Ripley's Aquarium of Canada | Ish Goes Under the Sea

I live in a tropical country but I can never have enough of the ocean. Perhaps because I was born a Pisces, I have always been drawn to water and the mysteries of the deep.

During my trip to Canada, I was pleased to learn that the Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is located right in the center of downtown Toronto. Even better still, the aquarium stays open until 11:00 p.m. on most days. That’s very convenient since I discovered that many shops and attractions in North America close very early (around 5:00 p.m.).

After enjoying the daylight outdoors, my friends and I visited Ripley’s Aquarium after dinner. As expected, the place was full of young kids and their parents. There were also groups of tourists, but the place was spacious enough for us to be able to enjoy the exhibits with a reasonable level of comfort.

Upon entering, you will be greeted by a hybrid tank that features both saltwater and freshwater species.

fresh water x salt water tank

Walk further down and you’ll see a massive circular tank that hold a school of endlessly swimming fish. It’s a sight to see all of the fish suspended in the water as they swim against the flowing current.

Ripley’s aquarium

One of the big stars of the aquarium is the blue lobster. As part of the Canadian Waters Gallery, the lobster tank offers a rare view of the popular seafood before it reaches the market or your plate. Alongside it, there’s also an abundance of shrimp and other sreatures you’re more used to seeing on the menu. They accentuate its vibrant blue color through lighting, but nevertheless, the lobster is a sight to behold even without any help.

Blue Lobster

Also part of the Canadian Waters Gallery, is a giant tank that houses a kelp forest. The seaweed reaches up to over two storeys high in the tank, but can grow much higher than that in the open ocean.

Kelp Forest

Many of the exhibits have dim lighting to mimic the ocean floor. It was difficult to take photos but I suppose it is good to be forced to enjoy everything with one’s bare eyes.

The Rainbow Reef Gallery is perhaps the most attractive part of the Aquarium, especially for small children. It features the vibrant colors of coral reefs and sea creatures that can be seen in shallow waters.

One of my favorite exhibits features multi-colored sea anemone. I have seen many of these while snorkeling in the Philippines but I have had the pleasure of seeing so many different colors in one spot. So beautiful!

Colorful Anemone

Vibrantly colored fish and the massively famous characters of “Finding Nemo” could be seen swimming around in the Rainbow Reef Gallery.

After enjoying the pretty colors of the reef, visitors step into a moving walkway that travels through a tunnel. The tunnel travels underneath the Dangerous Lagoon. This gallery features an amazing display of large sea predators like sharks and sawfish. There are also some large sea turtles and eels. Watch the video above to see these creatures swimming through the enormous tank.

Hands down the trippiest and most fascinating part of the aquarium would have to be Planet Jellies. The psychedelic wall is actually a kreisel tank, one that is specifically made to house jellyfish. The Pacific Nettles swim around the neon-lit tank to provide a psychedelic trip rivaled only by your first Coachella experience back in the 70’s.

Planet Jellies

Overall, it was a wonderful experience regardless if you’re a child or an adult. It’s always amazing to see some of the most unique creatures all in one place without having to put on your fins, mask and snorkel.

I highly recommend a visit next time you find yourself in Toronto. Visit their official website to purchase tickets:

Ripley’s Aquarium Tickets

If you’re up for a different kind of zenexperience, they also offer yoga classes held amongst the tanks. Otherwise, the Aquarium also has live music and a bar on some nights for a more adult-friendly vibe.