Things to do at Toronto Zoo
Toronto Zoo is a fun place to spend a summer outing trip with family and friends while enjoying the outdoors. There is much to explore for children and adults alike.
The zoo in Toronto, is Canada's largest and one of the largest zoos in the world. It spans over 700 acres of land, has 10 kilometers of walking trails and houses over 5,000 animals.
It is laid out into seven different zoogeographic regions, each displayed as separate exhibits showcasing animals and plants from that part of the world. You can spend a whole day outdoors given that there is so much to explore and its sheer size. Therefore, it's important to plan your trip to the zoo, in advance, in order to be able to cover as much as possible and make it an enjoyable experience.
On this web page, you will get a virtual tour of the Toronto zoo to help plan your trip. You will find information on various exhibits, kids discovery zone, special events, food and accommodation, zoo maps, driving directions, hours of operation, buying tickets and much more. For now, you can enjoy this virtual tour.
Videos Exploring Toronto Zoo in Canada
You will get a sneak peek into the zoo from the videos showcased below. The first video is an official video from the Toronto Zoo showcasing the Conservation Carousel and exploring some of the pavilions and exhibits. The rest of the videos feature the recently introduced Chinese Pandas, and the cute little polar bear cub, Humphrey.
Toronto Zoo Information
At the Toronto Zoo Website, you will find all the information you need to plan and organize your visit like hours of operation, directions to the zoo, admission passes, etc.
Admission tickets to the Toronto Zoo can be obtained online in advance for a 10% discount. The cost includes access to most exhibits and events, however, some rides and events are ticketed.
It's a good idea to check the cost of various rides like the conservation carousel, Zoomobile, Camel and Pony rides, strollers and wagons in advance.
Also, keep an eye for various events, celebrations, arts and cultural festivals held at the zoo during the year.
Poll: Toronto Zoo Visit - Share Your Experience at the Zoo
Toronto Zoo Pavilions and Exhibits
Zoogeographic Regions of the Toronto Zoo
There is much to explore at the Toronto Zoo for both children and adults. Organizing a full-day summer outing with the family is a fun way to enjoy the outdoors as well as use it as a learning experience for the kids.
Given that the zoo covers several hundred acres of land, it is a good idea to plan your trip in advance so you and your family can make the best of it. The above Toronto Zoo map will help you identify various pavilions and exhibits that may interest you.
The Toronto zoo is creatively designed and has several regions based on geographical regions of the world. Each of these regions showcases indoor and outdoor exhibits of a variety of animals and plant species. Below you will find a synopsis of each of the regions:
Indo-Malaya: region is the first pavilion to the left as you enter the zoo. It houses animals from the tropical rainforests of India, Malaysia and Indonesia displayed in indoor and outdoor exhibits. Animals like the Great Indian Rhinoceros, Malayan Tapir, Lion-Tailed Macaque, Himalayan Tahr as well as the Indian Peacock form part of the outdoor exhibit.
The Malayan Woods exhibit displays butterflies (including some endangered species), Clouded Leopard, Crested Wood Partridge, Javan Whistling Duck as well as freshwater fish in large aquariums. Other prominent animals featured in the Indo-Malayan pavilion are the Sumatran Tigers and Sumatran Orangutan, several types of reptiles (snakes and lizards), tortoises and birds. In this pavilion, my favourites were the Sumatran Orangutan, peacocks and butterflies.
African: pavilion is next in line and the largest of the seven sections in the zoo, as you can see on the zoo map above. There are two major sections:
The African Rainforest Pavilion houses the world's largest indoor Gorilla exhibit as well as many other animals like the Ring-tailed Lemur, Royal Python, Pygmy Hippopotamus, West African Dwarf Crocodile, different types of lizards, reptiles and birds of the region.
The African Savannah Pavilion features the African Elephant, African Lion, Caracal Lynx, Cheetah, Grevy's Zebra, Masai Girrafe, Spotted Hyena, River Hippopotamus to name a few. Also, recently introduced in May 2011, are the African Penguins.
In this pavilion, my favourite was the Western Iowland Gorilla and of course, I would enjoy the Penguins too.
Canadian Domain: pavilion is located at the north-east corner of the Toronto Zoo and features North American animals like the Wapiti American Elk, American Moose, Canada Lynx, Cougar, Grizzly Bear, Wood Bison, Northern Bald Eagle and some others. In this pavilion, my favourites were the Grizzly Bear and American Moose.
Americas: pavilion, as the name suggests, encompasses both, North and South America and houses the majority of the zoo's amphibian and reptile population. These include animals like the Blue Poison dart Frog, Beaver, Black-tailed Prairie Dog, Boa Constrictor, Brazilian Agouti, Giant Pacific Octopus, Northern Pacific Rattlesnake, and several types of other snakes, birds, frogs, turtles and lizards.
The outdoor exhibit of the Americas pavilion features American Flamingo, Jaguar, Llama, Blue & Yellow Macaw, Scarlet Macaw, and the Black-handed Spider Monkey. In this pavilion, I enjoyed exploring the variety of amphibians.
Tundra Trek: or the Arctic pavilion was introduced in 2009 and houses many different Arctic animals like the Polar Bear, Snowy Owl, Arctic Fox, Arctic Wolf, European Reindeer and the Lesser Snow Goose. As you can imagine, the Polar Bears are the main attraction in the Tundra Trek pavilion and you can expect this place to be crowded. In this pavilion, my favourites were the Polar Bears.
Australasia: pavilion showcases many of Australia's popular animals like kangaroos, wallabies, and Emus which are part of the outdoor exhibit in the Toronto Zoo. The other exhibits feature a variety of Australia's reptiles and amphibians like the Green Tree Python, Komodo Dragon, Frilled Lizard; sea creatures like the Pot-bellied Seahorse, Pennant Coral Fish, Humbug damselfish; several types of birds like the Victoria Crowned Pigeon, Green-winged Dove, Red-tailed black cockatoo and several others. In this pavilion, my favourites were the Kangaroos.
Eurasia: pavilion features animals from the supercontinent of Eurasia which makes up Europe and Asia. Some of the animals showcased in this pavilion are the Snow Leopard, Siberian Tiger, Red Panda, European Bison, Bactrian Camel, Barbary Sheep and others. This section of the Toronto zoo is generally less crowded as compared to the others. In this pavilion, my favourites were the Snow Leopard and Siberian Tiger.
If you have kids, you should check out the Zellers Kids Discovery Zone (see section below) and accordingly incorporate it into your planning. You can easily spend a couple of hours in this area alone and the kids will really enjoy every bit of it.
Documentary: Toronto Zoo Diaries
Kids Discovery Zone
Children's Discovery Area at the Toronto Zoo
Kids Discovery Zone (formerly known as the Zellers Discovery Zone) is a unique area in the Toronto zoo that was designed to provide children a fun, yet educational experience. This nature discovery zone features a Splash Island, Waterside Theater and a Kids Zoo.
Splash Island: is a water-park which provides children and families a place to chill and cool off amid exhibits representing different states of water, that is, ice, gas and water. This water-park includes waterslides, tipping buckets, misters and more.
Waterside Theater: is a fun, open-air theater featuring live animal demonstrations including children's shows. The Waterside Theater is open during the months of late May through early October depending on the weather.
Kids Zoo: is an area, within the Discovery Zone, that provides children a fun opportunity to interact with many different domestic animals like miniature-sized goats, prairie dogs, donkeys, pigs as well as different species of birds.
Entrance in the Discovery Zone is free with the regular admission zoo pass.
Pictures of Toronto Zoo, Ontario Canada
The pictures below and on this web page were taken during my summer trip to the Toronto Zoo with a few friends. It's a wonderful place to spend time outdoors and make it a full day trip. You can click the picture below and see the full album at Flickr. There is lots to see.
Tips for Planning Your Trip to the Zoo
The Toronto Zoo has much to offer in terms of indoor and outdoor pavilions and exhibits showcasing a variety of animals and plants. Given that the zoo spans over 700 acres of land, it is wise to plan your trip in order to cover as much as possible or cover only those pavilions that you and your family are truly interested in. By planning in advance, you will more likely have an enjoyable and education experience:
- Use the map to plot your route and focus on exhibits that interest you;
- Apart from regular zoo exhibits, check for special events being held at the zoo;
- Save 10% off the retail admission fee by booking in advance online;
- Carry snacks and water or hydrating drinks with you;
- Carry your digital camera and/or camcorder to capture special moments;
- Arrive a little early in order to avoid the crowds and get a head start;
- Weekdays are generally less crowded than weekends;
- Check the weather in advance and dress accordingly;
- Don't forget to carry sun protection and wear comfortable footwear;
- Factor in breaks because you will be doing a lot of walking;
- If you have kids, rent a stroller or wagon at the zoo (costs $5 to $8);
- If you have only limited time, consider using the Zoomobile.
Google Map of Toronto Zoo, Ontario, Canada
The Toronto Zoo is located in the Rouge Valley which is in the north-east end of the City of Toronto. If you're looking for driving directions, enter your starting location in the Google map below in order to get detailed directions. The zoo is also accessible via the public transit system. Your can check your public transit options by visiting the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) website: http://www3.ttc.ca/
Guestbook: Toronto Zoo, Ontario, Canada
Anthony Godinho (author) from Ontario, Canada on September 22, 2014:
Thanks for stopping by Janiece! Yes, you should visit Canada again and give yourself sufficient time because there is lots to see. I can be your tour guide lol :)
JanieceTobey on September 14, 2014:
I really need to pack up the family and make a trip to Canada some time! I'd love to visit the Toronto Zoo and see some of the rest of Canada too! I've been to Canada twice before, but both were really short visits lasting only a day.
Auriel on February 27, 2013:
shasha venn on February 15, 2013:
Toronto Zoo is a place from toronto attractions which is loved most among kids. It's a perfect venue for weekend to take our kids along. There are many other Toronto attractions i like are here.. Toronto Tourist attractions. Hope you like them as well.
ChristyZ on February 13, 2013:
I love the Toronto Zoo, it makes for a great family day outing!
myspace9 on February 11, 2013:
Excellent lens with a lot of information.
WorkSmarter101 on January 22, 2013:
I have a membership for the Toronto Zoo it's a nice zoo with a lot of different animals. It's a big zoo so be prepared to do a lot of walking, especially if you have small kids.
goldenrulecomics from New Jersey on November 24, 2012:
We visited Toronto last year but this didn't make our list of places to see. Maybe next time!
RinchenChodron on November 24, 2012:
I went to Toronto a few years back but I missed the zoo - too bad it looks pretty fabulous!
Wednesday-Elf from Savannah, Georgia on November 22, 2012:
The Toronto Zoo looks like a fabulous place to visit. I've been to several large zoos, most recently the St. Louis (Missouri) Zoo, but never to the one in Toronto. May have to add that to my next trip north, given that Toronto is an easy day trip from western NY State where I grew up.
crstnblue on November 21, 2012:
Zoo is always a wonderful place to visit and a "gate" to a different world from which we can learn so much!
Revisit this great lens to spread some angel dust and bless it! :)
dellgirl on September 28, 2012:
*Blessed* because it's a wonderful and informative tour of the Toronto Zoo Canada. Thank you for sharing this.
Anthony Godinho (author) from Ontario, Canada on September 01, 2012:
@BowWowBear: Thanks much! Initially I had used my pictures which were hosted on Flickr, however with the Flickr module issue, I've used Pinterest with HTML. I can share the details of how I've constructed this lens. Feel free to email me or Skype. Your "Contact Me" button is not activated.
BowWowBear on August 31, 2012:
Neat Lens with great photography! Were Flickr modules used here? I would like to know how you constructed the boxes with multiple bullets, text and images. Does someone have a tutorial on what you did? I have two zoos I would love to share with the community. Thanks for sharing!
Tony Payne from Southampton, UK on August 31, 2012:
Just came back for another look, excellent lens.
coolmon2009 lm on August 23, 2012:
Nice lens on Torono Zoo, thanks for sharing.
naomiyoung on August 19, 2012:
Deadicated LM on August 15, 2012:
Sounds / Looks like a fabulous zoological park; I'll be sure to visit if I ever get up that way. A wonderful Lens, you inspired me to make improvements to my Bronx Zoo Lens too 8-)
Andrej977 LM on August 11, 2012:
Very nice lens. Thanks for sharing!
crstnblue on August 02, 2012:
Another great lens - worth as educational material in schools, for children!
dsdmiller on July 31, 2012:
Haven't been to the zoo for several years, but enjoyed many trips there in the past.
Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on July 27, 2012:
I've never been to Canada, but what a great-looking zoo!
Diva2Mom on July 27, 2012:
Thanks for the amazing tour! Love your great presentation and photography! You've convinced me to visit Toronto Zoo, which I've never been to. Thank you for this great lens! God bless.
Nancy Johnson from Mesa, Arizona on July 21, 2012:
I love zoos (especially the primate exhibits!). I hope I can visit this zoo someday.
TransplantedSoul on July 15, 2012:
This is a zoo where they treat the animals with respect.
Millionairemomma on July 01, 2012:
Canada must be gorgeous. I loved the pictures of the Canada Zoo.
UKGhostwriter on June 24, 2012:
Looks like the animals have a reasonable amount of freedom
Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on June 01, 2012:
I have lived in Toronto and still go back there every summer but just have not been to the Zoo. I have to plan a visit there.
Chocolatealchemy from London, United Kingdom on April 08, 2012:
What a great Lens - it will make a great outing for kids (big and small!)
anonymous on April 08, 2012:
I have relatives all over Canada, and Western, NY isn't all that far away. We love visiting zoos, and this is on our list to visit in the future.
Anthony Godinho (author) from Ontario, Canada on April 06, 2012:
@LaraineRoses: Well, hope you get a chance to visit the Toronto Zoo, Laraine. It's huge and you can spend a whole day there. Thanks for the blessings! :)
Laraine Sims from Lake Country, B.C. on April 04, 2012:
We visit relatives in Hamilton very often. It isn't very far to travel to the Zoo. Next time we are there I'll suggest it. I enjoy watching the animals. In earlier days I didn't enjoy visiting the zoo but now the fact is that the areas for the animals are bigger and more environmentally correct. This lens has been a pleasure to view. Angel blessings.
Auntie-M LM on April 03, 2012:
What a wonderful zoo!
dahlia369 on April 01, 2012:
Looks like a beautiful place and the animals look happy, too. Thanks for enabling this virtual visit! :)
miaponzo on March 09, 2012:
I love zoos!!! The last one I went to was the Burnett Part Zoo in Syracuse NY.. I haven't been the the zoo in Kuwait in ages.. maybe it's time to go! Blessed!
Anthony Godinho (author) from Ontario, Canada on March 03, 2012:
@Lady Lorelei: That's a great way to get a virtual tour around the world via Squidoo. There are many great travel lens that I've come across as well. Glad that Toronto Zoo was one of your stops! :)
Lorelei Cohen from Canada on March 01, 2012:
Lol...it is funny but for some reason today I seem to be traveling around the world on Squidoo. Thank you for including the Toronto Zoo on my tour this morning. Your images are wonderful and managed to lead me through the zoo as though I were there beside you. Thank you.
john35055 on February 10, 2012:
Love the zoo and this lens is very informative.
SayGuddaycom on February 10, 2012:
I LOVE that you included costs! That's a critical thing that most travel and tour lenses miss and it frustrates me because how can I plan a trip if I don't know what it costs? Nice work!
Anthony Godinho (author) from Ontario, Canada on January 24, 2012:
@anonymous: Thanks much, Collette! I've visited the Toronto Zoo a couple of times now so it was time to create a lens promoting it. Yeah, I like the way it's broken down into various sections depicting different parts of the world. Australia is definitely a country I'd like to visit someday!
Anthony Godinho (author) from Ontario, Canada on January 24, 2012:
@anonymous: Thanks much, Susie! The Toronto Zoo is a great place to spend a whole day and enjoy nature and the animals from different parts of the world.
anonymous on January 24, 2012:
I loved this Anthony oh!!!! the way that you presented this is delightful, and it was great to see that the zoo is broken up into different areas, and that you have some of our most wonderful animals there. Our zoo is not quite so advanced in Adelaide but the Taronga Park Zoo in Sydney is really something to see.
anonymous on January 13, 2012:
Returning to sprinkle some fresh angel dust over the Toronto Zoo, perhaps one day I'll get to visit!
jadehorseshoe on December 30, 2011:
TZ is a terrific spot to visit. Nice Lens!
sherioz on November 25, 2011:
Excellent information and beautiful lens.
Anthony Godinho (author) from Ontario, Canada on November 09, 2011:
@anonymous: Congrats on your new grandson...wow, time flies! Hope you guys get a chance to visit the National Zoo. Great to see you around! :)
anonymous on November 08, 2011:
It' been many years since I've visited a zoo. We keep saying we are going to the National Zoo and then just don't go for some reason or another. I have a new grandson (well he's a a year old now) though and I know he would love to see the animals. Great Lens AJ, looks like a beautiful zoo! Thanks for sharing!
Anthony Godinho (author) from Ontario, Canada on November 05, 2011:
@TonyPayne: Ah, sorry to hear that your trip to the Miami zoo was a rain soaked one. The Toronto zoo is huge and even one whole day is not enough to cover everything, especially if you have kids. Thanks for the SA blessing! :)
Anthony Godinho (author) from Ontario, Canada on November 05, 2011:
@julieannbrady: LOL...big cats, yeah...that I know! :)
Tony Payne from Southampton, UK on November 01, 2011:
This looks like a great zoo to visit, maybe we can get there one day. We visited Miami Zoo in August, but it rained for 4 hours, and we had to abort our visit, it was just too miserable once our clothes were soaked through. Nice detailed tour of the zoo and the attractions there, blessed.
julieannbrady on October 26, 2011:
Ah, it surely warms my heart that there is a Toronto Zoo -- I'm a Zoo-advocate, you know! Especially for the big cats ... meow!
Cynthia Sylvestermouse from United States on October 24, 2011:
Everybody knows I love animals and zoos! The Toronto zoo looks like a fabulous zoo and one I would love to visit!
Anthony Godinho (author) from Ontario, Canada on October 21, 2011:
@EV3811: That's a great suggestion, with regards to checking out the Rouge River Valley. There is so much to explore at the Toronto Zoo, that's why it's important to plan the trip because it's quite the task to cover everything.
EV3811 on October 20, 2011:
I live just a few kilometers away from the zoo and it is worth going there. If you're really ambitious also check out the Rouge River Valley which is on the other side of Meadowvale right beside the zoo. Beautiful peaceful park as a nice top off to the day at the zoo.
Nathalie Roy from France (Canadian expat) on October 15, 2011:
Back with a blessing for this wonderful Toronto zoo!
Malu Couttolenc on October 11, 2011:
I have never been to the Toronto Zoo and this article is very inviting, it will be in my To Do list next time I go there. Great page!
Lindrus on September 25, 2011:
Nice lens! Have to check this zoo out.
Blackspaniel1 on September 02, 2011:
TeacherSerenia on September 02, 2011:
Wonderful lens. Blessed for Labour day.
CanadaRed LM on August 30, 2011:
This is a great place to visit. Both kids and adults will enjoy it.
norma-holt on August 15, 2011:
Sounds like a great place to visit but I doubt I will ever get there. Nice lens and well presented info and pics.
Anthony Godinho (author) from Ontario, Canada on August 14, 2011:
@Craftyville: LOL, I thought it was good exercise...I enjoyed seeing the bears, it was worth it :)
Craftyville on August 13, 2011:
Love the zoo! But the walk up the hill from the bears exhibit, not fun. Next time I'll skip the bears :)
Anthony Godinho (author) from Ontario, Canada on August 10, 2011:
@CanadaGear: Thanks Darcie! Yeah, the next time you're down in Toronto, hope you can visit the zoo.
CanadaGear on August 09, 2011:
@CanadaGear: Thanks for adding this lens to the plexo on Canada Gear - what a lovely addition, many thanks :))
CanadaGear on August 07, 2011:
We visited Wonderland when we visited Toronto - looks like we missed out on the zoo, what a lovely lens :)
anonymous on July 14, 2011:
The Toronto Zoo sounds amazing! I like to linger and watch animals while taking my time, so that would require all of a day for sure. I like your common sense tips for having a happier visit. Very well done, as usual!
tj1026 on July 09, 2011:
Anthony Godinho (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 22, 2011:
@JanieceTobey: There is lots to do in Toronto and the trip to the zoo could take a whole day! :)
DuaneJ on June 22, 2011:
sounds like fun...would love to see more animal pics
JanieceTobey on June 22, 2011:
I'd love to visit the Toronto Zoo! We're still considering a trip to Canada sometime, so hopefully we can include a visit to the zoo!
Anthony Godinho (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 20, 2011:
@FanfrelucheHubs: Great to see you here, Natalie ~ the Toronto Zoo is a fun place to take kids for and spend a whole day there. Lots of fun activities and educational too. Animoto is a great video-making platform and easy to use. Let me know if you need any help with it.
Nathalie Roy from France (Canadian expat) on June 19, 2011:
Been to Toronto but not to its zoo. To be honest I didn't even know they had a zoo in Toronto. I fund your page via your youtube video by the way! I got to learn how to work with Animoto!
Anthony Godinho (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 18, 2011:
@AuthorNormaBudden: Yeah, that's something you can incorporate into your vacation plan. Depending on what you want, you'd have to make the choice between the Toronto Zoo and Canada's Wonderland. The latter will be more active and rides as opposed to the zoo which would be slower pace and provide a learning experience. But the Toronto Zoo has a kids section as well with a water park.
Anthony Godinho (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 18, 2011:
@sidther lm: It sure is and a great place to take the kids during the summer...fun and learning together!
AuthorNormaBudden on June 17, 2011:
Perhaps we should go there for a day. I'm debating the zoo or Canada's Wonderland. I don't suppose you can create a lens about the Wonderland...I'm sure it would be interesting and informative.
I enjoy this lens; as usual, it's been a pleasure to visit.
sidther lm on June 17, 2011:
The Toronto Zoo looks like a lot of fun! I really love the tigers!