Winter Pleasures at the Toronto Zoo

When you think of a visit to the zoo, you probably envision wandering around outdoors in the warmth of summer, taking in the antics of the chimpanzees, observing the prowling lions, or listening to the screeching of exotic birds. What many do not realize, is the Toronto Zoo is open everyday but Christmas, December 25th. That's 324 days a year, this amazing zoo is open for your exploration and pleasure! Granted, you may prefer to sip a hot chocolate rather than an icy drink, but you will still have enormous fun and learn a great deal about the world's wildlife at the same time.

In winter, the warm, tropical pavilions provide a wonderful indoor respite from the freezing temperatures outside. If you can't afford that trip to the Caribbean this year, spending a day touring the beautiful indoor areas, filled with lush trees and plants as well as a fascinating variety of animals, birds, reptiles, fish, and insects, will provide you a mini-vacation, sure to take the chill off. A visit to the Great Barrier Reef exhibit will take you as far from Toronto's frigid temperatures as you can get. It features the Great Barrier Reef Community Tank, measuring 23 feet long and 32,000 litres. The beautifully colorful coral reef is home to over 1,000 fish including angel fish, parrot fish, and bamboo sharks. You will also enjoy exhibits of moon jelly fish, and Australian sea horses.

Of course, some of the animals spend part of their time outdoors and you can get a look at their winter activities as you hike the 6 miles worth of trails throughout the zoo. You'll find the big cats such as lions and tigers, as well as camels, wolves, bears, and many others that enjoy some time in the brisk air.

The Toronto Zoo encompasses 710 acres and is one of the largest zoos in the world. It receives approximately 1.2 million visitors per year. (Another caveat to winter exploration is that it is much less crowded than in the high days of summer!) The zoo is home to more than 5,000 animals from 460 different species, and is organized into six zoogeographic regions including a Canadian Domain, the Americas, Africa, Indo-Malaya, Eurasia, and Australasia. Not to be missed, anytime of the year, is the African Savanna, Gorilla Rainforest, and the Eurasia exhibit with its snow leopard and Siberian tigers.

The Toronto Zoo is open from 9:30 in the morning until 4:30 in the afternoon, with the last admission time being 3:30. Food is available at the zoo's dining facilities and several gift shops provide you the opportunity to find just the right souvenir to take back home.

So whether you live year-round in Toronto, or are on a winter business trip, staying in our Toronto corporate housing, you will find the Toronto Zoo, a winter treat not to be missed!