The beautiful Rouge Valley, at 11,500 acres, thirteen times the size of New York’s Central Park, is Toronto’s largest park, and encompasses the Toronto Zoo. With over 5,000 animals representing almost 500 species spread over 700 acres; the Toronto Zoo is one of the largest zoos in the world. Animals are exhibited geographically, each region showcasing animals and plants from that area of the world, over the next few posts I’ll take you along the trails through each region from the Malayan Woods to the open expanse of Eurasia.
The Toronto Zoo has seen some remarkable achievements throughout it’s time. Officially opening in 1974, the Toronto Zoo has become the premiere zoo in Canada. In 2001 the Toronto Zoo opened their award winning ‘Gorilla Rainforest’ exhibit which is the world’s largest indoor gorilla exhibit. That same year the zoo rescued two female polar bear cubs, Aurora and Nikita, who have returned to reside with another of the zoo’s rescued polar bear cubs, Inukshuk, in their new enclosure in the zoo’s newest exhibit, Tundra Trek, yet another award winning exhibit. 2008 brought more exciting changes and exhibits to the zoo with the reopening of the Australasia Pavilion after renovations to include an amazing new addition, the ‘Great Barrier Reef’ exhibit. That year also saw the opening of Stingray Bay. Opened seasonally, Stingray Bay brought stingrays Toronto in an exhibit where the public was able to have a literally touching experience with these interesting animals. Over the years Stingray Bay has expanded to include sharks. All proving Toronto Zoo is a place to have a truly engaging experience, with hands on encounters, keeper talks and an overall educating place for the entire family.