Up close, educational and accessible
By Tyler Ward
Have you ever wanted to touch a stingray? Or practise yoga among tropical fish? How about sleep next to a shark? All of these exciting activities and more are available at the accessible Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada in downtown Toronto, just steps away from the CN Tower. This aquatic experience, which caters to people of all ages and walks of life, is for everyone to enjoy!
Imagine moving through a big glass tunnel while all manner of colourful fish in a rainbow of shapes and sizes swim by gracefully. What would your son or daughter think if they looked up to see sand tiger sharks gliding through the calm waters above their head? They might become underwater enthusiasts after overnighting in a world where giant stingrays float elegantly alongside their sleeping quarters.
Get up close and personal with the Stingray Experience, where you’ll meet friendly cownose and southern stingrays. Or try a selfie with a Picasso triggerfish: thanks to your Ripley’s photography classes, you’ll learn how to capture the perfect aquarium photo (and you just might have more fun than the kids!).
For the little adventure seekers
Take your youngsters into the deep with day camps that offer a combination of hands-on indoor activities, gallery exploration and behind-the-scenes adventures. Whether they’re celebrating their birthday with 16,000 fishy friends or expanding their knowledge of the many awe-inspiring creatures of the ocean, they’re sure to learn lots and make a splash!
Spend the evening exploring the aquarium and learning about the animals that call the waters of the aquarium home. After being treated to a bedtime snack, snuggle into your sleeping bag for a good sleep in the “Dangerous Lagoon” shark tunnel. If you’re lucky, a shark may swim by, catch your eye, and decide to rest right next to you!
Doing the Warrior Pose
Morning yoga sessions are available at the aquarium. So while the kids are busy trying to find Nemo at Day Camp, you can find solace in your own aquatic Zen by perfecting your Mountain Pose in front of Rainbow Reef, or your Warrior Pose as the stingrays calmly drift through the water at Ray Bay.
If jazz music and a drink is more your speed, you are invited on a musical under-water adventure! On the second Friday of every month, you can dance with the fish to the beat of live music, with a drink of your choice.
Bring your school of fish
Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada in Toronto is an unforgettable learning destination for children, youth and adults—and a swimsuit is not required. Planning a field trip here will allow students to submerge themselves in a world-class aquatic life facility that fosters a package of environmental education and research, all wrapped in an appealing entertainment package.
Accessibility Bill of Rights
Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is committed to accessibility for all visitors and is dedicated to removing barriers to participation for guests with disabilities. They provide all guests with equal access to their products and services in a manner that respects their dignity, individuality and independence. The company will not make assumptions about guests’ needs, but will rely on guests to guide them regarding the best way to assist. Ripley’s Accessibility Bill of Rights encompasses a wide range of disabilities including wheelchairs, service animals and assistive devices, as well as guests with hearing and/or vision loss.
Tyler Ward is a communication intern with the Canadian Abilities Foundation.