Animals, News

New Ripleys Aquarium In Toronto

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AAARipleys home pageReview

Toronto has a new landmark–an aquarium.

Nestled in beside the Rogers Centre at the base of the CN Tower, the new Ripleys Aquarium opened last week.

It’s home to more than 16,000 marine animals and 450 species.

There are lots of interactive displays to let kids see and experience the fish.

In the “dangerous lagoon,” visitors board a moving sidewalk which takes them on a slow ride through a 97-metre see-through tunnel filled with 17 sharks and thousands of marine animals. Sea turtles and saw fish swim overhead as visitors file past.

“Touch pools” feature horseshoe crabs, stingrays and bamboo sharks. The pools are shallow, so people can reach in and gently pet the animals.

An exhibit called Planet Jellies houses many different species of colourful jellyfish.

A small café next to a children’s play area, lets kids explore and blow off a bit of steam–including going down slides–before continuing their visit.

Because it’s still very new, the aquarium is packed with visitors every day, so be sure to get there early. You may want to leave the stroller at home and, if you’ve got small children, dress them in bright colours so you can track them in the crowd (the exhibit tends to be fairly dark so the fish can be seen more easily).

Aquarium horseshoe crabs
Visitors can touch horseshoe crabs in the interactive shallow pools. Image: Joyce Grant

Overall, the aquarium is an excellent way to spend a couple of hours–but, a bit pricey. Tickets are $29.98 for adults, $9.98 for children aged two to six and free for children under two.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
After reading the review, would you like to visit the new Ripleys Aquarium? Which exhibits would you most like to visit and why?

Reading Prompt: Elements of Style
This article is a review. What clues can you find in the article that would help you to know it is a review? How is a review different from a typical newspaper article?

Primary
Identify some elements of style, including voice, word choice, and different types of sentences, and explain how they help readers understand texts (OME, Reading: 2.4).

Junior
Identify various elements of style – including word choice and the use of similes, personification, comparative adjectives, and sentences of different types, lengths, and structures – and explain how they help communicate meaning (OME, Reading: 2.4).

Grammar Feature: Em Dash
An em dash is sometimes referred to as a “double dash”. It is two hyphens together (–) and it is used to show a pause or a change in thought. In the article, the journalist uses an em dash in the following sentence: “Overall, the aquarium is an excellent way to spend a couple of hours–but, a bit pricey.” Why do you think she chose to use an em dash instead of another type of punctuation mark?