Ripley's releases more details about Toronto Aquarium
The official groundbreaking for Toronto's new aquarium took place earlier today, which means there are finally some more details to share about the project that's already under construction at the base of the CN Tower. Expected to be finished in 2013, the $130-million attraction will receive funding from all three levels of government, including $11-million from the province of Ontario and between $8- to $12 million from the City of Toronto in the form of property tax incentives over a 12-year period. The Canada Lands company, who owns the land on which the aquarium is being built, will also kick in "more than $10 million to redevelop the John Street corridor that includes new signage and improved access which will increase and enhance the flow of pedestrian traffic from Front Street," according to a press release issued today.
Among the aquarium's many features, it'll include a 96-metre-long moving walkway through a see-through tunnel that runs below the so-called shark lagoon, which will be inhabited by sand tiger sharks but no great whites (sorry Jaws fans). Although it won't start out fully stocked, the 5.7 million litre attraction will be able to accommodate 13,500 sea creatures, or about 450 total species. Ripley's also plans to implement breeding and conservation programs for endangered species, which will include a tag and track program for sand tiger sharks.
So what you do think? Will this become a premier destination?
Highlights from today's announcement (from press release)
- The Aquarium will be one of the largest in North America, with a capacity of 5.7-million litres (1.5-million gallons)
- The main exhibition space will include a tropical reef tank, along with Great Lakes exhibits and Atlantic and Pacific habitats
- It will also feature aquatic life-support systems with special recovery basins that reclaim, clean and re-use water;
- Marine and freshwater science education and conservation programs designed to build understanding of the aquatic world
- Trained educators throughout the facility to answer questions and point out special areas of interest
- Aquarium construction is projected to create more than 600 jobs, generating an immediate economic impact of more than $50 million, $35 million of which will be labour income. In addition, during the two-year construction timeline the project is forecasted to generate more than $25 million in taxes for all three levels of government;
- When operational, the Aquarium will generate 300 to 350 jobs and have a projected annual economic impact of more than $35 million on GDP;
- During the first 20 years of operation, the Aquarium is expected to generate more than $220 million in tax revenues for all three levels of government.
- The Aquarium will be open 365-days-a-year, starting in the summer of 2013
Shark Lagoon and tunnel:
Exterior view on Bremner side: