Today we are going for a trip to the Vancouver Aquarium, located inside of the beautiful forests of Stanley Park. The Aquarium has been delighting guests from around the world since 1956, becoming one of the top tourist attractions in the city. British Columbia has a rich biodiversity, especially when it comes to its coastal regions. There are several important displays here, primarily focusing on the west and north coastal regions of Canada. The wildlife programs here are focused on rehabilitation programs and have over 166 different aquatic displays and 70,000 different animal species.
The Vancouver Aquarium is the largest in Canada ( 5th largest in North America) with about 9.5 million liters of water on display. Like many aquariums around the world, it once focused on shows and events revolving around larger mammals like Beluga whales and Orcas. Today, it leans heavily into the education and conservation side. The “Ocean Wise” program that was created here helps to promote sustainable seafood in local restaurants. This is a great way to spend an afternoon learning about the underwater world located on the wild West Coast.
The Vancouver Aquarium is one of the city’s premier attractions and normally welcomes thousands of visitors every day. As of July 2021, it remains closed. The future of the Aquarium was until recently in doubt, especially with Covid reducing numbers and forcing the public facing elements of the aquarium to close down. The aquarium was just transferred to new owners and are looking to re-open their doors to the public in 2021/22.
What makes the Vancouver Aquarium so amazing?
The Aquarium is located inside of Stanley Park, the incredible forested park on the north-west edge of downtown Vancouver.It is the perfect place for visitors to Vancouver who want to learn about the world around them.
There are several incredible wildlife displays here, including the Canadian Arctic, the British Columbia coast and an indoor Amazon exhibition. The aquarium is home to many large mammals – sea otters, penguins and sea lions – as well as over 300 fish, many tropical birds in the Amazon exhibition and a pair of two-toed sloths.
During the past 60+ years the Aquarium has slowly evolved to become a rehabilitation and education center.This change has been both because of a internal desire to be better as well as plenty of public opinion pressure. It was the first aquarium to capture an Orca – back in 1964 – and this was once the centerpiece attraction of the Aquarium. The last beluga whales died while in captivity in 2016 and the last Orca left for San Diego in 2005.
Since 1996, it has vowed not to capture wild species to be put on display, and further, to not obtain wild cetaceans from other facilities unless they have been rescued and deemed un-fit for release.
Come on, follow us and let’s go to explore this amazing underwater world together. We hope the following photos will help to inspire your next excursion to Stanley Park. It has earned the title to become one of the best attractions in the city and is suitable for kids of all ages.