The Toronto Zoo is the largest zoo in Canada and one of the most advanded in the Americas. Founded in the 1970s, most of the exhibits are fairly recent, with enclosures and habitats that are generally state-of-the-art. The zoo is known for its expansive, indoor climate-controlled exhibit spaces to better accomodate animals from warmer climates.
Toronto’s first zoo was the Riverdale Zoo. Built in the late 19th century, it was typical of the time, with small, cramped, poorly designed enclosures. By the 1960s, it was decided that the city needed a much larger, modern and more humane facility. An entirely new zoo was built from scratch in an entirely new location. The Toronto Zoo opened its doors in 1974 and is now one of the most popular zoos in the world.
The Toronto Zoo has a large and diverse animal population, with over 450 species and more than five thousand animals. These are displayed in seven exhibit areas grouping animals from all over the world. Many of the exhibit areas feature indoor recreations of habitats, including some very large. One of the largest and best environments is that of the Rainforest Gorilla, an expansive recreation of a jungle environment that is home to a family of lowland gorillas.
The Toronto Zoo is located on the western edge of Toronto, approximately fifteen miles northeast of the city center. It is open year round from 9:30am-4:30pm (later hours in Summer; closed on Christmas). The cost of admission is $23.00. Web: www.torontoezoo.com (official website).