The Toronto Zoo, located in Scarborough, is the largest zoo in Canada. Representing seven domains from the Americas to Africa and encompassing a whopping 710 acres, the zoo is home to over 5,000 animals, including leopards, tortoises, and camels. The zoo's mission is to educate the public about protecting endangered species and preventing extinction.
Self-guided scripts, which visitors can download on the zoo’s official website, are great for entertaining children of all ages. In addition, zookeepers host scheduled talks and public feedings throughout the year (schedule available online
). Guided tours of the state-of-the-art Wildlife Health Centre, which run on weekends, offer a behind-the-scenes peek at the zoo’s conservation and rehabilitation efforts.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The zoo is a must-do activity for families with kids.
- Book admission tickets online to skip the notoriously long entrance queues. Tickets are $29 for visitors over 13, $19 for children ages 3–12, and free for children under 2 years. Wintertime tickets are offered at a discount.
- Wear comfortable shoes and bring strollers, as the exhibits are spread out and require lots of walking.
- Wheelchairs are free and accessible at the main entrance.
- All-day Zoomobile passes are available for $9 at the entrance; you’ll make stops at four convenient locations.
- The zoo has a variety of restaurants and cafes, but guests are also free to bring their own picnic lunches.
- Trained staff are on hand at all times to ensure the safety and comfort of both visitors and animals.
How to Get There
Located east of Downtown Toronto in Scarborough, the Toronto Zoo makes a great day trip. Take bus 86 to Meadowvale Road and Zoo Road (Monday–Friday service only after Labor Day). Alternatively, take bus 85A north from the Rouge Hill GO Station. If you’re driving, take highway 401 to Meadowvale Road and follow signs for the zoo entrance.
When to Get There
Open daily with the exception of Christmas Day, the zoo is busiest on weekends and public holidays. To beat the crowds, go on weekday mornings. Beginning in summer 2018, the zoo offers Wild Weekday events from Monday through Friday, including character meet-and-greets, movie screenings, and a stuffed animal hospital.
The Rhinoceros Survival Plan
Rhinoceroses are at a high and face increasing risk by poachers. As a part of the Rhinoceros Species Survival Plan, the Toronto Zoo has recently welcomed two baby rhinos, born in December 2017 and January 2018, respectively. Theodore, a White Rhinoceros, and Kiran, a One–Horned Rhino, are happy, healthy, and a huge success for rhino conservation efforts. Visit Kiran in the Greater One–Horned Rhino House daily from 11:30am to 1:30pm.