Since this pioneering interactive science museum opened in 1969, generations of Toronto’s kids, and their offspring, have proven loyal fans. It’s not surprising: The hands-on approach to exploring the wide world of science is absolutely thrilling. With more than 800 exhibits, there is an abundance of things to touch, push, pull, or crank. Test your reflexes, or balance, or heart rate, or grip strength; watch frozen-solid liquid nitrogen shatter into thousands of icy shards; study slides of butterfly wings, bedbugs, fish scales, or feathers under a microscope; land a spaceship on the moon; see how many lights you can turn on or how high you can elevate a balloon using pedal power. The fun goes on and on.
In addition, the city’s only planetarium, an IMAX Dome cinema, and a collection of small theaters showing assorted documentaries and slide shows are located here. A 2006 addition, the Weston Family Innovation Centre, offers a hands-on focus on problem-solving, with such activities as mixing music, making stop-motion films, and creating your own designer footwear. There are also some outdoor improvements, including a music-making water garden. The food is much less exciting, though the center has two restaurants and three cafes on site. This is one Toronto attraction that always seems to be busy (blame school groups), so arrive early to see everything. Make no mistake: The OSC provides a full day’s entertainment.