The Ontario Science Centre is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Since 1969, they have had over 53 million visitors. I wanted to drop by to say hello but who knew it would a life-changing experience. The Science Centre is located on Don Mills Road just south of Eglinton Avenue East. I arrived by public transportation and walked to the front door.
I’ll be honest with you. I haven’t been to the Ontario Science Centre in quite a while. I was not expecting the new layout at the front door. On your left was the membership area. The staff were incredible, friendly and courteous. I was handed a map and got some advice on some must-see areas. I got tickets for the OMNIMAX and a general admission ticket for the centre. It was brought to my attention beforehand that I should check out ‘Volcanoes: The Fires of Creation’ brought to you by Director Michael Dalton-Smith. Explorer Carsten Peter travels across the globe to capture volcanoes but we also learn about the devastating effects of the recent Kilauea eruption in Hawaii. In a short 55 minute documentary, SK Films describes how volcanoes helped create the world that we know. Fun fact: Volcanoes: The Fires of Creation won Best 3D Documentary. If you watch this film, I think you would agree with this decision. It was the perfect introduction to the Ontario Science Centre.
I walked out of the theatre and made my way to the lobby area. I had my first flashback of when I was a kid. I remember sitting in this area and waiting. What was I waiting for? I actually used to go camping here when I was around 10 years old. Yes, this timid child was part of the photography club. I’m not sure if it still exists but that memory really brought a smile to my face. Funny enough, I was so distracted that I had to quickly walk back to the reception area to show them my entrance ticket.
As per my previous discussion, I learned the best place to start is on Level 6. Is it strange that the first thing I see is trees. For those who don’t know my background, I actually studied Horticulture. I tried to test out my knowledge and I must say, I did pretty well. As I walk past the Valley Restaurant, there was a sensational exhibit on the Life of Earth – Death of the Sun.
I turned right to the AstraZeneca Human Edge. This exhibit hall explores all the wonders and possibilities of the human body. It is fascinating to learn how the body works. The more you read, the more you learn. Afterwards, I discovered the Living Earth Hall.
This area focuses on what it means to live sustainably. I turned around and made my way towards the Weston Family Innovation Centre. I must say, this is where I had some fun. In the Innovation Centre, you can produce stop-motion films, design footwear or mix music on a wall of sound. It was like being a kid again.
As I exited the section, I decided to go to Level 4. Here you can discover the wonders of the galaxy. Here comes the flashback again. For some reason, I remember some sort of simulator in this area. Parents and children can work together to experience what it would be like to be an astronaut. I could be totally wrong here but for some reason, that was in lodged in my memory.
I circled back because I missed Level 5. The Question of Truth Exhibit Hall “challenges guests with a variety of experiences that explore the complexities of the human mind and the provocative issues of bias in science.” As you may have guessed, I walked away from this area with more questions than answers. Next stop Level 2.
In the Procter & Gamble Great Hall, I had another giggle. The Carousel of Life shows the stages of emotions (creative thinking and logical thinking). I’ll give you my two cents on the Carousel of Life. Creative thinking could lead to happiness when you believe in what you are doing and being truthful to yourself. “Fake it to you make it” is not exactly the way you should be living our life. Negativity just brings out the bad in all of us. Learn to love, be appreciative and stop the hate. Listen to the song by Bobby McFerrin “Don’t worry be happy”. This might give you an idea of what I am talking about. Be grateful, be kind, think of others. “Hate”, “Mean Tweets”, “Jealousy”, “Bullying”, “Discrimination” and “Anger” bring on devastation. Wow, sorry that was deep. I feel like I just needed to get that off my chest. Oddly enough, sometimes, I wish people would ask themselves why others are depressed. The answer: terrible human interactions and biases. Please, if you don’t have anything nice to say, (opening note from suggestion box) please stop talking. I wish some people would come with a “mute” button. The year 2020 is around the corner. I recommend this to all the haters. This is not a hashtag. Be positive or be quiet. Okay, that was a bit of a rant, however, I feel like it needed to be said.
A moment later, I met a really nice scientist and we discussed nose anatomy and function. Air comes into the body through the nose. As it passes over the specialized cells of the olfactory system, the brain recognizes and identifies smells. We tried a few examples that included rosemary & lavender. We also discussed how certain smells can mean different things to different people. Afterwards, I found a computer with blocks. At this station, as you add blocks it creates music. I found this to be quite entertaining. I noticed in the corner of my eye, a few staff members watching from the upper floor. Sorry I’m just a big kid having fun. I spent a few more minutes here and decided that leaving the area with a smile on my face is the best way to end my day.
My experience at the Ontario Science Centre was exceptional. Going down memory lane was fun. I was thrilled to walk around aimlessly and learn about … well, life. The Ontario Science Centre really lives up to its mission. “To inspire passion for the human adventure of discovery.” I want to wish the Ontario Science Centre a happy 50th anniversary and I hope to see you again soon.
If you’re not a member yet – you should be!