Frequently Asked Questions
We get asked a lot of questions about how to find stuff at the Ontario Science Centre. Here are some of the questions people ask again and again.
- Can I get a map of the Ontario Science Centre?
- What time do you close?
- How much is admission to the Ontario Science Centre?
- Where is the big silver ball that makes your hair stand up?
- Where are the cool exhibits?
- Where are the washrooms? Are there changing stations in them?
- Where are the dinosaurs?
- What are the best areas for children 4 and under?
- Are you a scientist?
- Are there guided tours?
- Where is the gift shop?
- If we go out, can we get back in?
- How do we get to Level 5?
- Where can I get something to eat?
- Are there wheelchair and stroller rentals?
- Are there lockers?
- Is there a bank machine?
- Can I exchange money anywhere?
- How much is parking?
- Do I get free admission if I have a membership with an ASTC-affiliated science centre?
- Where can I get the School Brochure?
- Are there jobs at the Science Centre?
- How do I volunteer at the Science Centre?
- Who makes the exhibits and stuff in the exhibit halls?
We have a Guide Map that you can save to your computer and print later. You'll need the free Acrobat Reader to view or print the document. You can even take a Virtual Tour of the building and see some of the exhibits without even leaving your chair!
The Science Centre is open from Monday to Friday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, Weekends and Holidays 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. During the Winter Holiday Break, March Break and the summer, opening hours are often extended. The only day the Centre is officially closed is December 25th.
In addition, we feature evening film screenings in our IMAX® Dome theatre on Saturdays after the Centre itself has closed.
Admission pricing varies for the Ontario Science Centre, depending on whether you're visiting the Centre only, seeing only an IMAX® Dome film, or doing both (the best value).
The latest prices are always available in our Hours & Prices section.
The "big silver ball that makes your hair stand up", otherwise known as the Van de Graaff generator, is part of the Electricity Demonstration on Level 6 in the Science Arcade, next to Living Earth. This demonstration runs daily, barring electrical storms or other unforeseen emergencies. Demonstration times are posted throughout the building.
Different exhibits will be cool to different people depending on their interests. Take a Virtual Tour of the building and see some of the exhibits without even leaving your chair!
There are washrooms located throughout the Science Centre. All are wheelchair-accessible. There is a unisex, special needs washroom, as well as a baby care room, on Level 2 just outside Studios 1, 2, and 3. Both have changing stations. Changing stations can also be found in every washroom at the Centre, except the men's washrooms on Level 2 near the Great Hall and Auditorium. There are two family washrooms in KidSpark on Level 4 and a family washroom next to the Weston Family Innovation Centre on Level 6. The special needs washroom and two washrooms outside of the KidSpark entrance meet barrier-free criteria.
While there are no real dinosaurs at the Centre (since they are all extinct), there is a real skeleton of a fin whale suspended from the ceiling, as well as a bat skeleton nearby.
Again, it depends on what the children's interests are. There are a few exhibits that most children enjoy:
KidSpark is an exhibit hall specially designed for kids eight and under, even toddlers. With bright colours, simple language and sensory experiences covering more than 740 square metres (8,000 square feet) of floor space, young visitors can participate in imaginative play with their parents and caregivers to get their first taste of the science and technology behind structures, shape and colour, force and energy, music and sound, living things and nutrition.
The Rhoads Sculpture, located just outside KidSpark, is a popular exhibit of intertwined mazes where visitors can watch and manipulate colourful balls.
The Science Arcade on Level 6 is a hall geared to children of all ages. It includes many hands-on exhibits as well as a music area featuring synthesizers, gongs and drum machines that everybody can play.
The people wandering the halls of the Science Centre wearing the white lab coats are Hosts. While some consider themselves "scientists", others don't. The Hosts are there to interact with the visitors by answering questions, assisting visitors, as well as performing demonstrations and workshops.
What is a scientist? If you try to find out answers to questions by observing, reasoning, predicting and experimenting, you can consider yourself a scientist. One of the most important jobs of any scientist is to ask questions, predict all possible answers, and then decide which answers may be correct and which are not.
In general, there are no guided tours of the Science Centre. The Centre is designed so visitors can create their own guided tours depending on their interests. Of course, if you would like suggestions or hints on how to best fill your time at the Centre, hosts and other staff are available to help.
Mastermind, the gift shop, is on Level 1, directly above the admissions desk. It is open during the Ontario Science Centre's regular hours. Discounts are available to Members.
You can always leave the Centre. However, to get back in you need to show your hand stamp and your ticket stub.
Level 5, the mezzanine above Level 6, is only accessible from Level 6. Elevators are located at the far end of the Level 6 corridor, past the Science Arcade, and there are staircases beside each elevator. Also, there are stairs leading up at either side of the Weston Family Innovation Centre.
Our dining page has all the details.
Wheelchairs and strollers can be borrowed free of charge at the Level 2 information booth, near the Admissions desk.
Lockers are located on Level 2 at the front of the building. There is a cost of $1.00 (coin) to rent a locker.
There is a bank machine located on Level 2 near the admissions desk and IMAX® Dome theatre.
There is a U.S. change machine located at the foot of the escalators on Level 6.
The cost to park in the Ontario Science Centre's two main lots is $10.00.
If you have your membership card with you, then yes, you can get into the Ontario Science Centre for free. Admission to the Shoppers Drug Mart® OMNIMAX® Theatre is available at the regular price. (Check ASTC's list of participating centres.)
Our brochure is online in our School Trips section, organized by grade, length of program, and curriculum connection. If you prefer we have the entire School Brochure available for download. You'll need the free Acrobat Reader to view or print the document.
When we are looking for great people to work here at the Ontario Science Centre, we will post the advertisements in Job Opportunities section.
For more information please check our postings here.
We do! The Ontario Science Centre has been custom-producing its own exhibits and experiences for more than 30 years. Our in-house team offers expertise in exhibit fabrication, design, research, writing, editing, IT, audiovisual and education that is unparalleled in the industry. We have on-site fabrication facilities, complete with a woodshop, metal, electrical and electronics shops as well as finishing and graphic production areas. We also create exhibitions for science centres and museums around the world. To offer even more experiences for our visitors, from time to time the Ontario Science Centre also presents special exhibitions produced by other organizations.