There’s nothing like a giant panda duo to bring in the visitors. Between May 17 and October 31, Toronto Zoo attendance went up by 32%, with 252,000 more visitors than the same time in 2012. Retail sales are ahead by $691,000 due to the popularity of panda-oiserie. This money goes into operations and the Zoo’s species survival programs. The Toronto Zoo is paying $1-million annually to China’s panda conservation program. The two bears eat roughly 450 kilograms of imported bamboo weekly, flown in at a cost of $200,000 per year. Da Mao and Er Shun are on loan for five years, and then they’ll move on to Calgary for another five.
TORONTO’s Zoo is located in the East End of the city in the rolling hills of the Rouge Valley. It’s easy to get there – by car, from downtown, take the 401 Eastbound to Exit 389, Meadowvale Road. Follow the Zoo signs to 361A Old Finch Avenue. Large parking lot. By TTC bus, take the subway (Sheppard Line) to DON MILLS STATION. Bus #85 leaves from here, and will drop you in front of the Zoo entrance about 45 minutes later. Along the way, you’ll pass through suburban Don Mills and Scarborough.