Zoos in Ontario – Best Western Hotels


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Amazing Animals, Parks & Zoos

Bring the whole family and get in touch with nature’s inhabitants at the largest zoo in Canada, the Toronto Zoo. This fascinating park is right along the Rouge River and is home to over 5,000 animals and over 500 species. The kids will love Splash Island, Waterside Theatre, and the Kids Zoo.

Head to Springwater between Victoria Day weekend and Thanksgiving and see 25-acre Elmvale Jungle Zoo housing more than 300 animals from all over the world.

For a day of aquatic fun, venture out to Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, just southeast of the CN Tower in downtown Toronto. There’s an incredible walk-through tank, 5.7 million liters of marine and freshwater habitats, plus 13,500 sea and freshwater specimens from over 450 species.

It’s all about keeping warm this winter. Spend a day out in Minnitaki at Egli’s Sheep Farm Animal Park. This family farm and retail shop have all the wool and sheepskin products you can dream of.  

Egli's Sheep Farm & Animal Park

Animal lover in the family? Called the “Home of the Big Sheep,” Egli’s Sheep Farm & Animal Park is 12 miles west of Dryden in northern Ontario. Egli’s features a retail storefront selling wool and leather products handcrafted on site, including blankets, jackets, motorcycle accessories and sheepskin rugs.

Visitors can take a self-guided tour through the 80-acre animal park to see domestic and exotic farm animals alike. The park also offers interactions with some of the smaller, more social animals, while the Bird Aviary and Lambing Barn are popular draws throughout the warmer seasons.

Elmvale Jungle Zoo

Established in 1967, the Elmvale Jungle Zoo is near Barrie and encompasses 25 acres. The Elmvale Jungle Zoo is home to a wonderful collection of more than 300 animals from South America, Australia, Asia and Africa. Stroll through the zoo, to admire the exotic birds, monkeys, tigers, lizards, lemurs, lions, snakes and giraffes.

Be sure to watch the live reptile presentations and touch the monitor lizards and boa constrictors. Kids love to feed the animals in the petting zoo and play on the playground. Take a break and enjoy a tasty snack from the snack bar or browse the gift shop. Make the most of your next visit to southern Ontario and Barrie.

Jack Miner Bird Sanctuary

Founded in 1904, the Jack Miner Bird Sanctuary, located in Kingsville just north of Leamington, is a premier attraction in southern Ontario. Years after starting the sanctuary, he successfully tagged migrating waterfowl. The resulting data was a fundamental component of the Migratory Bird Treat of 1916 between Canada and the United States.

After Miner's 1944 death, he was honoured for his pioneer work in the conservation of wildlife. In 1947, "National Wildlife Week" favourably passed in the House of Commons, to honor Miner during the week of his birthday. In 2010, Jack Miner became an inductee in the "Legends of the Outdoors Hall of Fame."

Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory

While known for the incredible waterfalls, the Niagara Falls area is home to a wonderful attraction. The Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory features more than 2,000 tropical butterflies from forty-five species, including the Blue Morpho, Gulf Fritillary, Monarch, and Banded Orange. This southern Ontario conservatory is located on the grounds of the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens.

Visitors have enjoyed strolling through the 11,000 square foot climate-controlled greenhouse, on self-guided tours, since its opening in 1996. This impressive greenhouse is the largest glass-enclosed conservatory for butterflies, in America. Take your time walking on the 600 feet of pathways, past the waterfall, while capturing pictures of the free-flying butterflies.

Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

Open daily throughout the year, Ripley's Aquarium of Canada boasts over 5.7-million-litre aquarium sure to entice anyone visiting downtown Toronto. Neighbouring the CN Tower, the aquarium features several galleries, including Rainbow Reef, Dangerous Lagoon, and Canadian Waters.

Ripley's Aquarium of Canada frequently hosts non-aquatic events like weddings, receptions, birthday parties, and more – all of which are common at the aquarium grounds. Don't forget to visit Systems Control, where guests can see exactly how the world-class facility is run. It's a must-visit destination in Toronto.

Toronto Zoo

Established in 1974, the Toronto Zoo is located within the eastern part of the Toronto metropolitan area. Covering 287 acres – making it Canada’s largest zoo and one of the biggest zoos in the world – Toronto's zoo encompasses over 5,000 animals across 500 species.

Open from May through December, the Toronto Zoo features exhibits across seven zoogeographic regions – from Africa back to the Canadian Domain – plus extra kid-friendly sectors like Waterside Theatre, Splash Island, and the Giant Panda Experience. The Toronto Zoo also hosts annual events like the African Arts & Culture Festival, Seafood For Thought, and the Oasis ZooRun.