Is Marineland closing permanently in Niagara Falls, Ontario?


Published March 25, 2024 at 11:35 am

marineland closing ontario

Reports that Marineland in Niagara Falls will close permanently are circulating online.

Phil Demers, a former Marineland trainer turned activist, claims Marineland employees are being let go and the park is closing.

“According to multiple sources, MarineLand employees are being laid-off and informed that the park will no longer operate. It appears that MarineLand Canada is no more,” Demers said in a post on X on March 23.

Demers quit his job with Marineland in 2012 and has become an outspoken critic of the park’s treatment of the animals and practices. He posted a similar claim back in 2022.

“Tomorrow, Marineland will claim they’re opening again in 2022. Today, I’m reminding you they won’t,” Demers said on social media in 2022. 

When contacted early this morning, a Marineland employee didn’t confirm or deny the rumours but instead directed to email questions.

As of 11 a.m. today, there was no response or statement from Marineland.

In the afternoon on March 25, a local news outlet reported they had a statement from the park stating the rumours weren’t not true and the park is not closing. As of 6 p.m., did not receive a statement from the park.

Marineland closed for the season on Oct. 9, 2023 and traditionally opens on the May long weekend. Demers appears to have contacted the park and received an email back stating the park hasn’t determined its opening date.

“Will MarineLand open this season? For more than 60 years they ALWAYS opened on May 24 weekend. Hmm…” Demers said on Instagram.

There is no information on Marineland’s website and social media channels about the opening date.

Once a popular spot for family outings, Marineland in Niagara Falls was founded in 1961 by John Holer, an entrepreneur with a passion for marine life, according to Niagara Falls Tourism.

“The park began as a small-scale venture with a handful of marine animals, including dolphins, sea lions, and whales,” Niagara Falls Tourism states on its website. “It quickly gained popularity, attracting visitors who were eager to witness these magnificent creatures up close.”

There have been recent hints the park is looking to change hands. In January, Marineland’s lawyers registered to lobby the Ontario government with the goal of selling the park.


Marineland has faced several allegations in recent years.

In August, freedom of information requests revealed 14 whales and one dolphin have died since 2019 at the park. And there have been numerous calls to shut down Marineland or shift away from keeping animals.

Earlier this month, a court found the tourist attraction guilty of failing to comply with three orders issued by the province’s Animal Welfare Services related to the living conditions of three young black bears.

Lead photo: Antony Pranata

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