Guest Post: Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto Consumer Review

Today I am very excited to share with you our first guest post!  We have been to the Ripley's Aquarium in Toronto twice as a family and MJ also went with his friends recently.  I am very pleased to share Katie's review with you all.  

Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto Consumer Review
BY: Katie Morrison

Way back in my pre-children days, I would see the moms in the mall with their kids on a leash. Have you ever seen them? The kids strapped into a fluffy backpack with a mom tether attached on the other end? I finally understand now why they are necessary.

Today, we took my very energetic 3-year old to Ripley’s Aquarium. Toronto’s newest attraction, opened in October of 2013 and 2 years later still welcomes visitors with an entrance line-up as long as an American Idol audition queue. As my son and I slowly made our way down the sidewalk, at the base of the CN Tower, we wondered to ourselves – is this really worth it? It definitely was.

Once we waited in line to get in the front doors, and then gave them this month’s rent in exchange for 3 family day passes, we were finally inside! We were greeted by a massive aquarium of tropical fish. The crowds wove their way into the belly of the building surrounded by tanks full of diverse marine life, 13,500 different species of sea animals. The facility was immaculately clean considering the sheer volume of tourists passing through the halls. My son was in awe at the 3-story kelp forest and the monstrous Giant Groupers. Apparently there was a spectacular sea horse exhibit, but the small viewing areas made some of the creatures difficult to see.

The horde of anonymous tourists funnelled their way into the ‘Danger Lagoon’ suggested that the most dangerous part in this tunnel may be claustrophobia. As the mass of people channelled underneath the foreboding sign and assembled onto the conveyor belt that would transport you around the shark lagoon. Once you step onto that moving sidewalk, you journey underwater. Completely surrounded by glass and 2.9 million litres of water, you move with the others visitors along the path and watch as a variety of exotic species, including Sand tigers, nurse sharks, sawfish and a moray eel pass along beside and above you. The children were all squealing with delight at such a close encounter with dangerous predators. 

The facility was child friendly offering interactive exhibits, a petting area, lots of education displays and an indoor fish-themed playground next to the food court. Even though it is extremely stroller friendly, strollers are not recommended since the tunnels can become crowded and though simple to maneuver around the exhibits, it is not so easy to maneuver around hoards of people.

Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto is open 9-6 Monday-Thursday and 9-9 Friday, Saturday and holidays. It is worth the effort to fully research when the peak times are and schedule around that. The exhibits are incredible to see and the facility is one of the best aquariums in the world, but the crowds can be the only negative in what could be wonderful family time memories.  A great educational opportunity visit: to plan your adventure!

Guest blog post by Katie Morrison.
Katie is a freelance writer, sport enthusiast and stay-at-home mom of a high energy, four-year old. Katie has recently embarked on homeschool preschool adventure with her son. Together, they are learning with an eclectic, child-led, road schooling curriculum.  Born in Hamilton, raised in Brockville, Ontario and then recently returned to steel city to raise a family, tackle the real estate market and play competitive dodge ball as often as possible.