by Stephanie Malek
As a kid in Toronto, there were a few set destinations for class trips - the Science Centre, the Toronto Islands, the CN Tower, and the Toronto Zoo. You would be asked to pick an animal and do a project about that animal (usually just consisting of some photos of that animal on a bristol board). I can only imagine what we must have been like for those poor, patient animals.
The zoo, like many Toronto attractions, really hasn't changed very much since then. Sure, they've added a cool water park (which I have often walked through fully clothed on a hot summer day), a panda exhibit (though I do miss String Ray bay!), and it's missing it's beautiful monorail, but it's every bit as fun as it used to be.
It's become a tradition in my family to go to the zoo for father's day and have a nice family outing. Usually it ends up with me and my dad making each other laugh and lately includes my brother thinking we're idiots. It's brought us so much joy that I even decided to "adopt" a penguin for my dad so that, when we visited the next father's day, he could see his name on the board of zoo parents. It was a fun way to be able to support the zoo outside of attendance and help keep it going!
Hot tip: If it's insane at the zoo when you are there, sneak down to the Canada area. It's down a HUGE hill so no one goes there, and sometimes you can catch the grizzly bears trying to court each other!
Hot tip #2: If you go see the Capybaras, there are also parrots in there that talk. They will say hi to you, and you will laugh and no one will believe you but you will know that they said hi to you, right Michelle?
Hot tip #3: Get the zoomobile pass because you will get tired, or it will get hot, and everyone needs to hear cheesy animal puns. Plus it's always neat to get a guided tour!
Hot tip #4: Pigmy hippo (clearly one of my favourite things!)
Have a favourite memory from the zoo? Do you remember the red pandas too, or when you could walk through kangaroos? Leave me a comment!