Zoo in North York

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Toronto Zoo's 710-acre grounds and five indoor pavilions house more than 5,000 animals representing more than 500 species in recreated habitats. More than 10 kilometres of walking trails wind through fall colours and seven geographical zones designed for year-round exhibition, bringing wanderers up close to fauna from far away places such as Africa, Australia, and James Cameron's subconscious. Recently moved in to a 6,000-square-foot exhibit, endangered african penguins make funny faces at visitors in an underwater viewing area, where the tuxedoed tykes dive and swim. Western lowland gorillas headline the rainforest exhibits, and a stroll through the Tundra Trek unveils a five-acre polar bear habitat and a reindeer flight-training camp. Upcoming events include the Oasis ZooRun, Remembrance Day, Boo at the Zoo, and the Christmas Treats Walk. Visitors are welcome to pack their own lunch or opt for on-site food options, which span cafés, restaurants, and snack bars, enabling grab-and-go or sit-and-ponder-existence refueling.

361A Old Finch Ave
Scarborough,
ON
CA

Established: 1977

Staff Size: 2?10 people

Average Duration of Services: 2?4 hours

Parking: Parking lot

Handicap Accessible: Yes

Recommended Age Group: All ages

Pro Tip: If you're visiting Monday?Friday between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., you will need to get a temporary parking pass.

Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Public Gardens

Q&A with the Coordinator / Outdoor Educator At The Humber Arboretum's Centre For Urban Ecology

As the old adage says, "Stuff happens." What training do you and your staff have to stay ahead of the unexpected?

Humber Arboretum staff work very closely with Humber College's Public Security to ensure that your visit is as enjoyable as possible. If anything unexpected happens, notify staff members located at the Centre for Urban Ecology, and we will work as quickly as possible to help you out in any way we can.

What?s your favorite part of your job?

My favourite part of my job is interacting with the children that visit the Humber Arboretum for outdoor education, nature camp, or just to explore this amazing urban green space.

Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?

One thing that makes the Humber Arboretum so unique is the fact that it has 5 different ecosytems within a 10-minute walk from the Centre for Urban Ecology (Toronto's first LEED Gold certified building) located in the public garden area. Whether it's the forest, ponds, river, meadow, or our newly constructed wetlands, the 6 kilometers of hiking trails throughout the Humber Arboretum will lead you through many different natural areas for you to explore.

205 Humber College Blvd
Etobicoke,
ON
CA

Pawsitively Pets For Kids fosters bonds between critters and kids with programs and camps designed to teach children to care for a variety of animals. Tortoises, chinchillas, snakes, and other exotic animals have all crawled, slithered, and hopped their way into Pawsitively Pets? wide-ranging curriculum, along with more traditional domestic beasts, such as hamsters, kittens, and guinea pigs. During camps or classes held after school and on the weekends, Pawsitively Pets also uses kids? enthusiasm for animal interactions to fuel projects and cooperative group activities, helping foster kids? inner creativity and teamwork skills.

202 Parkhurst Blvd.
Toronto,
ON
CA

Spanning 25,000 square feet of living quarters for coldblooded creatures, Reptilia houses more than 200 venomous and nonvenomous reptiles and amphibians. Experienced keepers and handlers educate zoo-goers on the critters that make up the more than 50 exhibits, including star attractions such as a 14-foot king cobra, a red-footed tortoise, and Induna—a 14-foot Nile crocodile weighing more than 1,200 pounds. Besides expounding on animals’ eating habits during four live feedings each day, the staff also demonstrates the reptiles’ instinctive behaviors during live shows in an on-site theatre. Furthering its commitment to reptilian education, the zoo helps visitors overcome their irrational fears of snakes, spiders, and terrarium glass in a four-week course dedicated to phobias, and camp counselors guide Reptilia campers through science experiments, arts and crafts, and ecologically focused zoo tours.

2501 Rutherford Rd
Vaughan,
ON
CA

At Puck’s Farm, visitors can bond with 180 acres of the natural environment by learning about harvest-time chores and activities or scheduling weddings and events year-round on the open grounds. Guests of the farm can meet its animal residents, including emus, llamas, and a farm cat, which is much friendlier than a farm puma. For an even more interactive experience with fauna, Puck’s offers pony rides and the opportunity to milk cows and churn butter. Wooded trails traverse the expanse and present one of the many places on the farm where guests can delight in the changing of the seasons. Fall, for example, offers a variety of seasonal activities: visitors can get lost in corn mazes, pick ripened pumpkins, ride in horse-drawn wagons, and stroll through trails speckled with changing leaves. Autumn months also see pigs and goats building their nests for the winter ahead. An onsite snack bar serving hot dogs, hamburgers, and french fries enables guests to refuel for full days of farm activities.

16540 11th Concession Rd.
Schomberg,
ON
CA

Originally founded in 1919 as Bowmanville Zoological Park as a small recreational resort with a swimming pool, cottages, tennis courts, and a small petting zoo. Renamed Bowmanville Zoo in 1964 and under new ownership since 1988, the zoo now hosts more than 300 animals roaming 42 acres of parkland, including birds, reptiles, mammals, and large felines seen on films and television shows such as Animorphs and Peter Benchley?s Amazon. Throughout the week, guests have the opportunity to watch zoo keepers feed the animals, watch live animal presentations in the Animatheatre, or take in attractions such as Splash Bash and horse-drawn carriages.

340 King St. E
Bowmanville,
ON
CA