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Friday, 4 November 2011

I'm so conflicted!!!

Ripley's is set to build a $130 million aquarium at the base of the CN tower which will open the Summer of 2013.  It is estimated that it will create 600 jobs and generate over $25 million in taxes for the gov't while in production and employ up to 350 people once open.  It will be the first new tourist attraction to the city since the Hockey hall of Fame 20 years ago.  

Check out the prototype.  Pretty dope but will those pools have a retractable roof?  What happens in the Winter..?

So, what do I think of this new Aquarium?  The kid in me in super stoked!  I mean I lived the first 8 years of my life in Calgary and instead of going "Up North" in the Summer, we went to Oakanagan Falls, BC which always included a trip to the Vancouver Aquarium.  I LOVED it.  There is something so serene and magical about the sea.  Standing in a dark room in front of a giant piece of glass, watching fish... You're already relaxed, I can tell.  Once I moved to Toronto, my Aquarium visits became few and far between.  And no, Marineland doesn't count.  Which brings me to the issues that I have with the aquarium...

1.)  Will they have Orca and dolphins and will they be forced to perform for guests?  I am NOT a fan of Marineland or Sea World and even take issue with some Zoos.  I don't want to spark an ethical debate because really, I just don't have it in me today but there is something that really boils my blood about a "dolphin cove" or "Arctic Cove" where people can touch and pet dolphins, beluga and orca.  I don't know how I feel in general about wild animals in captivity but that is another post in and of itself.  Let's just agree that Marineland and Sea World are not Aquariums. 

2.)  How will they procure the inhabitants of the aquarium?  I'd like to believe that other aquariums around North America will supply our aquariums with fish bred in captivity and that the Toronto aquarium will also be part of a breeding program, helping to repopulate endangered fish species.  This may actually be part of how those tanks get filled however, I am not so naive to think that it is the only way.  I can't help but think of little Nemo, being captured by a diver, taken from his dad and dropped in a tank at a dentist's office.

3.)  The city couldn't find $11 million to fund new and improved exhibits at the Toronto Zoo for animals already in captivity who need better and more spacious habitats - the Elephants pavilion for example. BUT they can fork over $26 million for the aquarium?  They also don't have the money to maintain public swimming pools or cultural events but I suppose the misdistribution  of funds isn't new. 

Anyway, I'm excited and curious nonetheless and will hopefully score an invite to the grand opening :)

Have a great weekend everyone!  M xo

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