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The Globe and Mail

Ripley's Aquarium of Canada sets new high-water mark

New waterworld is expected to draw more tourism to a once moribund section of downtown Toronto

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Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada held the grand opening of its building in Toronto last week. This is the first aquarium the company, Ripley Entertainment Inc., has built in Canada. Its other two aquarium properties are in Tennessee and South Carolina.

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The entrance to the Canadian Waters exhibit. Of the 50 live exhibits in the entire building, 17 feature marine life from Canada. The aquarium is located in Toronto’s downtown south core, wedged between the CN Tower and the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

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In the main lobby, visitors are dwarfed by a hanging whale skeleton. The building has been constructed so that it can be expanded – for Phase 2, the back wall can be removed and the footprint increased.

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Visitors look down into a tank at the Dangerous Lagoon – so named because it contains sharks. The building operates with 5.7 million litres of water.

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Pacific sea nettles are illuminated by changing coloured lights. Their nematocysts contain powerful paralyzing toxins. More than half of the building’s space is devoted to vital back-of-the-house operations.

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Visitors look up in delight as a green sawfish swims overhead. A 96-metre-long underwater acrylic tunnel with a moving walkway allows visitors to walk underneath the Dangerous Lagoon.

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B+H Architects designed the exterior of the building. Here at the main entrance, the roof gives the illusion of the Earth’s crust peeling away to reveal a window into the aquatic world. To read more about the building, see link below: Ripley’s Aquarium invigorates Toronto’s south core.

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