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“Unexpected Delight”

Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea
Ranked #3 of 25 things to do in Sidney
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Explore the mysteries of the Salish Sea Bioregion - one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world! The Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea is an aquarium and cultural centre for the learning, exploration, and conservation of the Salish Sea. The Salish Sea is named after the Canadian Indigenous Peoples of the region, the Coast Salish. Experience natural aquaria habitats of over 160 live species including a giant pacific octopus and wolf eels; a marine mammal exhibit complete with a rare orca skeleton; and experience the art and culture of the Coast Salish peoples on permanent exhibit. Journey from seafloor to seashore and discover the amazing diversity of the Salish Sea. Peer into 28 aquarium habitats teeming with live marine life from anemones to jelly fish to rockfish and experience the animals first hand in our Touch Pool room overlooking the Salish Sea.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
329 reviews
82 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 164 helpful votes
“Unexpected Delight”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 18, 2012

We try to visit aquariums when we travel and have visited Monterey, Tokyo, Kagoshima, for example, aquariums which are very large and wonderful. We live close to Sidney and have only today decided to visit the Shaw aquarium. We were very pleasantly surprised as we were not expecting much from a small local aquarium. The exhibits are march larger than expected and the ocean life on display was high quality and fascinating since they are from our own surrounding salt waters. Many species we have not seen elsewhere. We were so impressed we bought season passes! We highly recommend a visit.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank fishnguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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267 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
54 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Doug”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 4, 2012

A small aquarium but adequate for the size of the town. Describes the local Salish Sea. A great place for children and adults can learn too. Helpful staff. Hands on tanks. Don't miss the small magnification microscopes on the upper level.

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
Thank Doug C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OceanDiscovery, Public Relations Manager at Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea, responded to this review, November 7, 2012
Hi Doug C!

Thank you so much for visiting the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre, and for your great review! We are always thrilled to hear when a guest has enjoyed their time with us.

You mentioned our helpful staff...you may be surprised to know that almost all of the knowledgeable Oceaneers who help guide visitors through the aquarium are actually volunteers! Yup, we're pretty lucky to have such a wonderful group of people who love the Salish Sea and want to talk all about it!

We hope to see you again very soon, and thank you again!

Sincerely,
All of us here at the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Camrose, Canada
Level Contributor
137 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“First Visit”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 16, 2012

Visited shortly after it opened. The exhibits are interesting and interactive. It is a nice way to explore the west coast waters, without having to get into the water.

Helpful?
Thank travelcoleen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham
Level Contributor
91 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Good Fun and Interesting but price isnt cheap”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2012

Enjoyed visiting here, lots of intersting animals and especially liked the area where you could touch some of the fish.

However for the price I wouldnt say that it wasnt great value for money.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
Thank Nottsgirl87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OceanDiscovery, Public Relations Manager at Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea, responded to this review, October 9, 2012
Hi Nottsgirl87!

Thank you so much for your review of the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre. We're glad that you found our Centre to be fun and interesting...those are our two favorite things to be!

Something you may not know about our aquarium is that we are a not-for-profit organization devoted to raising public awareness on matters involving the protection of our local ocean, the Salish Sea. Our exhibits are meant to create a sense of awe and wonder at the limitless intricacies that exist in the ocean's ecosystem, and hopefully inspire everyone to take steps to protect the vitality of our rich coastal waters. Our admissions prices are set to reflect these efforts.

You may have also noticed a large group of green-vested individuals who were standing by to answer questions and enhance your experince. These are all volunteer Oceaneers who give their time and vast knowledge to our aquarium without receiving financial compensation.

Through the admission of fantastic visitors such as yourself coupled with our wonderful 150+ group of volunteers, our aquarium is able to continue to educate and excite. We're so happy that you took time to give us a review, and we will certainly take your comments into consideration. Only through visitor feedback are able to improve our Centre and make it the absolute best it can be!

Thank you!

Christina Smethurst
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Fun for families and young at heart”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 5, 2012

This is a fabulous educational exhibit, not a Sea World type place with performing animals. I love the elevator ride down!

Helpful?
Thank Laura T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OceanDiscovery, Public Relations Manager at Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea, responded to this review, October 9, 2012
Hi Laura T!

Thank you so much for visiting the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre! We are thrilled that you enjoyed your time with us! As a not-for-profit aquarium, we strive to create a welcoming and educational experience for each of our guests. We differ from larger, show-based aquariums in that our volunteer Oceaneers are readily accessible to answer questions about the hundreds of species that are housed in our facility. Our exhibits are meant to unveil the many intricacies that exist in the ecosystem of the Salish Sea, and showcase habitats as they truely exist in the wild. Based on the review you've given of the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre, it's clear that you understand our purpose and vision...fantastic!

Thank you again, and we hope to see you soon!

Sincerely,
Christina Smethurst
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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