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Blue jay on a branch.

 Cohon Family Nature Escape

Step outside the Science Centre’s Level 6 halls and hit the trail – 195 metres of scenic paths and outdoor exhibits and activities in the Cohon Family Nature Escape, open from late spring to fall. Explore our online connections too!

Click the pictures to explore

  • Pergola.Eight huge oak trunks form pillars to support a pergola offering a bird’s eye view of our busy feeders where cardinals, robins, red-wing blackbirds, chickadees, nuthatches, woodpeckers and wily squirrels compete for seeds.
  • Nest House. Pretend you’re a 'big bird' and envelop yourself in our giant Baltimore oriole nest of woven willow branches. It’s a super-scaled example of the sophisticated structures birds build for protection.
  • Natural Wall and Fence. Encounter nature in unexpected places – from a porous concrete wall that provides a canvas for live moss graffiti to cutouts in iron fencing that depict sumac leaves, wood cells, cattails, pine cones and root hairs.
  • Science Centre Bridge. See the enclosed bridge linking two of the Science Centre’s three buildings nestled into the ravine? As you enter or exit the Centre, stop along its 65-metre span for a spectacular view of the other side of the ravine.
  • Rot Squad Sculptures. Carpenter ant, fungi, beetle, millipede…Created by artist Floyd Elzinga, these steel sculptures depict some of the bigger decomposer occupants of our Maple Leaf Forever tree who are busy turning the trunk into soil nutrients.
  • Centre of “The Six”. Though the Science Centre stands in the geographic centre of Toronto, urban noises are muffled. Architect Raymond Moriyama integrated the Centre into its superb natural setting – 73 hectares of wooded slopes, ravine and wetland.
  • Tree Slide. From tree to wheee! Carved from an Eastern White Pine that grew on-site for 125 years before being felled by high winds, our slide took more than 500 hours to design, engineer, carve, preserve and install.
  • Don River Watershed. Stand in our Don River Valley ravine, created during the last Ice Age. Once buried under two km of ice, the area is now covered by native trees like serviceberry, eastern hemlock, red ash, dogwood, pine and hop-hornbeam.
  • Maple Leaf Forever tree. This trunk section is from the silver maple that inspired Alexander Muir to compose “The Maple Leaf Forever” for Canada’s Confederation. Felled by a storm, the trunk is still alive with decomposers and lives on as a piece of our patriotic past.
 
 
 
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Man carving  a large wooden sculpture.

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Photo of several large pine trees.

Our tree slide is an Eastern White Pine, the provincial tree of Ontario.