Ripley Entertainment is to build a $130-million aquarium at the base of the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada.
Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, now under construction, is set to open during the summer of 2013 and is expected to draw nearly two million visitors each year. It is billed as Toronto’s most exciting new family attraction since the Hockey Hall of Fame opened in 1943.
“Toronto is a world-class city and we are building a world-class aquarium,” says Jim Pattison Jnr, president of Ripley Entertainment Inc. “It’s about fish, family and fun, education and entertainment — along with a commitment to conservation and animal welfare. Ripley’s Aquarium will attract families from across Toronto, Canada and worldwide, and will generate significant jobs and economic activity in both the short- and long-term.”
The City of Toronto will provide property tax incentives estimated at between $8 million and $12 million over a 12-year period. Canada Lands Company, which owns the land on which the aquarium will be built, will invest more than $10 million to redevelop the John Street corridor around the CN Tower with new signage and other improvements that will increase and improve the flow of pedestrian traffic to the site.
Covering 135,000 square feet (12,500 sq m) aquarium will be one of the largest in North America, and the third operated by Ripley’s following its existing outlets in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Swimming inside 1.5-million gallons 6.8 million litres) of water will be more than 13,500 fish representing 450 species.