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New nighttime Toronto Zoo multimedia art exhibit set to be unveiled

Endangered baby pygmy hippopotamus makes public debut at Toronto Zoo
WATCH ABOVE: The Toronto Zoo publicly unveiled on Wednesday a rare and endangered baby pygmy hippopotamus born last month. (Sept. 19, 2018)

In an effort to increase attendance at the Toronto Zoo throughout the winter, staff are set to unveil a large, new multimedia exhibit to the public.

“Terra Lumina is about an experience. Guests coming to Terra Lumina can expect an immersive, multimedia effects experience that’s really telling a story about hope,” Adam Huston, the zoo’s guest experience director, told Global News on Monday.

He said the goal of the exhibit is to transport visitors to the year 2099 and immerse them in a story that sees “human living in harmony with nature.” It occurs over eight zones along a 1.5-kilometre walking trail, which is estimated to take 45 to 60 minutes to walk along.

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When asked about the futuristic elements people can expect, he said he didn’t want to divulge too much before the exhibit launches on Friday.

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“There are lights, there are lasers, there is music, there are smoke machines — there are so many pieces to (Terra Lumina) that it’s really hard to describe,” he said.

“It’s like being in the middle of a Cirque du Soleil show or a concert with all the multimedia effects around you.”

Huston noted that the zoo’s animals will not be on display as part of the exhibit. However, he said the presence of the animals will be felt by visitors.

“Really this is a story about conservation and hope for the planet,” Huston said.

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“They do play a starring role in it, but the live animals aren’t being seen as part of the show.”

Depending on the response, he said the Toronto Zoo is potentially looking at more nighttime events and other programming opportunities at the zoo.

While it will primarily be open between Thursdays and Sundays, it will be fully open between Dec. 26 and Jan. 5. The last day will be on April 13.

Turning poop into power at the Toronto Zoo
Turning poop into power at the Toronto Zoo

Tickets, which range between $25 and $30, can be purchased on the zoo’s website. Tours leave every 15 minutes. Visitors were encouraged to show up 30 minutes before their tour time.

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For those looking to get to the zoo, there will be on-site parking (for a fee). But there will also be additional bus service to the zoo.

Between 6 and 10:30 p.m. while the exhibition is operating, there will be service every 10 minutes to the Toronto Zoo from Meadowvale Loop (which is serviced by the 85 Sheppard East and 86 Scarborough routes).