The Toronto Zoo officially launched construction the Toronto Zoo Community Conservation Centre (TZC3) project.

Featuring an engaging river otter habitat, the TZC3 aims to bring a new, exciting educational arrival experience to Zoo guests and will also be a space accessible to the local community, where people can gather and connect with nature and each other.

As the new home to the Zoo’s endangered turtle conservation breeding centre, TZC3 represents an exciting next phase for conservation science at your Toronto Zoo. This space will be a prominent and visually stunning statement of your Zoo’s commitment to the community, with multiple labs and classrooms used by students from U of T Scarborough as well as Toronto Zoo camps, Zoo School and education programs.

“The Toronto Zoo Community Conservation Centre is an incredible addition for our organization, building on our existing Wildlife Health Centre and reproductive science research with meaningful Canadian species conservation efforts and student/community engagement facilities” said Dolf DeJong, CEO, Toronto Zoo. “This centre also supports our commitment to “two eyed” seeing, bridging conventional conservation science efforts with traditional knowledge.”

(Toronto Zoo)

“As the Toronto Zoo celebrates 50 years as a local landmark, PCL is excited to participate in its evolution and kick off construction of the new Conservation Centre,” said Myke Badry, vice president and district manager of PCL Constructors Canada Inc. (Toronto). “We are honored to join the Zoo as Guardians of Wild alongside our expert team of consultants and trade partners and are committed to creating a positive experience for the animals and guests with safety at top of mind.”

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Your Toronto Zoo is proud to be the first Zoo in Canada to establish such a collaboration wherein a leading university has a physical campus located onsite. When the classrooms are not being used for educational purposes, they will serve as outreach spaces that our broader community can enjoy for meetings, gatherings, events, townhalls and programs.

“University of Toronto Scarborough already has deep ties to the Zoo and a joint facility is one important way to deepen those ties,” said Andrew Arifuzzaman, Chief Administrative Officer, University of Toronto Scarborough. “As neighbours and important anchor institutions in Scarborough, we have a long and proud history of working together. This project really formalizes that partnership while inspiring future generations of conservationists. The emphasis on conservation and sustainability also complements U of T Scarborough’s involvement in EaRTH, a training and innovation hub involving various universities and colleges across the eastern GTA”.

This new Community Conservation Centre is being constructed by PCL Construction and is being built to Toronto Green Standard Version 4. This is in keeping with our TZNet0 Environmental Sustainability Plan to meet our goal of Net Zero by 2030. It will also contain a Blanding’s turtle headstarting facility, an event space, gift shop, offices, and a river otter habitat that will delight and educate guests about Canadian species.

“In the past few years, there has been a move in education towards experiential learning and this is going to be the future. This new facility will offer students a level of experiential learning that can only be gained by being immersed within a working conservation-based organization, our experienced researchers and practitioners,” said Dr. Gabriela Mastromonaco, Toronto Zoo’s Senior Director Wildlife Science. “It is a very different perspective on learning outcomes and will really set the students up for their careers and for success. This space is another step in our commitment, along with the University of Toronto Scarborough, to make science more accessible.”

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Featured image: (Toronto Zoo)

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