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ZOO INFORMATION & FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

ZOO INFORMATION



FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS





GENERAL EVENT INFORMATION
What is the difference between a Group Event, Zoo Day, Group Booking, and Bulk Tickets? What type of events can be hosted at the Toronto Zoo? Does the Toronto Zoo offer a birthday party package? Can I host an event in the winter? Does the Toronto Zoo host holiday parties? Can I host an after-hours event at the Toronto Zoo? What happens if there is inclement weather during the event? I am interested in renting a venue. Am I able to see the venue prior to booking? Are there restrictions on activities or items that can be brought to or distributed at the Toronto Zoo? How can I make my event more sustainable? BOOKING & PAYMENT
How do I book a Group Event or Zoo Day? What is required to confirm a Group Event booking? How is the final event amount owing determined? What happens if the deposit paid is greater than the final amount owing – Am I eligible for a refund? What type of payment methods does the Toronto Zoo accept? ADMISSION, PARKING, & EVENT TICKETS
What types of event tickets can I purchase for my guests? Is a group rate admission discount available? I am unsure how many guests will attend the event – Do I need to guarantee a certain number of guests? Is parking included in the cost of admission and/or the venue rental fee? How long are event tickets valid for? When will I receive the event tickets? VENUE RENTAL
What is included in a venue rental? How long is a venue rental? Does the venue rental include time to set-up and tear-down? Are the Toronto Zoo’s venues accessible? Am I able to decorate the venue? WILD ADDITIONS & ADDED VALUE
I am looking to make my event unique – Does the Toronto Zoo offer any add-ons? What animals are available for the animal encounter? Am I able to choose a specific animal? What added value opportunities are included with the cost of admission? Can we arrange our own activities or hire external entertainment/vendors? FOOD & BEVERAGE
Does the Toronto Zoo have a preferred caterer? Are we able to hire an external caterer to cater our event? Are food vouchers available for the Zoo’s on-site restaurants? Can our guests bring their own food & beverages into the Zoo?



General Event Information

What is the difference between a Group Event, Zoo Day, Group Booking, and Bulk Tickets?
Group Event

  • Discounted admission rates for groups of 20 or more paid visitors
  • Option to add on a venue rental, parking, animal encounters, Learning & Discovery Station, discounted ride & adventure tickets, and a catered meal
  • Billed based on the redemption of event tickets – pay only for those that attend!
  • Tickets are valid for a single day
  • Guests can enter the Zoo at any time during the Zoo’s operating hours and have access to a private venue during a specified rental time.

Zoo Day

  • Discounted admission rates for groups of 20 or more paid visitors
  • Option to add on parking, discounted ride & adventure tickets, and food vouchers
  • Billed based on the redemption of event tickets – pay only for those that attend!
  • Tickets are valid for a single day
  • Guests can enter the Zoo at any time during the Zoo’s operating hours

Zoo Day – Flex

  • Discounted admission rates for groups of 20 or more paid visitors
  • Option to add on parking, discounted ride & adventure tickets, and food vouchers
  • Billed based on the redemption of event tickets – pay only for those that attend!
  • Tickets are valid over the course of a consecutive 9 day period, providing guests with the flexibility to visit the Zoo on a day and time that’s convenient to them

Group Bookings – 416-392-5932

  • Discounted admission rates for groups of 20 or more paid visitors, including camp groups
  • A single payment is due upon arrival
  • Entire group must enter the Zoo at the same time
  • Group is not interested in a venue rental, catering, or wild additions

School Groups & Licensed Child Care Centres

  • Discounted admission rates available for school groups and licensed child care centre during the school year
  • CLICK HERE for more information & to book a school visit

Bulk Tickets – 416-392-5932

  • Purchase pre-paid admission tickets in bulk at discounted peak season rates (a minimum purchase of 20 tickets required)
  • Tickets are valid for one year from the date of purchase
  • Refunds are not available for unused tickets
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What type of events can be hosted at the Toronto Zoo?
With over 5,000 animals to discover and 10 km of walking trails to explore, the Toronto Zoo is a unique location to host a variety of year-round events, including:

  • Corporate Picnic or Social Event
  • Zoo Day
  • Meeting, Conference, or Team Building
  • Birthday Party
  • Family Celebration
  • Wedding Reception
  • Christmas or Holiday Party
  • After-hours or VIP Event

Have an event idea in mind? Just ask!

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Does the Toronto Zoo offer a birthday party package?
The Toronto Zoo offers three birthday party packages, each of which can be customized with a variety of add-ons:

  • Option 1: Zooper Birthday Package – Zoo Day with no venue rental
  • Option 2: Party Animal Package – 2 hour venue rental
  • Option 3: Born to be Wild Package – Full-day venue rental

Create your own WILD Zoo birthday party with discounted admission rates, animal encounters, Learning & Discovery Stations, discounted ride & adventure tickets, 10% discount off Toronto Zoo gift shop merchandise (perfect for loot bags), venue rentals, and catering options.

CLICK HERE for full details about the Zoo’s birthday party packages.

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Can I host an event in the winter?
Absolutely – Events can be booked year-round. The Toronto Zoo is open 364 days a year, closing only on December 25. Events held during the late fall, winter, and early spring are eligible for the Zoo’s reduced non-peak season admission rates in addition to the group rate admission discount.

During the event, guests will be able to explore the Tundra Trek and Eurasia Wilds and see the polar bears, Arctic wolves, snow leopards, and many more in their snowy element. They can then escape the cold and enter the warmth of one of the Zoo’s five indoor pavilions, which are collectively home to hundreds of species of plants and animals from around the world.

The Toronto Zoo’s indoor venues have limited availability, so be sure to book early!

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Does the Toronto Zoo host holiday parties?
The Toronto Zoo offers a family-friendly, daytime Holiday Party package, which is suitable for both corporate and private groups. If you are looking for something different, such as an adult-only evening event, a Group Events Associate would be happy to work with you to customize a package that fits your needs.

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Can I host an after-hours event at the Toronto Zoo?
If you are interested in hosting an after-hours event at the Toronto Zoo, please contact the Group Events Team at groupevents@torontozoo.ca or 416-392-5940. A Group Events Associate would be happy to work with you to customize a package that fits your needs.

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What happens if there is inclement weather during the event?
The Toronto Zoo operates year-round, rain or shine, and so will your Group Event!

Some venues are fully-enclosed and protected from the elements, while other venues have open-sided, covered picnic shelters. For your guests’ enjoyment, there are five indoor pavilions to explore, which are collectively home to hundreds of species of plants and animals from around the world, plus several outdoor exhibits have covered viewing areas.

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I am interested in renting a venue. Am I able to see the venue prior to booking?
A Group Events Associate would be happy to set-up a site visit with you so that you can ensure that the venue is the right fit for your event.

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Are there restrictions on activities or items that can be brought to or distributed at the Toronto Zoo?
Yes – For the health and safety of Zoo visitors and wildlife, there are a variety of activities and items that are restricted or prohibited at the Toronto Zoo.

Please refer to Group Events – Policies and Procedures for a list of restricted and prohibited activities and items.

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How can I make my event more sustainable?
CLICK HERE to download the Toronto Zoo’s Sustainable Event Planning Guide for tips on how to make your event more sustainable.

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Booking & Payment

How do I book a Group Event or Zoo Day?
To book an event at the Toronto Zoo or for more information, please contact the Group Events team at groupevents@torontozoo.ca or call 416-392-5940.

When inquiring about hosting an event, please provide the following information:

  • Approximate date of event
  • Approximate number of guests
  • Budget (if applicable)
  • Type of event
  • Vision for your event
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What is required to confirm a Group Event booking?
A Group Event booking is confirmed when the Toronto Zoo receives the signed Group Event Agreement and the required deposit payment. In order to ensure a successful event, the signed Group Event Agreement and deposit payment must be received a minimum of 14 days before the event date.

 

How is the final event amount owing determined? What happens if the deposit paid is greater than the final amount owing – Am I eligible for a refund?
The final cost of the event is based on the redemption of event tickets (admission, parking, and ride & adventure) on the day of your event, along with the cost of any rentals, packages, additions, and services purchased and any other applicable fee. Redemption-based ticketing allows clients to order an estimated number of tickets prior to the event, rather than guaranteeing a certain number of guests will attend. The admission rate discount is determined based on the number of paid guests that attend the event.

A deposit is due prior to the event. Following the event, final payment is due within thirty days. If fewer than expected guests attend the event, a refund will be issued to the client if the deposit paid is greater than the balance owing.

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What type of payment methods does the Toronto Zoo accept?
Accepted methods of payment for a Group Event are:

  • Credit (Visa, MasterCard, American Express)
  • Cheque (Corporate Only)
  • Electronic Funds Transfer (Corporate Only)

While at the Zoo, credit, debit/Interac, travellers cheques, and cash are accepted for on-site purchases. ATMs are available at the Front Entrance and the Africa Restaurant.

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Admission, Parking, & Event Tickets

What types of event tickets can I purchase for my guests?
Clients can purchase the following event tickets for their guests:

  • Admission*
  • Parking
  • Carousel*
  • Gorilla Climb Ropes Course
  • TundraAir*
  • Zoomobile – Ride All Day Pass*

*Discounted group rate available

Please note that while they receive free admission, children under the age of 3 and Toronto Zoo Members require an event admission ticket to enter the Zoo.

Clients are billed based on the redemption of tickets on the day of the event. Client-guest cost-sharing options are available.

Guests are welcome to purchase admission, parking, and ride & adventure tickets while they are at the Zoo, however, the group rate discounts would not be available.

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Is a group rate admission discount available?
Group Event clients are eligible for discounted admission rates based on the number of paid guests that attend the event.

# of Paid Guests

Discount

Under 20 –
No Venue Rental

Regular Admission

Under 20 –
With Venue Rental

15%

20-299

15%

300-1,499

20%

1,500-4,999

25%

5,000+

30%

Please note: Group admission rate discount is determined based on the number of paid guests that attend the event and not the number of admission tickets ordered. Paid guests do not include children under the age of 3 or Toronto Zoo members.

Discounted rates are also available for the Carousel, TundraAir, and the Zoomobile.

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I am unsure how many guests will attend the event – Do I need to guarantee a certain number of guests?
Clients are billed based on the redemption of event tickets (admission, parking, and ride & adventure) on the day of the event. This allows clients to order an estimated number of tickets prior to the event, rather than guaranteeing a certain number of guests will attend. Please note that the required event deposit is calculated based on the number of tickets ordered.

If the event is being catered by Compass Group Canada, please ensure you have followed the catering ordering procedures with respect to confirming the number of guests expected to attend the event.

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Is parking included in the cost of admission and/or the venue rental fee?
No - Parking is a separate fee and is $12.00 per vehicle. Buses receive complimentary parking. Clients can cover the cost of parking on behalf of their guests or guests can individually purchase their own parking when they arrive.

Parking tickets are to be redeemed by guests at the Admission Booths for a plastic parking card, which is required to exit the parking lot.

As a charitable organization, parking fees support the purchase and preparation of food for all the wildlife in the Zoo’s care, the conservation and scientific research undertaken by Zoo staff, along with contributing to the overall operation of the Zoo.

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How long are event tickets valid for?
Event tickets are only valid on the day of your event. The event date will be printed on the ticket. Zoo Day – Flex tickets are valid for a defined period of 9 consecutive days, with the date range indicated on the tickets.

With a valid admission ticket, guests can enter the Zoo at any time during the Zoo’s operating hours, unless otherwise noted.

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When will I receive the event tickets?
All paper event tickets are printed by the Toronto Zoo and will be shipped to the client prior to the event, with the date to be arranged with your Group Events Associate. The client is responsible for distributing the event tickets to their guests. The number of tickets printed is the quantity listed in the Group Event Agreement.

Event tickets can also be distributed to your guests on the day of the event at a complimentary welcome table located just prior to the Zoo’s admission booths.

The Toronto Zoo is unable to distribute tickets to your guests and tickets cannot be left at Guest Services for pick-up. Please ensure your guests have a way to contact you in the event that they arrive late and need to pick-up a ticket from you.

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Venue Rental

What is included in a venue rental?
The venue rental rate includes:

  • Exclusive, all-day access to the venue
    • 9:00 am to 4:00 pm (includes event set-up and tear-down), unless otherwise noted*
    • After-hour rentals available
  • A Group Events Associate who will work with you every step of the way to make your event a unique and memorable experience
  • Picnic tables or tables & chairs as indicated
  • Covered shelters where indicated
  • Access to audio-visual equipment and electricity where indicated
  • Recycling, compost, and garbage bins

Please note: Admission, parking, wild additions, and catering are not included in the venue rental rate. Venue capacities are subject to change depending on event set-up requirements.

*A rental surcharge and/or staffing costs may apply to rentals that extend beyond the rental time or to after-hour rentals.

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How long is a venue rental?
Full-day venue rentals are from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm during the peak season and 9:30 am to 4:00 pm during the non-peak season, unless otherwise noted. Venue rentals included as part of an event package, including birthday and holiday packages, will have specific rental times. Please refer to the package for details.

With a valid admission ticket, guests are welcome to explore the Toronto Zoo at any time during the Zoo’s operating hours.

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Does the venue rental include time to set-up and tear-down?
Yes – Event set-up and tear-down must happen during the venue rental. If additional time is required for set-up and/or tear-down beyond the rental time, a surcharge may apply.

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During the event, how will my guests locate the venue?
A map of the Zoo, with venues indicated, is included in the Visitor Guide that guests will receive as they enter the Zoo. Additionally, wayfinding signage directing guests to the venues is located throughout the Zoo and a sign with the event/client name is located at the entrance to each venue.

A venue map is also included with the event itinerary that clients receive prior to the event. Clients are welcome to distribute this map to their guests.

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Are the Toronto Zoo’s venues accessible?
Yes – The Toronto Zoo’s venues are accessible, however, some have areas of uneven terrain. Please visit Toronto Zoo – Venues for information specific to each venue.

For more information about accessibility at the Toronto Zoo, please refer to Toronto Zoo - Accessibility.

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Am I able to decorate the venue?
Yes – You are welcome to decorate the venue. Popular options include retractable banners, table coverings, and centrepieces. For the health and safety of Zoo visitors and wildlife, however, there are certain items that are restricted or prohibited, including balloons. All decorative items must be approved by the Toronto Zoo prior to the event and cannot be affixed to any walls, ceilings, and/or floors of any temporary or permanent structure on the Zoo site.

Please refer to Group Events – Policies and Procedures for a list of restricted and prohibited activities and items.

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Wild Additions & Added Value

I am looking to make my event unique – Does the Toronto Zoo offer any add-ons?
The Toronto Zoo offers several Wild Additions that are sure to make any event even WILDER, including animal encounters, Learning & Discovery Stations, discounted ride and adventure tickets (Carousel, Gorilla Climb Ropes Course, TundraAir, and Zoomobile), and a 10% discount off Toronto Zoo gift shop merchandise.

CLICK HERE for more information about Wild Additions.

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What animals are available for the animal encounter? Am I able to choose a specific animal?
The Toronto Zoo’s Outreach & Discovery animals are used for animal encounters and include birds of prey, owls, small- to medium-sized mammals (e.g. skunk, woodchuck, ferret, goat, alpaca), and reptiles.

For the health and safety of the animals, all animal encounters will be determined on the day of your event by the Zoo’s Wildlife Care staff.

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What added value opportunities are included with the cost of admission?
In addition to over 5,000 animals to discover and 10 km of walking trails to explore, there are several added value opportunities included in the cost of Zoo admission. These opportunities include: Meet-the-Keeper Talks, carnivore enrichment feedings, special events, Splash Island, Kids Zoo, Interactive Discovery Stations, and the Wildlife Health Centre Viewing Gallery.

CLICK HERE for more information about Added Value Opportunities.

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Can we arrange our own activities or hire external entertainment/vendors?
Yes - You are welcome to arrange your own activities (e.g. scavenger hunt, trivia, games, etc.), entertainment (e.g. face painting, music, photo booth, etc.), and décor. For the health and safety of visitors and the wildlife at the Zoo, all activities, entertainment, décor, and vendors are subject to approval by the Toronto Zoo prior to the event and public liability insurance may be required.

For more information, including a list of restricted and prohibited items and activities and details regarding public liability insurance, please refer to Group Events – Policies and Procedures.

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Food & Beverage

Does the Toronto Zoo have a preferred caterer?
Compass Group Canada Ltd. is the Toronto Zoo’s official on-site caterer. With a variety of options available, Compass Group Canada is happy to work with you directly to choose a breakfast, lunch or dinner menu that is sure to delight the taste buds of all your guests.

CLICK HERE for more information about catering options at the Toronto Zoo.

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Are we able to hire an external caterer to cater our event?
Yes – Any food services provided by an external company are subject to approval by the Toronto Zoo prior to the event and public liability insurance may be required. In addition, an external catering surcharge of $15.00 per person will apply. This surcharge will be included on the final event invoice.

Please note that external caterers will not have access to kitchen facilities and that other site restrictions can create a challenging working environment.  A site visit by the external caterer prior to the event is strongly encouraged.

CLICK HERE for more information about external catering.

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Are food vouchers available for the Zoo’s on-site restaurants?
Yes – Compass Group Canada Ltd., the Toronto Zoo’s on-site caterer, would be happy to arrange food vouchers of any denomination for your guests. Food vouchers are redeemable at any of the Zoo’s on-site restaurants, including Peacock Café/Tim Hortons, Africa Restaurant, and Caribou Café.

CLICK HERE for more information about food vouchers at the Toronto Zoo.

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Can our guests bring their own food & beverages into the Zoo?
Yes – The Toronto Zoo allows visitors to bring their own food and non-alcoholic beverages into the Zoo.

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