Since opening its doors in 1969, the centre has fascinated more than 40 million visitors, including more than 220,000 students per year, with the wonders of science and technology. Our entourage of 17 was no different. The only problem was that the youngsters were difficult to control as they ran for an experiment after an experiment.
Children and their guardians seemed to be super exited with hundreds of exhibits in a variety of exhibition halls - Communication, Sport, Human Body and The Living Earth, along with a film at the OMNIMAX movie theatre, and KidSpark, a learn-through-play area that is specifically designed for kids eight and under.
All major cities seem to have science centres and Toronto is no different. However, what makes OSC stand out is that it has special exhibits going on throughout the year in addition to several hundred interactive and passive exhibits throughout the buildings. When we visited the Centre, a special exhibition 'Sultans of Science' was on display, which featured innovations by Muslims during their period of glory spanning from 800 AD to up to 1400 AD. The exhibits included those on medicine, architecture, engineering construction harnessing animal power, playful machines, etc.
The regular exhibits feature everything in science and nature. They feature:
- geology, the science of nature (in the west wing)
- astronomical science in the south wing. This was closed for renovation since Pluto's demotion in August 2006 and has now been refurbished and reopened to the public, featuring Toronto's only operating planetarium, as well as one of the few Mars and Moon rocks on public display in Canada.
- how to play music and technology in the south wing
- human anatomy, communication and bias, and some miscellaneous artifacts of science.
We were an entourage of 17 parents and kids during the March Break visiting Ontario Science Centre for watching a movie 'Pilgrimage to Mecca' at IMAX Theatre. The Centre and the theatre was jam packed with visitors of all ages. Taking pictures was a nightmare. We enjoyed our first exposure to IMAX technology.
In the IMAX Dome theatre you can:
- Watch movies on a screen 4,500 times bigger than an average TV screen.
- Pick one of 320 cushy seats to comfort yourself down in.
- See a picture that’s really bright, thanks to a 15,000-watt xenon projector lamp that you could spot from the moon!
- Listen to wrap-around, six-channel sound produced by 44 speakers.
- Get an inside peek at the 900 kg (2000 lb.) projector.
- Discover how great moving images look when they’re recorded on 70 mm film (the largest size in film history).
- Feel the amazing effects of a screen that extends beyond your peripheral vision.
And lots more!
This is the Ontario's Science Centre. There are a variety of stuff to view and do here . My favourite was the Rainforest . The room was actually really hot and humid like an actual rainforest. There are exhibits you can view. Such as fish, bettles, cocroaches, frogs and much more. The one I really disliked was the snake exhibit because there was an actual 4-5 ft snake . My favourite was the turtle one , they seem so peaceful when they swim. There is also hands on stuff as well . You can make a paper airplane and test it out on the gadget that is provided to see if it would fly or not. There is this one bike you can go on and as you paddle the wheels , a radio turns on . That was cool . There is a place in there where food and drinks are available for sale. Theres an imax there was well. IT OPEN YEAR ROUND, 7 DAYS A WEEK FROM 10AM TO 5PM. (closed December 25)
Adult (18-64 ) $18
Senior (65+) $13.50
Youth (13-17) $13.50
Child (4-12) $11
Regular member are free
Gold members are free
(children under 3 are admitted free)
ONE IMAX DOME FILM
Regular member 50% off
Gold members are free
SCIENCE CENTRE + IMAX FILM
Adult $25 (save $5)
Senior $19 (save $3.50)
Youth $19 (save $3.50)
Child $15 (save $4)
PARKING: $8/vehicle , regular members 50% off , gold members free
The Toronto Science Center has similar exhibits to many of the other science museums around the world, but it’s housed in a very unique building. It’s only after you’ve in the building that you realize that the building is built along the side of a hill. Each exhibit hall has a different theme, but when you move to the next hall you’ll be taking an escalator further down the hill each time. My favorite exhibit is at the bottom of the valley where golf balls can be released to wind their way around Escheresque tracks, clanking and ringing bells on their appointed routes.
To be honest, this is one of the best science museums I have ever visited! It is great value for money (only about £7 per adult) and is very hands on. There are many floors and its a lively place. It is a bit "out of the way" to get to, but there are buses that run often and stop outside the science centre.
There are many activities to take part in and adults enjoy it too. Some sections are mainly aimed at teenagers rather than kids, but it is still enjoyable! Every part of the museum is interactive with it being split up into sections. For example: the living earth, music, humans...
If you traveling to Toronto with children then the Ontario Science Centre is a must-see. This is one of the most interactive museums you will ever visit with a large number of hands on displays that will thrill you kids.
Importantly the OSC keeps up to date with technology and exhibits are always updated. There are lasers that be shot off, insect exhibits and so on. I have visited a lot of similar museums but I have yet fine an equal to OSC for hands-on displays.
Furthermore there are things that will keeps adults interested. This include Omnimax Theatre and a recreated rain forest exhibit.
We only intended to spend a couple of hours here and ended up staying all day. There is so much to do and discover. Favourites for our 6 year old were the kid model who sneezes on you, the cave and the sports part. Included in our ticket was an Omnimax movie. We saw one about a fighter pilot and it was great, made you feel a bit sick with the plane spinning around and all but really good. If I was of a mind to go to Toronto again I would definitely go back.
Museums come in many forms. Usually, we equate a museum as a place for looking but not touching. The Ontario Science Centre is the exact opposite. It is a museum of science, space, geology, technology etc. The very essence is that participation is encouraged, hence touching and manipulation is the theme. Many exhibit have buttons to press. People visit the museum due to this hands on approach. Throughout the museum, there are live demonstrations. Visitors are encouraged to look at the schedule when and where each of these demonstrations are.
In 1996, the centre also introduced the first Omnimax theatre by its entrance. This is a theatre with an extra huge screen traditionally the height of a small building.
The museum?s most famous exhibit is the Van de Graaff generator, which when touched, makes the recipient?s hair stand out vertically!
This is a great place to bring kids, though as an adult I still like it. Shows exhibits on science and technology and also has an IMAX theatre to watch some amazing movies. If you suffer from motion sickness you might want to take a pill for it before watching the movie, depending on what it is. This is a popular place for school outings, so be prepared for hundreds of rugrats running around and frenzied teachers trying to control them.
You can buy a regular admission ticket for $14 (adult) and IMAX tickets for $10 or both a combined ticket for $20. Children and youth tickets are cheaper.
We stopped here on our way out of town (we were driving). It was a great way to end our trip and wear the kids out before the long drive back to Nashville. Typical kids science center in many ways, although it's bigger than most. Pretty good cafeteria. This ticket is included in the CityPass (must get a CityPass - about $40 pp and includes admission to Zoo, CN tower, Ont Sci Ctr, Casa Lomo and others).
I've been driving past the Science Centre for the past couple of weeks and realised that I needed a picture or two of it, and a tip to suggest that this is a great place to take kids of all ages.
Its been a few years since I was there last, and was without children, but I think I was missing part of the fun of it all. However, I must admit when the volume gets too loud and my head starts pounding, I head for the patch of serenity and silence - a little "tunnel" which is absence of sound. BLISS!
My pictures were taken from the bus as I went by.