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Major Moments

The Ontario Science Centre has evolved considerably since opening in 1969, and together we’ve all shared some amazing memories. Here is a quick look at our major moments along the way:

2015

  • The Science Centre opens the Cohon Family Nature Escape, a new outdoor experience that offers four acres of outdoor space in the heart of the Don Valley and adjacent forest.
  • On July 13, the Ontario Science Centre welcomes its 50 millionth visitor since opening its doors 46 years ago.
  • The Science Centre unveils “To Be an Astronaut,” a new exhibit that features personal items on loan from Colonel Chris Hadfield and highlights the Canadian astronaut’s career trajectory and the importance of STEM education.

2014

  • The Science Centre celebrates 45 years of inspiring curiosity, discovery and innovation that connect its visitors – more than 49 million! – to the science in everyday life. 

2013

  • The Science Centre opens The AstraZeneca Human Edge, a permanent 10,000-square-foot exhibition that explores the wonders and possibilities of the human body. The exhibition was researched, designed and fabricated in-house by the Science Centre’s scientists, designers, writers and craftspeople. 
  • On Music Monday in May, a national celebration of music education, the Ontario Science Centre showcases more than 275 performers along with a live broadcast link of ISS Commander Chris Hadfield leading 350,000 Canadian students in song.

2012

  • Always evolving, the Ontario Science Centre adds a new generation of interactive experiences to the Weston Family Innovation Centre, designed to inspire visitors to experiment, collaborate and exercise their creativity.
  • To coincide with the exhibition Leonardo da Vinci’s Workshop: Inventor, Artist, Dreamer,the Ontario Science Centre becomes Canada’s first cultural attraction to host a Facebook Live event, featuring a panel of experts to explore how young Canadians can harness their inventive spirit just as the legendary Leonardo da Vinci did centuries ago.

 2011

  • The Science Centre unveils a new strategic plan to guide the organization into the future. Its goal: to be a premier global science experience provider and Canada’s most visited cultural attraction.

 2010

  • A global phenomenon touches down at the Science Centre when Harry Potter™: The Exhibition arrives to massive fanfare.

2009

  • The first Weston Youth Innovation Award is presented to Calgary student Eden Full for her Dynamic Photovoltaics invention. Sponsored by the W. Garfield Weston Foundation, this national award recognizes Canadian innovators aged 14 to 18 years.

2008

  • The Space Hall, our astronomy exhibition, is refurbished. Within it is the Planetarium, Toronto’s only public planetarium.
  • The global Science Centre community makes a collective statement of beliefs and commitments in the “Toronto Declaration,” as the Ontario Science Centre hosts the 5th World Congress.

2007

  • One of the most significant phases in Science Centre history is realized with the $47.5 million “Agents of Change” transformation. This led to the Weston Family Innovation Centre and the outdoor exploration plaza TELUSCAPE. 
  • The Science Centre hosts an exhibition of true enormity in Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition. Its 250 real artifacts from the world’s most famous ship draw extensive crowds.

2005

  • The Science Centre’s most talked-about exhibition ever debuts as BODY WORLDS 2 arrives. The captivating “plastinated” bodies offer an incredible look at human anatomy.

2003

  • KidSpark, a new area for junior scientists age eight and under, opens to rave reviews in 2003. Due to its immense popularity, the space doubles in size two years later.

1996

  • Ontario’s first IMAX® Dome theatre debuts. To this day, the Shoppers Drug MartÒ OMNIMAXÒ Theatre remains Ontario’s only such venue.

1993

  • Visitors first experience the sensations of walking in our indoor rain forest, which opens in the Living Earth hall.

1992

  • While aboard the space shuttle, Canadian astronaut Dr. Roberta Bondar places a conference call to the Science Centre.

1991

  • The Science Centre collaborates with the American Psychological Association to create the exhibition Mindworks.

1988

  • The Science Centre is often used as a location for film and television, none bigger than Gorillas in the Mist starring Sigourney Weaver.

1982

  • The exhibition China: 7,000 Years of Discovery breaks attendance records, attracting more than 1.5 million visitors.

1969

  • A powerful radio signal from a quasar over 1.5 billion light years away reaches a relay circuit set to raise the curtain at the official opening of the Ontario Science Centre.