Explore the magic behind your aquatic experience in the Life Support Systems (LSS) gallery. 

Life Support Systems

By bringing a significant amount of pumping and filtration equipment out into the public areas, the Aquarium offers visitors a unique opportunity to see how its complex environment is maintained.

The Aquarium has over 5 million litres of Toronto municipal water and runs it through carbon filters to remove any impurities. After this process is complete, the water is either circulated through the building for the Aquarium’s freshwater systems or moved to a holding basin where salt and minerals are mixed in to create our salt water. Once mixed, the water must pass through water chemistry testing before it can be moved to any exhibits.

Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada sits on the shores of Lake Ontario, one of the largest lakes in the world. We understand the significance of preserving our water which is why we recycle 95% of the water used throughout the building. It is treated for reuse and returned within the exhibits. The 5% loss is due to evaporation and human use in the washrooms and kitchens!

We have 10 pumps that deliver water to all of our larger exhibits. In total, they pump over 68,000 litres of water per minute.


• We have 10 pumps that deliver water to all of our larger exhibits. In total, they pump over 68,000 litres of water per minute. This is approximately 98 million litres of water every day!

• Our foam fractionators use ozone gas to kill all of the microscopic bacteria. The clean water is then recycled out the bottom of the fractionator!

• We have about 5.2 million litres of water onsite – that’s about 25,000 bathtubs!

• Learn more with our blog post Water Quality at the Aquarium.”


Turtle Plastic Bag Art

Our team created this turtle out of more than 200 recycled plastic bags to encourage visitors to reduce their consumption and switch to reusable products! Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada inspires everyone to re-evaluate the plastic they use in their everyday lives and consider consequences of plastic pollution.

Plastic bags resemble jellies when floating around the ocean, causing sea turtles and countless other marine animals to mistake the trash as prey and choke on the plastic or starve because it blocks their throats from swallowing actual food.

Plastic can take more than 1,000 years to break down, but it will never fully disappear. We all have a role to play in the fight against plastics!

Some things you can do to help reduce your plastic use:
• Use reusable shopping bags, straws, and water bottles
• Buy more bulk food and fewer packaged products
• Repurpose the packaging you do purchase
• Recycle chewing gum (it’s made of plastic!), or use natural, organic brands
• Make sure you put your plastic waste in the correct recycling

Dive Shows + Aquarist Talks

Swim by for a scheduled Dive Show to watch our divers with the animals or check out an Aquarist Talk to meet our husbandry team! You’ll have the chance to ask all your questions and maybe even see a live feeding!

Learn More
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