Toronto day 6

2011/08/30

Today I returned to the Toronto Zoo to finish off the part I didn’t have time for the other day, and also visited the Ontario Science Centre, a favorite hangout when I was a kid.

In between I attempted to locate one of the last vestiges of Toby’s Good Eats, home of the second-best dessert ever, but I couldn’t find it.  To make up, I went to the Mandarin again for supper. How I wish restaurants like this existed on the west coast!

More Zoo pictures

Spectacled owls:

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Groundhog – we had these at the farm in Manitoba but I never saw one this close before. They’re cute.

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Gila monster, just chillin’:

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Burrowing owl, watching the antics of the groundhogs with apparent consternation:

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Capybara, the largest living rodent species – and most self-possessed:

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Bored panther is bored:

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Alert leopard is alert: (I think it liked my bright red shirt)

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It was very hot today. The poor polar bears did what they could to cope:

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But it was evidently too much for this bowhead whale:

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Red panda – cute!

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Snow leopard – also chillin’:

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Sleepy tree kangaroo:

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This tiger was pacing furiously back and forth along a short section of fence. I thought it was because there were tasty yardapes on the other side…

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… but it turned out there was another tiger on the other side – perhaps it’s sexy time, yes?

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The Ontario Science Center

I was shocked to discover that they close at 6pm – logically they should be open to at least 8pm so families can come after work, right?  So I didn’t quite have enough time to see everything, but I got to the important part – the Science Arcade – full of interactive physics demonstrations.  This was my favorite part as a kid.

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I recognized a lot of the old installations still in use, and there were plenty of new ones as well.  Sadly, some of my favorites were gone.  There was a mechanically remote-controlled robot arm that you could use to stack foam blocks in a sealed room – that was my favorite of all.  There was an Eliza installation, and a machine that said “coffee” in a great variety of intonations.  A pendulum-driven spirograph, a Van de Graaff generator and a forest fire fighting computer game. All gone.

I also like how you ride escalators through a forest to get to and from the bulk of the exhibits:

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