Plan an Exciting Trip To Zoo in Ontario for the Whole Family

Popular Zoo in Ontario Worth Visiting in 2024

Ontario is home to a wide variety of outstanding zoos and animal parks that allow visitors to get up close with exotic and native wildlife. From world-famous institutions to small sanctuaries, these animal attractions offer memorable experiences for nature lovers of all ages. When planning a trip to Ontario, be sure to include a visit to one of these fantastic zoos showcasing the region’s vibrant animal kingdom.

Toronto Zoo – A World-Class Zoo Experience

As Canada’s largest zoo, the Toronto Zoo is a must-visit attraction just outside the city center. This massive zoo houses over 5,000 animals representing over 500 species from around the globe. Highlights include:

  • Indo-Malaya Pavilion: See orangutans, gibbons, bats, komodo dragons, and more species from Southeast Asia.
  • African Savannah: Observe giraffes, zebras, ostriches, and other African wildlife in large, open habitats.
  • Americas Pavilion: Marvel at giant anteaters, anacondas, golden lion tamarins, and other species from North and South America.
  • Gorilla Rainforest: Get close views of western lowland gorillas and other primates in a dense forest environment.
  • Eurasia Wilds: Polar bears, snowy owls, reindeer, and other cold climate creatures inhabit this area.
  • Special Exhibits: The zoo hosts unique exhibits like giant pandas on loan from China.

With endangered species, interactive displays, educational shows, and family-friendly dining options, the Toronto Zoo provides a world-class zoo experience perfect for families, couples, or anyone who enjoys wildlife.

African Lion Safari – A Drive-Through Wildlife Adventure

For a unique safari-style adventure, head to the African Lion Safari in Hamilton, just under an hour’s drive from Toronto. This park lets visitors tour seven massive Game Reserves in their vehicles and get incredibly close views of over 1,000 exotic animals roaming free such as:

  • Giraffes.
  • White Rhinos.
  • Zebras.
  • Waterbucks.
  • Ostriches.
  • Wildebeest.
  • Timber Wolves.

You can also walk through the park to see baboons, elephants, tropical birds, and more species from eye-level viewing platforms and enclosures. Other activities include feeding rainbow lorikeets, playing in the water park, and enjoying live bird and elephant shows. African Lion Safari offers an immersive drive-through wildlife experience like no other.

African Lion Safari

Jungle Cat World – Get Close to Big Cats

For an intimate experience with exotic big cats, visit Jungle Cat World in Orono. As a rescue facility and zoo, they provide a safe home to endangered wild cats from around the world that have been abused, abandoned, or born in captivity such as:

  • Tigers.
  • Cougars.
  • Lynx.
  • Servals.
  • Bobcats.
  • Leopards.

Visitors can get incredibly close views of these majestic creatures in naturalized habitats during guided walking tours. Knowledgeable keepers provide commentary on the cats’ histories and traits. Beyond big cats, Jungle Cat World also houses lemurs, wolves, monkeys, and more rescued wildlife.

Elmvale Jungle Zoo – Hands-On Animal Encounters

The Elmvale Jungle Zoo north of Barrie allows kids and adults to directly engage with the animals through supervised interactions like:

  • Hand-feeding birds in the walk-through aviary.
  • Petting young deer, tortoises, and rabbits.
  • Touching bamboo sharks and stingrays in the touch pool.
  • Riding and feeding dromedary camels.
  • Brushing ponies at the petting barn.

In addition to guided animal encounters, visitors can explore exhibits with monkeys, alligators, tortoises, and a variety of exotic birds from around the world. Daily keeper chats provide educational opportunities to learn about the zoo’s wildlife residents. For an immersive hands-on zoo experience, Elmvale Jungle Zoo is a top choice.

Ending Note

Whether you visit the Toronto Zoo for its world-class exhibits and conservation initiatives, drive amongst zebras and giraffes at African Lion Safari, get up close with endangered big cats at Jungle Cat World, or enjoy hands-on animal interactions at Elmvale Jungle Zoo, the zoos of Ontario offer engaging opportunities to connect with wildlife. Discover your favorite zoo adventure on your next trip to Ontario.

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