It’s been a couple of years since I visited the zoo, and even longer since I visited with my parents. Mainly because my dad complains about the price of parking there, and the price of admission (about $29). But this year (Aug 15th) is their 45th anniversary and it was 40% off admission, and it just so happened that my mom had a day off. . .let the adventure begin!
Well, it wasn’t quite as seamless as we thought. My mom and I planned on buying the tickets online, however apparently the site doesn’t like my mom’s Amex or Mastercard lol. After buying the printing the tickets, (which had a 10% off a $15 purchase coupon) we set off via TTC to the zoo.
Let’s just say, it took a long while to get to the zoo from Sheppard West Station on a weekday.
If you see the posters advertising the Toronto zoo on the TTC, it’ll tell you how to get there. There’s two ways; 85 bus from Don Mills Station on weekends only, or the 86A from Kennedy Station. So if you don’t live close to Kennedy Station, or the route 86A runs, it might take a few mapping sessions to figure it out.
We opted to go from Sheppard West to Don Mills Station, then took the 85 East to Meadowvale loop which is where we’ll take the 86 into the zoo. We waited over 30 minutes before a bus actually stopped at the bus stop, which was ridiculous considering the first 2 busses were half empty at the very back. The 3rd was completely full so it was understandable, and we managed to get onto the 4th one.
My guess was there were too many people heading to the zoo, but wouldn’t a bus driver check if there’s space at the back? Well ignoring that little speed bump, when we got to the zoo there were lines galore to get in. We bought our tickets beforehand so we opted to find the members/passes lines because there are no transactions taking place; just ticket/pass scanning.
Overall, the zoo hadn’t really changed much since I visited 2 years ago with my school. But to my mom, everything was brand new-ish to her. She liked to point out that some animals seemed very lazy though Lol. We got there pretty late so we didn’t catch any events with the animals (feedings) except for the hippo feeding which was the last one listed at 3:30pm.
It also rained sometime in the middle of that so we took shelter in a building, then realized that a gift shop nearby was selling ponchos so we ran over. We were lucky to be able to grab one poncho before they sold out, my mom gave it to me (awe) but we shared it a little when it was drizzling. Poncho is about $3.50 before tax I think.
After walking through the whole zoo and taking shelter from the rain, it was about 5pm when we left and got on the bus to go have dinner. We ended up eating seafood, and fried rice at a restaurant before heading home.
Tips For Anyone Planning To Visit The Zoo
- Bring your own food (lineups are crazy, but sometimes bearable. Avoid buying food at places near the entrance or at the middle of the park)
- Bring a hair tie (you might or might not need it, but just incase)
- Hand sanitizer (kind of obvious)
- Blanket (to sit on grass for a picnic or if benches/tables are unavailable)
- Steel straws (I think most/some place’s straws are paper which get gross if you don’t finish your drink fast enough. Go your own pace by bringing your own reusable straws or you can buy them at the gift shop)
- Sunscreen (my poor mom forgot to add more to her neck and collar and now had a very light sunburn, and tan)
- Umbrella or poncho (honestly we would’ve brought our ponchos but we forgot. The $3.50 zoo poncho is cute with little animals though, but a little flimsy)
- If you aren’t good with walking long distances, try not to pass the Cougar enclosure when going along the path for the Canadian Animal biome. It continues a long way downhill and splits into two paths that flatten out, the trek back up will take a while. There’s also signs that it’s not recommended to bring strollers/wagons down there because of the slope. So just keep this in mind.
- If you have any trouble with your knees, I suggest avoiding the Canadian Animals biome part of the zoo altogether due to the slope. (Even my mom and I were a little tired after descending part way, we were stepping heavier than normal)
It honestly was a fun day, with only the hiccup with the bus and the crowds. I had to walk in front of my mom a lot because she’s tiny in comparison to me, and I was worried a stroller would knock her over. Not every parent was careless with their strollers but a small handful were a little questionable with their empty strollers, but as a precaution (because my mom also had work the next day) I walked in front of her to protect her. My best guess was that they didn’t know what to do with their strollers because of the amount of people around them, no ones fault really…
Enjoy the gallery of pictures I took while at the zoo!