The Ontario Science Center, northeast of Downtown Toronto, is a museum dedicated to educating the public about science, technology, and society. With a state-of-the-art planetarium, exhibits covering topics such as the limits of the human body, and activities specifically designed for children and young adults, the center is a popular destination for families.
Geared toward children and adolescents, permanent exhibits include the Nature Escape, an outdoor playground and adjacent trail; the Human Edge, an interactive exploration of the human body; Question of Truth, which explores how biases and beliefs influence research; and the Science Arcade, filled with DIY tests, experiments, and challenges.
The center also offers daily demonstrations through a range of shows and programs. Recurring programs include the Energy Show, which is a science-themed play, and KidSpark, a range of science-based activities for children under the age of 8. The planetarium takes visitors on a journey through the cosmos.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Ontario Science Center is a must for families with children.
- Wear layers and comfortable shoes: The museum can get chilly and requires a moderate amount of walking.
- Buy admission tickets online in advance to breeze past long lines.
- Parking is $10 per vehicle and locker rentals are $1 per unit.
- The science center is wheelchair and stroller accessible, and both are available to use free of charge.
- A number of food options are available, from a takeaway café to a sit-down grill.
How to Get There
Situated about 7 miles (11 kilometers) northeast of Downtown Toronto, the Ontario Science Center is easily accessible by public transit. Buses 25 and 185 both stop in front of the entrance at Don Mills Road and St. Dennis Drive. Alternatively, take bus 34 to Eglinton Avenue and Don Mills Road. Cyclists can use the Lower Don Trail for an eco-friendly and scenic trip.
When to Get There
The Ontario Science Center is busiest on weekends, but even then the wide range of exhibits, shows, and activities means that it doesn’t often feel overly crowded. Go on a weekday for a quieter visit. The center is open daily.
The Brains Behind the Building
The architect of the Ontario Science Center, Raymond Moriyama, was confined as a child with his family in a British Columbia World War II internment camp. During the long years he spent there, he built his first architectural design: a treehouse made of lumberyard scraps. Inspired by nature, Moriyama designed the Ontario Science Center to fit into the curves of a wooded ravine formed by the Don River, with a cavelike entryway and hall filled with natural light.