild game reserve where wildlife can be seen in the midst of the landscape features of East Africa. This award winning pavilion features African elephant, cheetah, Masai giraffe, River hippopotamus, African lion, White rhino, Zebra, Ostrich, Olive baboon, South African fur seal and much more. This is the one of my favourite pavilion and I am sure your kids will love it too.

Canadian Domain

Canadian Domain provides native environment to many North American animals which include American elk, American moose, Arctic wolf, Canadian lynx, Cougar, Grizzly bear and Musk ox.

Weston pond is really amazing area to stroll and the Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Trail is also excellent. Canadian Domain is currently undergoing restructuring.

Americas Pavilion

Toronto Zoo - American Flamingo

The Americas Pavilion includes animals from North as well as South America. It showcases a broad array of amphibians, reptiles, insects and fishes. In fact, it has the largest collection of Zoo’s amphibians and reptiles.

It is a great place to see amphibian creatures like Arrow poison frog, Colorado river toad, Surinam toad, Green frog, Blue poison dart frog, Dying poison dart frog and many more.

Toronto Zoo - Spider monkey

The major reptiles includes American alligator, Eyelash viper, Granite spiny lizard, Midland painted turtle, Snapping turtle, Spotted turtle, Tiger rat snake, Reticulate gila monster, American chuckwalla.

I found these amphibians and reptiles very strange, unusual and sometimes scary too!

For bird lovers, it has a great bird aviary displaying colourful birds. If you like to watch bugs, don’t miss the bug exhibits. They’re really nice.

You will find beautiful red American flamingo, Jaguar and Spider monkey in some great outdoor exhibits.

All in all, the Americas Pavilion is very enjoyable with many good exhibits.

Purchase a Toronto CityPASS and visit 5 high-flying Toronto attractions for one low-priceAvoid most ticket lines! Save time and money. Valid for 9 days.

Includes admission tickets to the CN Tower, Casa Loma, Ontario Science Centre, Royal Ontario Museum and Toronto Zoo. For more detail, visit Toronto CityPASS

Tundra Trek

Toronto Zoo - Polar Bear

The Tundra Trek is home to many Arctic animals including Polar bear, Reindeer, Arctic wolf, Snow goose, Snowy owl and Arctic fox.

Toronto Zoo - Arctic Fox

The Tundra Trek offers some of the best exhibits in the Zoo. The newly built state-of-the-art 5-acre Polar bear exhibit is the best in the Toronto Zoo. And off course, my most favourite too! You can watch the polar bears doing various funny activities like playing with balls, eating carrots, swimming and taking a deep plunge into the water.

The exhibit also provides underwater viewing area for very close views of the Polar bears.

According to me, the Polar bear exhibit is one of the must-see attractions of the Zoo. And I am sure that you will agree with me after visiting it.

Australasia Pavilion

Toronto Zoo - Live Coral

The Australasian Pavilion houses animals from the Australian mainland, as well as few nearby islands.

Toronto Zoo - Kangaroo

After almost 2 years of reconstruction and renovation, the Australasian Pavilion reopened in May 2008 with great new exhibits.

The newly built Great Barrier Reef exhibit is a real show stopper. The Great Barrier Reef features Sea horses, a live Coral and Jellyfish tank, Lion fish, Bamboo sharks and a large seven meter (23 feet) long community tank. It’s one of the very popular exhibit among kids and adults alike.

The other species in this area include Yabbys, Komodo dragons, Thorny devil stick insects, a variety of Australian reptiles, kangaroos, wallabies, emus, Southern hairy-nosed wombats, Kookaburras, Red-tailed black cockatoos, Matschie’s tree kangaroos.

Eurasia Pavilion

The Eurasia is the oldest and one of the least crowded parts of the Zoo. This pavilion showcases various animals like Red panda, Siberian tiger, Snow leopard, Bactrian camel, Barbary apes, Barbary sheep, Przewalski’s wild horse, Wisent (European bison), West Caucasian tur, Yak and Asiatic wild dog.

This section is under redevelopment plan to include a variety of new animals in newly built spacious exhibits.

Other Amazing Activites At The Toronto Zoo

Zellers Discovery Zone

The Zellers Discovery Zone is a special attraction targeted for kids, keeping in mind the large number of kids visiting the Zoo every year.

The Discovery Zone features Splash Island, an exciting water park spread over 2-acre of land. While kids are having a blast amidst the waterslides and a waterfall, they will learn about which animals and plans live in different bodies of water in Canada, an open-air ‘Waterside Theatre’, where various educational shows demonstrating the natural characteristics of a various animals are organized and the Kids Zoo, with its unique opportunities to get up close and personal with your adored domestic animals. It’s an interactive learning area for children who want to have some fun!

Kids love all of these features and they are all FREE!

There is one big surprise in store for you. A face-to-face interaction with Sharks! Yes, you can safely and humanely interact with incredible Sharks as they navigate around their 60,500 litre state of the art saltwater pool. Don’t be afraid. This exhibit is presented by professional marine experts. So enjoy this protected and engaging exhibit.

A nominal fee ($3) applies to see this wonderful exhibit. Also, please check the timing for this exhibit as soon as you enter the Zoo.

Zoo Rides

Zoomobile – Ride All Day!

As I said before, the Toronto Zoo is a big Zoo with lots to do and see.

Zoomobile is a perfect ride for those who has time constraint and cannot afford a full day visit to the Toronto Zoo. Or for those of you who are accompanied by elder person.

Toronto Zoo - Zoomobile

Save your time and energy with Zoomobile. It takes you quickly to all the most popular attractions, from Canadian Domain to Africa to Americas, with your Zoomobile All Day Pass.

Up to 5 trams travel continuously around the Zoo with stops at 5 locations – Main Entrance, Canadian Domain, African Savanna, Americas and Eurasia.

You will be accompanied by the Zoo guide on the Zoomobile. So you won’t miss any major attraction.

Zoofari Stimulator

Toronto Zoo - Safari Ride

You can enjoy 3 different stimulation rides at the Zoofari Stimulator! Each ride is about 3 minutes in length.

Gorillas of the Virunga Mountains is a wild ride into the jungles of Africa which gets you close to the gorillas in their natural habitat.

Diving with Dolphins is an easy underwater adventure for younger audience.

And if you’re up to the challenge, experience Astro Canyon Coaster, a thrilling ride through space.

Camel Ride

Camel Ride is safe, sound and suitable ride for all ages. Even kids can ride alone. Just mount on dromedary or Bactrian camel and you’re ready to go! Zoo keeper will lead you around a circular path. What an unforgettable experience!

Pony Ride

Treat the younger ones in your family to a pony ride. Kids will love this unique experience. It is perfectly safe for your kids because you lead the pony and control the speed.

All of these rides are paid services and operate seasonally subject to weather condition. You need to buy separate tickets for each of them. You can get the tickets from the Front Entrance Ticket Booth, the Zoomobile Main Station or from any of shops or kiosks.

Refreshment Options At The Toronto Zoo

After few hours of excursion and animal watching in the Zoo, it’s time for well-deserved break to refuel and recharge your body. And Toronto Zoo won’t disappoint you with its famous restaurants and snack bars offering an array of delectable food. If you wish to bring your own lunch, quite a few picnic tables are set up throughout the Zoo to enjoy the food with your friends and family.

You have options to enjoy assortment of fresh sandwiches, hot dogs, baguettes and wrap, pizzas, burgers, crispy chickens, fries and chips. Cool off with refreshing cold drinks and fresh fruit juices. Or treat yourself with yummy ice-creams, delicious whole-wheat deep fried pastry and coffee.

However, most of the restaurants are open seasonally and the food is a bit pricey. So I advise you to bring your own food and lots of drinking water too.

Zoovenir Shops

For shopping, there are many retails shops located throughout the Zoo, operated by the Toronto Zoo. These gift shops are perfect place to buy that special souvenir of your visit to the Zoo. Check out the huge collection of lush animals, toys, tees, hats and much more. What about the Polar bear of your own! And if you are looking for some authenticate African items, you won’t be disappointed either.

Toronto Zoo – Tourist Information

Location: 361A Old Finch Avenue, Scarborough, M1B 5K7

Phone: 416-392-5929

Hours of Operation:

Toronto Zoo is year-round attractions, which remains close only on December 25th.

Jan 01 – Mar 11 : 9.30am to 4.30pm

Mar 12 – May 21 : 9.00am to 6.00pm

May 22 – Sep 06 : 9.00am to 7.30pm

Sep 07 – Oct 11 : 9.00am to 6.00pm

Oct 12 – Dec 31 : 9.30am to 4.30pm

Last admission one hour before closing time

Best time to visit: May to November


General Admission (Includes access to all pavilions, exhibits and daily shows)

Child 3 and under: Free

Child (4-12): $12.38

General (13-64): $20.00

Seniors (65+): $14.29

15% group discount is available for groups of 20 or more individuals. Call 416-392-5932 for group discount.

Please note that price doesn’t include any taxes. 13% HST will be applied on the listed price.

You can purchase the ticket online at or from the entrance gate of the Toronto Zoo.

Money-spinning Tip: Buy the Toronto CityPass, which includes admission to Toronto Zoo. With Toronto CityPass, you can skip long lines and save nearly 50% on regular admission prices to top Toronto attractions such as CN Tower, Royal Ontario Museum, Casa Loma and Ontario Science Centre. Discover more about easy-to-use, deeply discounted Toronto CityPass ticket booklet

Payment Method: Cash, Debit Card, Credit Card (Visa, American Express, Master Card), traveller’s cheques

Transit and Driving Directions:


The 86A Toronto bus route operates to the Zoo from Kennedy Station every day during the summer. Buses run from about 6am to 8pm. After Labour Day, 86A Toronto buses operate to the Zoo from Monday to Friday only.

The 85 Sheppard East bus route operates to the Zoo from Don Mills Station and Rouge Hill GO Station on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. 85A ‘Via Toronto Zoo’ and 85B ‘To Toronto Zoo’ buses serve the Zoo directly, from about 7am to 8pm. Other 85 Sheppard East buses serve the Sheppard Avenue/Meadowvale Road intersection, where customers can transfer to 86A Toronto buses for the short trip into the Zoo.

Driving Directions:

From the East – Take the Highway 401 West and get off at Meadowvale Road exit, drive north on Meadowvale Rd. and follow signs to the Toronto Zoo entrance.

From the West – Take the Highway 401 East and get off at Meadowvale Road exit, drive north on Meadowvale Rd. and follow signs to the Toronto Zoo entrance.

Parking: There are 4 parking lots available for public parking at Toronto Zoo. The main parking lot is divided into 5 subdivisions, A to E. The other 3 parking lots are on east of Meadowvale road. Parking charge is $10 (Pay at admission).

For more information visit