The Toronto Zoo is the largest and best-known of zoos in Ontario, housing more than 5,000 animals from 500 species. A must-do for family fun in Ontario.
Covering 710 acres, this is one of the largest zoos in the world, and my poor feet bear witness to this fact.
Although I've been here many times over the years, I never seem to learn this vital lesson: Don't Try to See All 5,000++ Animal in One Day!!
Toronto's Zoo – tiger; courtesy of Tourism Toronto
Actually, the last time my sister and I went, we did manage to plan it a bit better. We focused on just a couple of sections. The zoo provides a map showing you where the animals are located.
They're all clustered according to the regions of the world, such as Africa, Americas, IndoMalya and Eurasia (the last one sounds like a trendy type of cuisine, actually).
So you can pretend you're going on safari for a day and choose your favourite destination and just do that on this visit. If you're really adventurous you could fit in THREE regions, but I wouldn't recommend pushing beyond that.
Toronto Zoo – polar bear; courtesy of Tourism Toronto
Since I'm Canadian, I'm rather partial to the Canadian animals, like the moose, the lynx, and the bears, etc. so we did that section last time. And we saw most of Africa (but not all!). It's hard to beat those African giraffes for their sheer novelty… how exactly do they keep those heavy heads balanced on those long skinny necks?
There are plenty of places to eat at the zoo (Harvey's, Pizza Pizza, etc) but to save money you might want to bring your own food. You'll find lots of picnic benches scattered around.
One of the neat things I learned about this zoo is that they offer camps for kids. The program is called the Serengeti Bush Camp. I bet your little critters would be thrilled to camp out overnight in the wild! (And haven't you just been telling them they belong in a zoo?)
The zoo is on Meadowvale Road, Scarborough, north of Highway 401. It's about 25 km from downtown Toronto.
You can drive of course and there's lots of parking on-site.
You can also get there by taking public transit, but it does take a while. We took a Toronto Transit bus from the east end of the city last time and our trip took over an hour and a half. You can also take GoTransit to Rouge Hill GoTrain Station and then a Toronto Transit bus.
WANT TO SAVE MONEY? You could save substantially if you're visiting several Toronto tourist attractions if you buy the Toronto City Pass.
Costs and hours
If you're going to visit more than a few times a year it maybe worth your while to buy an annual pass. Another way to save money is to look into City Pass Toronto. To decide if it's worthwhile, see my article mentioned above.
For current cost of admission, hours, etc see the website: http://www.torontozoo.com