Zoos are places to see your favourite animals. Who wouldn’t want to see tigers, elephants, giraffes, pandas, and monkeys all in one place? Plus, zoos are like real-life versions of The Lion King, minus the evil uncle and the catchy songs.
Canadian zoos reign supreme. Our country takes conservation seriously, which means creating habitats where animals feel comfortable. Zoologists work tirelessly to create beautiful, sustainable landscapes. Canadian zoos also have rare, endangered animal species, like polar bears or red pandas. These animals receive excellent care, which shows how happy they are. Look at their smiles! So adorable, right?
See our list with the best zoos in Canada!
What makes the best zoo?
We’ll judge the best zoo in Canada based on these four criteria:
The best zoos many animals that will make your heart melt with cuteness and your spine tingle with excitement! Think majestic lions, playful monkeys, graceful giraffes, and adorable penguins waddling around in their icy habitats! Plus, they’ll have exotic animals that you won’t find anywhere else.
Zoos should provide a lush environment, making you feel like you’ve stepped into another world! From the beautifully landscaped gardens to the cleverly designed habitats, you’ll be surrounded by nature’s beauty. These zoos prioritize reducing their carbon footprint. They use environmentally-friendly practices to ensure that their zoos remain a healthy place for animals.
The best zoos should create a memorable experience for their guests! They must offer activities or attractions that cater to all ages. Also, the best zoos prioritize the safety and comfort of their guests, ensuring that you have a hassle-free visit.
The zoo staff has a great responsibility: they must take care of the animals. That means they must learn about the animal behaviour, like their habits or dietary restrictions. Zoologists work tirelessly to ensure these animals thrive in their habitat.
List of best zoos in Canada
- Toronto Zoo
- Vancouver Aquarium
- Calgary Zoo
- Edmonton Valley Zoo
- Assiniboine Park Zoo
- Parc Safari
- Magnetic Hill Zoo
- Riverview Park and Zoo
- Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo
Best Zoo in Toronto
The Toronto Zoo is the hottest spot in town for animal enthusiasts and conservation buffs! This epic zoo is the largest in Canada and among the biggest on the planet. It has over 450 different species and 5,000 animals to admire! Who needs Netflix when you can watch the real-life drama unfold right before you?!
The Toronto Zoo is like a world tour of animal habitats. It has everything from Africa to the Tundra Trek, showcasing every kind of critter you can imagine! Look no further than the Panda exhibit if you want serious animal cuteness. These cute little guys are like the Kardashians of the zoo world – everyone wants to see them! But the Toronto Zoo is not just for show – they’re dedicated to conservation and saving species from the brink of extinction! What a noble cause!
Visiting the Toronto Zoo is more than just a casual stroll through the park. There are tons of interactive programs and animal encounters for all ages! They even have a summer camp for kids – move over Disney World! And if you want to stay in shape while admiring the majestic beasts, you can participate in the Zoo Run charity race!
Toronto Zoo – Animals
At the Toronto Zoo, visitors can observe a diverse range of animal species up close. Habitats are thoughtfully designed and maintained for a fulfilling experience, especially for children. However, certain habitats could be more spacious, as noted by guests.
Toronto Zoo – Environment
The Toronto Zoo is in an idyllic natural setting, surrounded by lush greenery and trees, creating a serene and peaceful atmosphere. The zoo also minimizes its environmental impact by employing renewable energy and recycling waste.
Toronto Zoo – Guest Experience
The Toronto Zoo offers an engaging experience for all ages, with numerous activities and exhibitions to discover. The park is admirably organized, and the zoo has plenty of benches and rest areas. Peak hours can result in long wait times for specific exhibitions, detracting from visitors’ overall experience.
Toronto Zoo – Staff Expertise
The Toronto Zoo staff are passionate and knowledgeable about animals, frequently hosting informative talks and demonstrations throughout the day. They’re also personable, helping guests with queries and guiding them through the zoo. Yet, guests may wish the staff were more visible and accessible during busy periods.
Best Zoo in Vancouver
The Vancouver Aquarium is a must-visit for marine life lovers! This impressive aquarium has over 50,000 sea creatures worldwide, including sea otters, dolphins, and even anacondas! It’s like an underwater zoo, but better! They’re also leaders in marine research. They’re all about preserving marine life and promoting ocean sustainability. It’s like a team of marine superheroes!
Like a real-life Finding Nemo story, the Vancouver Aquarium has rescued over 400 sea turtles. And they have a massive Amazon exhibit that will take you on a virtual adventure deep into the rainforest. This exhibit has thousands of colourful fish, sloths, and exotic birds. It’s like going to South America without leaving Canada!
Vancouver Aquarium – Animals
At the Vancouver Aquarium, visitors can marvel at marine animals like sea otters, dolphins, and sea lions. These animals live in spacious exhibits that resemble their natural habitats. It also has one of the best aquariums in Canada.
Vancouver Aquarium – Environment
Set amid stunning views of Stanley Park and the ocean, the Vancouver Aquarium is an architectural wonder with modern design and well-illuminated expansive spaces. The Vancouver Aquarium is also dedicated to environmental sustainability. The aquarium accomplishes this by implementing various initiatives, like promoting sustainable seafood choices that have a lesser negative effect on the environment.
Vancouver Aquarium – Guest Experience
Guests visiting the Vancouver Aquarium can expect an informative and enjoyable time exploring the exhibits, attending shows, and participating in interactive sessions. The staff ensures the experience is fulfilling and educational. However, it is worth noting that peak crowd hours may sometimes lead to longer lines and crowded exhibits.
Vancouver Aquarium – Staff Expertise
The Vancouver Aquarium staff’s vast knowledge and passion for aquatic life go beyond their interactions with the animal exhibits. During the various workshops, they provide visitors with an in-depth understanding of the marine environment.
Best Zoo in Calgary
The Calgary Zoo is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves animals, adventure, and fun! This zoo is a leader in conservation efforts. They even have a Wildlife Conservation Centre dedicated to saving endangered species, like the Vancouver Island marmot! Can you say animal superheroes?
And get this: the Calgary Zoo has a prehistoric park featuring life-sized animatronic dinosaurs! You can walk among these creatures that ruled the earth millions of years ago. It’s like Jurassic Park but without all the scary bits.
Did you know the Calgary Zoo is home to Canada’s largest indoor hippo exhibit? You heard that right – hippos! You can watch these big guys swim around in their pool from underwater viewing areas, like a live-action version of The Lion King’s Hakuna Matata scene. The Calgary Zoo also has giant pandas. Mama bear Er Shun, dad Da Mao, and their cubs Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue will surely steal your heart with their cuteness overload!
Calgary Zoo – Animals
The Calgary Zoo showcases creatures from around the globe, featuring uncommon and at-risk species such as the Amur tiger and the western lowland gorilla. The zoo emphasizes its commitment to conservation and breeding initiatives, striving to safeguard these delicate species.
Calgary Zoo – Environment
Gasp in awe at the stunning views of the Bow River and the Rocky Mountains from the Calgary Zoo. There are large, well-maintained habitats that perfectly mimic animals’ natural environments. Plus, they’re all about environmental friendliness. Think composting, recycling, and reducing water usage.
Calgary Zoo – Guest Experience
Visitors of all ages can enjoy and learn from the guest experience at the Calgary Zoo, with a variety of exhibits, shows, and interactive experiences. Experienced and enthusiastic staff members lead educational programs and workshops. During peak times, long lines and crowded exhibits are reported.
Calgary Zoo – Staff Expertise
The Calgary Zoo’s knowledgeable staff can give visitors detailed information about the animals and their habitats. They also prioritize animal welfare and enrichment, ensuring physical and psychological needs are met.
Edmonton Valley Zoo
Best Zoo in Edmonton
Unleash your inner animal enthusiast and visit the Edmonton Valley Zoo in Alberta, Canada! This zoo is a wild adventure with many exciting animal attractions that’ll make you giddy. This place teems with amazing creatures, like Asian elephants and fierce Siberian tigers.
If you feel daring, try the ropes course! You’ll fly over the displays and climbing like a monkey. Beyond fun and games, this zoo provides more than entertainment. It’s also a place for discovery and education. You can attend various classes to learn about animal conservation and sustainability. Learn how to help the environment while protecting our furry (and scaly) friends.
Edmonton Valley Zoo – Animals
The Edmonton Valley Zoo’s animal collection is diverse and includes rare and endangered species, such as the red panda and the Siberian tiger. These species are from around the world. The zoo is committed to conservation and education, with programs that promote these vulnerable species. However, animal enclosures and animal welfare have been criticized.
Edmonton Valley Zoo – Environment
The zoo is situated in a picturesque park. It has natural vegetation and habitats that resemble animals’ natural environments. Recent renovations, including the Arctic Shores exhibit, provide immersive experiences for visitors. The zoo is dedicated to sustainability, with initiatives that reduce its carbon footprint and promote environmentally-friendly practices.
Edmonton Valley Zoo – Guest Experience
The Edmonton Valley Zoo offers enjoyable and informative exhibits, shows, and interactive experiences suitable for visitors of all ages. Educational programs and workshops are led by experienced staff. However, some visitors express disappointment that the zoo’s small size can be easily navigated in a few hours.
Edmonton Valley Zoo – Staff Expertise
Edmonton Valley Zoo staff are passionate about animals and conservation. They are dedicated to ensuring animals’ physical and psychological needs are met. Additionally, staff can answer questions or provide detailed information about zoo animals.
Assiniboine Park Zoo
Best Zoo in Manitoba
Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Park Zoo will satisfy your inner animal lover with over 200 species. Enjoy the exhibits with majestic polar bears, ferocious tigers, adorable red pandas, and elusive snow leopards. The zoo also offers behind-the-scenes tours, allowing adventurous souls to see these creatures.
But it’s not all fun and games at the Assiniboine Park Zoo. This Manitoba zoo protects endangered species through its conservation program. This program preserves habitats, ensuring animals thrive for generations to come. It also partners with other organizations to raise conservation awareness and promote sustainable living.
Assiniboine Park Zoo – Animals
Assiniboine Park Zoo showcases an array of animals from around the globe, including rare and endangered species, like the Amur tiger and snow leopard. The zoo actively contributes to conservation and breeding programs, vital for safeguarding and preserving these vulnerable species. However, it is disappointing the zoo doesn’t feature more Canadian native species.
Assiniboine Park Zoo – Environment
The zoo has scenic park surroundings with abundant natural vegetation. Each habitat emulates animals’ natural environments. Recent facility improvements include the installation of an entrance and the refurbishment of several animal habitats. The zoo is also environmentally sustainable with eco-initiatives like composting, recycling, and energy conservation.
Assiniboine Park Zoo – Guest Experience
Assiniboine Park Zoo guests can experience various exhibits, shows, and interactive experiences. The zoo also facilitates educational programs and workshops, helmed by experienced and dedicated staff. The zoo’s Journey to Churchill exhibit provides a captivating learning experience, enabling visitors to observe and learn about polar bears.
Assiniboine Park Zoo – Staff Expertise
The Assiniboine Park Zoo staff understands animals in depth. They can provide detailed information on the different species and their habits. The zoo cares about animal welfare and enrichment. Nonetheless, visitors have reported staff can be challenging to locate. They aren’t always available to answer queries.
Best Zoo in Quebec
Welcome to Parc Safari, the wildest adventure you’ll ever have! This Quebec zoo is not your average walk-through experience. Embark on a thrilling safari adventure, where you’ll come face to face with over 500 animals. Meet majestic lions, towering giraffes, and those playful zebras. The most popular destination is the African savannah exhibit with ostriches, rhinos, and more.
Parc Safari allows you to become a make-believe zookeeper for a day. This unique zoo program lets you to interact with the animals from a safe distance. You can also take a guided VIP tour that includes feeding the creatures.
Parc Safari – Animals
Parc Safari showcases an extensive animal collection. It features various species from across the globe, including lions, tigers, bears, lemurs, kangaroos, and even endangered animals. They offer conservation and breeding programs geared towards conservation efforts. However, the tiny enclosures for larger animals, like elephants, have raised some concerns from visitors.
Parc Safari – Environment
The park is located in a beautiful natural setting that incorporates the animal habitats to simulate their original environment. Visitors can also take a safari ride to experience the park’s unique features fully. Parc Safari operates with sustainable practices like waste reduction and energy conservation.
Parc Safari – Guest Experiences
Visitors of all ages can enjoy the unique and engaging exhibits, shows, and interactive experiences provided by Parc Safari. The delightful safari ride highlight presents an informative up-close experience of the animals. However, the park’s crowd size, limited food, and souvenir options may not appeal to some visitors.
Parc Safari – Staff Expertise
Parc Safari’s staff comprises friendly, knowledgeable individuals passionate about conservation and animals. Visitors can gain insights on animal habitats, the zoo’s breeding programs, and conservation efforts. Non-French speakers, however, have mentioned the limited English-speaking staff members which make communication a challenge.
Magnetic Hill Zoo
Best Zoo in New Brunswick
Monkey business is the name of the game at the Magnetic Hill Zoo in Moncton, New Brunswick. This best zoo has over 400 animals from 100 different species. Keep your eyes peeled for primates swinging through the trees in the large exhibit. You may also be interested in fierce felines prowling the Big Cat exhibit. Feeling like a night owl? Head over to the Nocturnal Building to witness the creatures of the night come to life.
Magnetic Hill Zoo is famous for its reptile exhibit, appealing to those who love slithering creatures. It showcases several species of snakes, lizards, and turtles. Visitors can observe the fascinating cold-blooded animals in their natural habitats. Check out the king snakes, bearded dragons, and other serpents!
Magnetic Hill Zoo – Animals
Magnetic Hill Zoo is home to a diverse collection of animals, including the rare Amur leopard and cotton-top tamarin. The zoo plays a vital role in conservation and breeding programs, which help protect and preserve these vulnerable species. However, the zoo could benefit from a greater variety of animals native to Canada.
Magnetic Hill Zoo – Environment
The animal habitats at the zoo are designed to mimic their natural environments. Recent improvements, such as a new entrance and renovated animal habitats, have made significant strides in creating a more natural setting for the animals to thrive. The zoo also focuses on conservatives initiatives that include a recycling program and educational programs.
Magnetic Hill Zoo – Guest Experience
Magnetic Hill Zoo offers a pleasant and informative experience for visitors, with exhibits and interactive experiences of varying levels for all ages. The zoo’s staff offer educational programs and workshops, giving insight into their extensive knowledge of animals and conservation efforts. The zoo is also popular with families, with its children’s play area and splash park.
Magnetic Hill Zoo – Staff Expertise
The friendly staff can provide valuable information about the different animal species. They are also familiar with the zoo’s extensive breeding and conservation programs. The zoo’s dedication to animal welfare is commendable.
Riverview Park and Zoo
Best Zoo in Ontario
Riverview Park and Zoo is a unique zoo that will appeal to animal enthusiasts, particularly bird lovers. It has 27 diverse animal species and 48 bird species. Feed the friendly goats in the Critter Corral, or travel to Primate Isle to see the monkeys. You might also enjoy the Big Cat display, which features a variety of stunning lions, tigers, and cougars in action.
Riverview Park and Zoo offers a Junior Zookeeper program for children aged 8 to 14, highlighting what it’s like to work with animals. For the little ones, there’s also splash pad and carousel to keep them entertained. Plus, families can take a relaxing train ride around the park, soaking in all the sights and sounds. They should also visit the Farm Friends exhibit, where cows, horses, pigs, and sheep are eagerly awaiting your arrival!
Riverview Park and Zoo – Animals
Riverview Park and Zoo features a diverse collection of animals, including native Canadian species such as black bears and cougars. The animals live in well-maintained habitats that are enriched with activities to promote their mental and physical wellbeing. Unfortunately, the number of species is limited. This zoo can benefit from adding more animals to the mix.
Riverview Park and Zoo – Environment
Located in a picturesque park, Riverview Park and Zoo has animal habitats that replicate the natural environment of each creature. The zoo has made upgrades in recent years, renovating some of the animal habitats and adding a new entrance. They also offer educational opportunities like a children’s discovery trail.
Riverview Park and Zoo – Guest Experience
Visiting Riverview Park and Zoo is enjoyable and family-friendly. There are exhibits and interactive experiences that cater to visitors of all ages. The train ride and petting zoo are especially popular with the younger set. Nonetheless, this zoo can improve by adding more attractions or activities.
Riverview Park and Zoo – Staff Expertise
The staff at Riverview Park and Zoo are passionate about animals. They are always ready to provide information and answer questions. Plus, they prioritize the safety of both visitors and animals.
Best Zoo in Montreal
Bienvenue à Biodôme, where you can experience five different ecosystems without leaving Montreal! It’s like a global adventure, but without the jet lag. This Quebec zoo has over 4,000 animals from 250 different species. Feeling chilly? Warm up in the Tropical Rainforest or take a stroll through the Laurentian Maple Forest. Want to dip your toes in the ocean? Check out the Gulf of St. Lawrence or the Labrador Coast. And don’t forget to pack your parka for the Sub-Antarctic Islands.
Feeling social? Meet the penguins during the Penguin’s Encounter program, or tweet with the Birds of Quebec exhibit showcasing Quebec’s finest feathered friends. And if you’re feeling a little fishy, the Marine Life exhibit is a sight to behold. Come for the ecosystems, stay for the adventure!
Biodome – Animals
At the Biodome, visitors can explore four distinct ecosystems found in the Americas: the Tropical Forest, the Laurentian Maple Forest, the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and the Sub-Antarctic Islands. The animals inhabiting these ecosystems are carefully selected to represent the unique biodiversity of each region. Guests can observe a range of fascinating animals, such as penguins, lynx, and capybaras.
Biodome – Environment
The zoo’s exhibits have been thoughtfully designed to replicate the natural habitats of the animals, allowing visitors to view and interact without any barriers blocking the way. There are also numerous interactive experiences and educational programs, including the opportunity to engage with animals using virtual reality technology.
Biodome – Guest Experience
Guests of all ages can enjoy the informative and exciting exhibitions and activities showcased at the Biodome. Visitors can also participate in workshops and educational programs led by expert staff. The Biodome also features a gift shop and a café that serves locally-sourced food. However, additional food options and amenities could improve the experience.
Biodome – Staff Expertise
The Biodome staff are focused on delivering a pleasant experience for visitors. They possess extensive knowledge about the exhibits. They are able to address inquiries regarding animals and their environments. Moreover, the Biodome prioritizes animal welfare. The devoted staff ensures the well-being of all zoo creatures.
Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo
Best Zoo in Ottawa
Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo allows you to slither and slide into a world of reptiles and amphibians. This Toronto zoo is founded in 1995 by the one and only Paul “Little Ray” Goulet. It showcases a scaly selection of over 150 different animals species, from snakes to salamanders. You’ll have a hissing good time exploring the exotic creatures that call this place home.
Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo has slithery serpents, armoured alligators, and even the occasional cranky crocodile. It also has a delightful collection of turtles and tortoises. Next, hop on over to the amphibian exhibit, where you can croak with the frogs and toads. Additionally, the zoo has a breeding program for endangered species, aimed to preserve the next generation of animals.
Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo – Animals
Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo includes an extensive collection of reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates sourced from various corners of the world. Visitors get the opportunity to view different animals such as tarantulas, lizards and snakes. Excitingly, they learn about the unique features and learn how the different animals adapt to their natural environment. However, it wouldn’t hurt to have additional animals apart from the reptiles and amphibians available.
Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo – Environment
Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo has exhibits and habitats meant to replicate animal natural environments to offer you a unique and educational experience. Moreover, staff lead interactive showings like feeding educational programs. However, it is recommended that additional seats and shaded areas are made available.
Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo – Guest Experience
At Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo, the guest experience is not only informative but also entertaining thanks to the variety of interactive exhibits and hands-on experiences suitable for visitors of all ages. The zoo has workshops and educational programs that are led by its staff. You can also buy delicious snacks and drinks from the cafe.
Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo – Environment
The staff at Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo are knowlegeable on different animal behaviours. They are readily available to answer any questions. The zoo’s staff also shows concern to animal welfare to ensure they are healthy and comfortable.