Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada in Toronto, Ontario is the largest indoor aquarium in the country.
We’ve visited many times since it opened and the kids never get tired of this attraction. As this is an indoor venue, Ripley’s Aquarium is great for rainy and cold weather days. It’s also located next to the CN Tower so out of town visitors can do both attractions one after the other.
Planning to spend a day at the aquarium? Here’s what you need to know before you go. You can read about our most recent visit after the tips!
Best Time to Visit Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
The aquarium is very busy during school and national holidays. Try to go on a weekday, early in the morning or later at night (closer to 5 PM) if you’re looking to avoid the crowds.
Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada updates their Twitter and Facebook Fan Page accounts with current wait times and crowd levels.
How Much Does it Cost to Go to Ripley’s?
There are three types of tickets you can purchase online:
- Timed – You are given a start time for your visit (this is how they manage the crowds)
- Express Anytime – Valid for 365 days from purchase (you may have to wait for a bit depending on crowd levels the day you visit)
- Sharks After Dark – Save on admission when visiting 7PM or later
Timed Ticket: Adult (14+): $32.00, Youth (6-13) and Seniors (65+): $22.00, Children (3-5): $10.00, 2 Years and Under: Free.
Express Anytime: Adult (14+): $37.00, Youth (6-13) and Seniors (65+): $25.00, Children (3-5): $13.00, 2 Years and Under: Free.
Sharks After Dark: Adult (14+): $30.00, Youth (6-13) and Seniors (65+): $20.00, Children (3-5): $7.00, 2 Years and Under: Free.
How to Save Money on Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada Tickets
The aquarium is also part of the Toronto’s CityPASS which includes admission to 5 popular attractions in the city.
If you’re on a budget but want to visit three or more of the following:
- Ripley’s Aquarium
- CN Tower
- Royal Ontario Musem
- Casa Loma
- Toronto Zoo or Ontario Science Centre
it may be more cost effective to buy the CityPASS instead of paying for admission separately at each attraction.
If Ripley’s is the only attraction, you’re planning to visit, we still highly recommend purchasing tickets online ahead of time for a specific time and date. This cuts down significantly on wait time when you get to the aquarium.
The day we visited, it was 20 minutes wait at the ticket counter as opposed to less than 5 minutes in the ticket holder line.
Annual passes are available as for those who want to visit several times a year.
Can You Take Take Snacks and Drinks to the Aquarium?
Yes, we highly recommend taking your own snacks and drinks in your bag. The food/concession area is quite small and was busy even at 5 PM in the afternoon so I’d suggest eating before or after your visit.
Buying Souvenirs at the Aquarium
Just a warning, all guests are forced to walk through the gift shop as they exit the aquarium.
How to Get to Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
There are several public parking lots are nearby and spots are limited especially when other events are going on in the area.
Alternatively, you can get to Ripley’s by public transit. There are several TTC stops within walking distance of the aquarium with Union Station being the closest TTC (Toronto’s subways system) and GO Train Station (the Greater Toronto Area’s train system) to Ripley’s.
There are several family-friendly hotels within walking distance of Ripley’s. Delta Toronto is a good home base if you’re looking to visit the aquarium, CN Tower and Rogers Centre as they are all less than a 10-minute walk from the hotel. You can read our review of Delta Toronto here.
Can I Take My Baby or Toddler to the Aquarium?
The aquarium is baby, kid and stroller friendly. Walkways, ramps and hallways are wide enough to accommodate strollers but judging from our kids’ reactions, you might end up pushing an empty stroller most of the time.
Baby carriers are highly recommended for pre-walkers and infants. Washrooms are clean and have change tables for parents with little ones in diapers.
About Our Most Recent Visit
Although we’ve visited numerous times, the kids always need a YouTube video refresher – showing them that they’ll be perfectly safe at Ripley’s and no one in the family will be eaten alive.
The colourful lobsters are always a hit with the kids and the giant octopus is popular with adult visitors. Watching the fish and kelp sway back and forth in the Pacific Kelp exhibit often makes me a bit nauseous but the movement doesn’t seem to bother the rest of the family.
The underwater tunnel in the Dangerous Lagoon area is the most popular part of Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada and visitors can’t take their eyes off of all of the sea creatures swimming above them – sharks, turtles, and fish.
Both kids love the floor to ceiling jellyfish wall in the Planet Jellies area as well as learning about the different varieties of jellyfish in the smaller tanks.
Touch tanks with horseshoe crabs, bamboo sharks and stingrays can be found in the Discovery Centre found on the lower level of the aquarium.
Young kids will enjoy the serpent slide, yellow submarine play area and the Canadian Lakes Lock exhibit in this area as well.
All of our family’s visits to the aquarium take 2 to 3 hours so this popular tourist attraction in Toronto only really needs half a day to complete.