The Ontario Science Centre (OSC) is one of Toronto’s most popular attractions with lots to do for both adults and children. Destination for foreign tourists, family’s looking for interactive activities, adults looking to rekindle their sense of discovery and even a first date option, the OSC has it all. The story behind the Ontario Science Centre is as interesting as the interactive activities it provides on the premises.
The Ontario Science Centre was gifted by the Ontario Provincial Government to the citizens of the province. The then Premier John Robarts (1917-1982) of the Progressive Conservative Party, who was Premier of Ontario from November 8, 1961 to March 1, 1981, commissioned architect Raymond Moriyama in 1964 to design the Ontario Science Centre. On September 26, 1969, through the use of a radio signal over 1.5 billion light years away striking a circuit that raised the curtain at the OSC official opening as one of the world’s first interactive science museums.
It is estimated that over the years the OSC has had over 53 million visitors and is presently attracting about 1 million visitors per year. About 15% of visitors are from outside the Greater Toronto Area. There are over 56,000 active members of the Ontario Science Centre paying an annual membership fee, most of which visit the OSC multiple times during the year.
The Ontario Science Centre brings in themes and exhibits throughout the year. It also has a robust offering of day and summer camps with a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. For a more adventurous experience, the Centre offers Sleepovers and Birthday Party packages.
In 1996, the IMAX DOME theatre (the only one of its kind in Ontario) was opened at the Ontario Science Centre. The theatre provides an exhilarating experience for guests of all ages. Its wrap-around giant screen captivates the audience with a sense of being pulled into another world. You have to see it for yourself to understand.
Interactive exhibits throughout the Ontario Science Centre are geared to helping children explore and understand the laws of the universe as experienced through the senses of touch, sound, smell and sight. Children get to experience with balance and weight movement, water flow, air pressure, sound vibrations and much, much more.
My children made their very first pair of shoes at the OSC. They were made of cloth and cardboard, held together with hot glue and string, but they worked. More importantly, they helped my children understand the considerations when designing and constructing a pair of shoes. This same perspective, they transferred to other construction projects we’ve worked on since.
Location & Accessibility
The Ontario Science Centre is located at 770 Don Mills Rd, North York, ON M3C 1T3 (southwest corner of Eglinton Ave East and Don Mills Avenue) and is easily accessible by both Public Transit (TTC) and Highway.
There is plenty of parking at the OSC with a drop-off circle at the front entrance. However, there is a parking fee. Inside you’ll find day lockers to store your winter clothes for a small fee. As well, there are meeting spots, a store for souvenirs and discovery type items, and food stations throughout the building.
Part of the beauty and experience at the Ontario Science Centre is that it is located on a large span of land that runs along what looks like a ravine. The bridge from the main entrance to the additional wings of the building allows for viewing of the premises. It is not unusual to have guests stand in front of the expansive windows looking at the greenery and the animals it supports.