As a vegetarian I do not believe in capturing animals for the entertainment of humans. I think it’s wrong, and I am vehemently opposed to anyone who tries to defend zoos and aquariums. The only exceptions are sanctuaries who rescue and protect animals from neglect and abuse.
When I first heard that Toronto was working tirelessly to open an aquarium I was upset, but then told myself that once it opened its doors I would go and see for myself what all the fuss was supposed to be about.
It came as no surprise then that Ripley’s Aquarium opened at the foot of the CN Tower in downtown Toronto to much controversy two weeks ago. It’s clearly a tourist trap, and has divided opinion amongst animal rights activists and capitalists, the latter who claim that it’s vital to the health of Toronto’s economy.
The new Toronto attraction includes 5.7 million litres of water, with over 15,000 marine creatures. There is a variety of species to delight children and their parents.
The most impressive exhibit is the Dangerous Lagoon. With a slow-moving sidewalk, visitors are overwhelmed with ocean life. From sea turtles, tiger sharks and a multitude of other fish, there is a plethora of information about each species and the aquarium’s efforts to ensure that each of them thrive in their new habitat.
I was pleased to see that the aquarium provides educational programs, and there are plans to expand its research initiatives and day camps, as well as a sleepover program that give visitors the opportunity to sleep in the Dangerous Lagoon after a day full of activities. SCARY!
I also appreciated their attempt to dispel the myth that sharks are man-eating creatures, which continues to be a fear of most people who make the foolish mistake to swim in shark-infested waters.
The price to visit the aquarium is a tad on the high side: $33.88 including tax. Luckily, I visited the state-of-the-art during the early morning hours, when there were little visitors, which permitted plenty of alone time with the marine life.
It’s probably the first and last time I’ll attend the exhibits, primarily because it’s hard to ignore that the tiny tanks these poor animals share are nothing close to what they should be experiencing, and that’s the natural bodies of water where they were born.
288 Bremner Blvd