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Ripley's Aquarium coming to Toronto in 2013

Posted by Derek Flack / August 10, 2011

Ripley's Aquarium TorontoThose mourning the end of Shark Week will be excited to know that in about two years Toronto will have a state of the art new aquarium where sea predators and other creatures of the depths will be on full display. Although the responsible parties are staying tight-lipped on the details, construction on Ripley's Aquarium of Canada has already begun at the base of the CN Tower, where the reportedly 150,000 square foot attraction will be located.

The official groundbreaking is set to take place next Wednesday, where Ripley's officials are expected to reveal more about the aquarium, including just how the venture will be funded. In attendance will be Jim Pattison, chair of the company that owns Ripley's Believe It or Not!, Ontario Tourism Minister Michael Chan, and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford — likely signalling contributions from the municipal and provincial governments.

Pattison has promised that the aquarium will feature over 10,000 species of marine animals and a large underwater tunnel from which visitors will be able to view life sea life. The attraction is expected to open sometime in 2013.



hmmm / August 10, 2011 at 09:19 am
Rob Ford, municipal contributions..

Something about this aquarium seems fishy.
Nerves / August 10, 2011 at 09:22 am
It's a shame that this city doesn't yet have an aquarium. While I have reservations about Ripley's involvement and the impact that it will have on the educational value of such a space, I'm glad that someone is actually moving forward on an aquarium. My oldest daughter will be 4 years old when this opens, and we will no doubt be there with bells on regardless.
tweet tweet / August 10, 2011 at 09:25 am
The building looks like an Angry Bird house about to fall over.
mob / August 10, 2011 at 09:32 am
Maybe someone can get Ford to "swim with the fishies.."

wurst / August 10, 2011 at 09:47 am
This building is ugly and what is Toronto supposed to do with an aquarium? We're on a fresh-water lake for crying out loud! All those poor creatures that will have to be shipped over. Watch this fail in about 10 years.
zxc / August 10, 2011 at 09:52 am
Shark week is overrated.
JLankford / August 10, 2011 at 10:03 am
That's one of the ugliest renders I've seen of the building. There have been better ones, where the aquarium blends in a bit more with the surroundings. Ripley has some ugly buildings in the States, but they also have some 'okay' ones.
McRib replying to a comment from wurst / August 10, 2011 at 10:06 am
so you think that most Aquariums are built beside the sea, and the workers just go out and scoop up the fish with big nets?
Troll replying to a comment from wurst / August 10, 2011 at 10:18 am
"This building is ugly and what is Toronto supposed to do with an aquarium? We're on a fresh-water lake for crying out loud! All those poor creatures that will have to be shipped over. Watch this fail in about 10 years."

I'll be the first to point and laugh at you in 10 years time.

Seriously, is everyone in this city so damn negative about everything??? No wonder this place is going to shit.
handfed / August 10, 2011 at 10:21 am
Hey, does anyone here like BAGELS!!??
10years replying to a comment from wurst / August 10, 2011 at 10:28 am
i bet it does great, we been needing something like this for a long time. I am excited about it. Not everyone is a old sour puss.
shizzer / August 10, 2011 at 10:30 am
There's a place I know in Ontario
Where the sealions kiss, so the story goes
It's amazing shows and Friendship Cove
Everyone loves Marine Land 2.0
The Shakes replying to a comment from wurst / August 10, 2011 at 10:31 am
The nerve of Ripley's, coming into our city and building a major attraction that will draw people from all around to spend money in our city. Seriously, how dare they? And how dare they not consult people like the wurst on how the building they're paying for should look, what gall?
sanjay / August 10, 2011 at 10:31 am
very happy with this idea

and even more happy it's not near Vaughan Mills or some similar suburban wasteland
the real hipster / August 10, 2011 at 10:43 am
i was totally into fish before they were all popular.
indianguy / August 10, 2011 at 10:58 am
Yes? Hi! This smells almost as bad as the time we left the fish in the corolla in July.
Todd Toronto / August 10, 2011 at 11:06 am
This is disappointing. That stretch of Bremner between Rees and Lower Simcoe desperately needs condos, and what do we get instead? An aquarium. Unbelievable.

Me / August 10, 2011 at 11:14 am
Sounds like a fantastic idea to me and helps bring us into the big leagues as a world-class city. People, please stop being haters and start to be a little positive - you'll be better people for it!
Lindsay replying to a comment from wurst / August 10, 2011 at 11:20 am
I'm from Northern Ontario and visit Duluth, Minnesota often. They have a wonderful "Great Lakes Aquarium", which has exhibits of creatures found in the Great Lakes. If they can last 11 years (and counting) with local marine wildlife, I'm sure an Aquarium with more exotic wildlife (in the largest city in Canada) will do quite well.
lovesit / August 10, 2011 at 11:22 am
best idea in ages! toronto needs some attractions, i'm tired of taking everyone to the CN tower. Love it and cant wait to do the edgewalk BUT it's like the only thing the city has.
Joe / August 10, 2011 at 11:40 am
This is great news! This will bring people from all over! Finally some good news instead of doom and gloom budget cuts and Mayor Ford Brothers buffoonery!
Esteban / August 10, 2011 at 11:40 am
I for one approve of this, and highly looking forward to it.

I think it's great to see a new attraction coming to the downtown core - something that both residents and tourists will enjoy, and probably more than once.

Seriously, how many times have you been the CN Tower? Once, maybe twice - and if a family/relative visits - you might take them there if its their first time to Toronto. But a quality aquarium? I can see that being something I'd visit a few times a year.
umm replying to a comment from mob / August 10, 2011 at 11:57 am
the facility is only 150,000 sqft, might need to take him to the Chicago aquarium to make that happen lol
whit / August 10, 2011 at 12:06 pm
Im getting really sick of all the negativity on this website. Every post is someone complaining about something. Typical torontonians.
I have loved all of the ripleys aquariums in the US, it will be a nice addidtion to the city. The aquarium will bring some jobs to toronto, and having been designed by local arcitects, Im sure it will look fantastic. There are no whales or dolphins being housed here, which is awesome, and it is not a condo! I agree with esteban.
Sampton / August 10, 2011 at 12:09 pm
Moisture is the essence of wetness, and wetness is the essence of beauty.
Jeremy replying to a comment from sanjay / August 10, 2011 at 12:25 pm
"and even more happy it's not near Vaughan Mills or some similar suburban wasteland"

Rebelscum / August 10, 2011 at 12:31 pm
Rob Ford will be easy to find. He'll be the one with the wheelbarrow full of tartar sauce.
Jane / August 10, 2011 at 12:31 pm
I'm very excited about this! I think the building is nice looking even though it does look like it's being toppled by Angry Birds. The Chicago Aquarium was so cool when I visited there and at the time I wished Toronto had an aquarium. Yeah!
Rob Fish I Mean Ford / August 10, 2011 at 01:04 pm
mmmmmmmm......giant fillet o fish
JM / August 10, 2011 at 01:07 pm
This will be awesome, it reminds me of Aquarium of the Bay in San Fransisco, where like this you'll be walking in a glass tunnel at the bottom of the tank. The views of all the fish swimming above and around you are pretty spectacular. I always try to visit that when I'm in town, and Toronto's will be more than twice the size (theirs is only 65,000 sq feet). Really looking forward to it, it'll be a huge draw to the city.
like replying to a comment from lovesit / August 10, 2011 at 01:07 pm
user-pic you know, whatever...
kamran / August 10, 2011 at 01:50 pm
love the idea. this city needs more interesting tourist attractions.
ife / August 10, 2011 at 02:19 pm
Am I the only one that wants news about the architecture? Pleeease
Cyril / August 10, 2011 at 03:27 pm
Do the Ripleys' aquariums ever engage in any sort of research activities (as many zoos do)? That would be a nice extra touch
Toronto Lover / August 10, 2011 at 05:33 pm
It really is crazy how negative the readers of BlogTo are. Why is everyone on here so angry??
P / August 10, 2011 at 05:52 pm
Love this idea, was talking about the lack of an aquarium the other day. Tunnels are awesome. 2 years to buy myself new fishing equipment.
Jason / August 10, 2011 at 05:53 pm
We have a Textile Museum, a Sugar Museum, a Shoe Museum and now we will have an aquarium. When will we be getting a Toronto City Museum? We're the fifth largest city in North America, but we don't have a place for anyone to go and learn about our story. With nearly half our population comprised of new Canadians, shouldn't this be a priority?
Bubba / August 10, 2011 at 07:54 pm
run fishys run the building is fallin ova!
Terry / August 10, 2011 at 10:52 pm
Cancel pedestrian bridge to Fort York for local residents, but contribute money to this venture....sounds a little fishy
Fantomex replying to a comment from Todd Toronto / August 11, 2011 at 12:13 am
Oh yes, because condos are <i>sooo</i> fracking amazing, that every motherfracking inch of Toronto <i>MUST</i> be covered in them! Where is the financial backing going to come from building these shitty, overpriced dwellings, genius? From the taxes paid by businesses like this! At least (and that's not saying much, mind) it's not another condo.
simuls replying to a comment from Fantomex / August 11, 2011 at 01:35 am
Actually Fantomex, you genius, it's the other way around. The people who are creating the density in this city (aka condo dwellers) are the ones who pay the taxes (and make the city safer than it has ever been in the last 60 years!) that then support businesses like this with municipal funding. Get off your insanity horse and start realizing that all these condo people you hate so much are what's really making this city run. The people in houses and the suburbs are dragging it down with unaffordable and unsustainable living conditions. Pathetic.
Niem / August 11, 2011 at 03:28 am
There's so much to do in Toronto, but they're mostly hidden gems.. To most people, Toronto is just a city with a lake, a tower, and a dome. With just that, tourists would probably only spend days to weeks in Toronto for vacation and move on.. This aquarium will be another major, out-there attraction that stalls tourists' stay further so that they have time to discover the city's hidden gems.
Ian / August 11, 2011 at 10:50 am
I actually am looking forward to this new attraction.
Would ge a great place to visit in the middle of winter I would think.
Vadmel replying to a comment from sanjay / August 11, 2011 at 01:23 pm
Vaughan is not a waste land- but a clean and well managed city with lots of green spaces, environmental programs, very efficient city services(they actually replay to your emails/questions the same day), new schools and playgrounds. What is a waste land? Some parts of downtown Toronto + the Toronto City Hall.

Aquarium is indeed a good idea.
Niklas / August 11, 2011 at 03:56 pm
love it and can't wait until its done

This city do need more attractions downtown. Now there's just the CN Tower and shopping.
katie / August 11, 2011 at 08:21 pm
Have the developers seen Jaws 3? Underwater tunnels are very unsafe. I am very opposed to this.
Niem replying to a comment from katie / August 11, 2011 at 11:10 pm
I'm really looking forward to the underwater tunnel, I've always wanted to experience walking through one. But how are they unsafe? :\ And I doubt sharks will be on display in underwater tunnels anyways.
Fantomex replying to a comment from Niem / August 12, 2011 at 12:32 am
EPCOT has the same kind of tunnel for it's sea exhibit, and they haven't fallen apart, so why should this one?
The Shakes replying to a comment from Terry / August 14, 2011 at 02:29 pm
Maybe they should just make the underwater tunnel to Billy Bishop Airport out of plexiglass.
JM replying to a comment from Niem / August 15, 2011 at 02:21 pm
The sharks will be on display in the tunnels, I can pretty much guarantee that. It's one of the biggest selling points to places like this that have underwater tunnels. You can just stand there and watch sharks swimming above and around you.

I'm sure the creators have all seen Jaws 3, as I'm told it's required viewing for all aquarium and sea park designers. I'm hoping they use it to take all necessary precautions to protect patrons as well as nearby water skiers. If the CN Tower was designed to withstand Godzilla vs. Mothra 35 years ago, I think we should be able to build some shark attack proof tunnels in 2011.
ife replying to a comment from Niklas / August 16, 2011 at 03:55 pm
just the CN tower and shopping?

you're a fool
Derek English replying to a comment from Niklas / August 17, 2011 at 10:13 am
Lol CN Tower and Shopping? There's a ton of Shiite to do in Toronto, but now the locals will have something new to do in 2013 and something new to promote for tourism
DJ Gardner / August 17, 2011 at 01:34 pm
So long as they don't bring in Japanese caught dolphins, I'm in!
DJ Gardner replying to a comment from JM / August 17, 2011 at 01:35 pm
It was Godzilla VS The Thing...but I getcha
warmflash / August 18, 2011 at 05:54 pm
An Aquarium in Toronto for the 21st Century? Good idea? Not according to Jean-Michel Cousteau. Please see;feature=player_embedded

Putoto / October 30, 2011 at 11:07 pm
The only thing I care there is the architecture.
And it looks like a cheap/partially wrong design similar to works done by Libeskind or someone.
I would say Toronto (at least for now) should strongly rely on foreign architects to truly enrich our city's architectural beauty.
JDHalperin / October 31, 2011 at 05:40 am
I can't understand all the disappointment people feel about what can only be good. At its worse, how bad can an aquarium be?

Who wouldn't go to it at least once? I want to walk in a tunnel surrounded by fish on all sides!
mg fm / January 18, 2012 at 04:54 pm
is there a food court or somewhere to eat in the aquarium
iSkyscraper / January 18, 2012 at 06:32 pm
Good idea, bad execution. Sad that Toronto has to resort to Ripley's (figure $30 admission, easy) rather than have a non-profit group run the aquarium and get private donations (see Georgia Aquarium).

Bizarre, or perhaps fitting, that Big Fish Ford shows up to an aquarium announcement but can't be bothered to make it to the far more important athelete's village announcement. Way to shun the urban and embrace the flashy bauble, Fordie.
Kitchguy / March 4, 2012 at 10:36 am
Toronto, Ontario for that matter is in financial trouble
we need to attract people to our beautiful city
and have them spread the word about how wonderful
Toronto is and all it has to offer. You can't stop
building attractions or it gets old and un interesting.

Can't wait to check it out
JAKELINNE / March 13, 2012 at 08:02 pm

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