, 19 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
Moving the @OntarioSciencCtr to Ontario place is a terrible idea. The Science Centre is more than a building or an attraction, there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes that people don’t know about.
We’ve been here over a year, and from within the walls, let me tell you about the Centre.
The building itself is an artefact. The Science Centre is celebrating 50 years this year, both as an institution and as a building. It’s classic Centenary Year Canadian Brutalism.
The rounded towers have a fractured look, meant to replicate tree bark. It does that very well, as it is now a habitat for animals and insects.
I had the chance to meet Mr. Raymond Moriyama, the architect of the @OntarioSciencCtr a few weeks ago. He has designed dozens of museums and science centers in Canada and internationally. He’s in his 90s now, but continues to have a connection to his building and its mission.
Ontario Place is an ugly golf ball.
We have at least 2 hawks that nest on the roof of the @OntScienceCtr . There are flocks of song birds in the forest that cradles the Centre. I’ve seen turtles (2 species), possum, fox, frogs, toads, and lots of other small animals living in the sanctuary of the grounds.
The @OntarioSciencCtr also has large sections of behind-the-scenes programs that people don’t know about. There’s the Challenger Learning Centre, built after the Challenger disaster of 1986, by a foundation of the families of the astronauts.
There’s a high school program for grade 12 students. You can take a semester at the @OntarioSciencCtr for full credit. As well as academics, students learn museum studies, and interact with the public as ambassadors of citizen science.
Many of these students get jobs here for the summer and holidays. Some continue through University, bringing their growing knowledge to the public. Some even pursue careers here after graduation. There are decades of education tradition and institutional knowledge here.
There are staff members approaching retirement who first came here as students. 30+ working years of commitment to educating the public.
DYK that there are fabrication workshops at @OntarioSciencCtr? They are the dream and envy of every Maker. There’s a metal shop, plastics shop, full print shop, huge carpentry shop, and assembly and prototype rooms.
The @OntarioSciencCtr produces all its own materials, from display to designs, to exhibitions. They also produce dozens of exhibitions for other museums and science centers around the world. @OntarioSciencCtr is renowned for the quality of their exhibitions.
All of this is revenue for the centre, not from taxpayers or ticket sales.
@OntarioSciencCtr is located in Flemingdon Park. It is a forgotten corner of the city, with high density, populated largely by marginal groups or New Canadians. The local public school gets to attend free, whenever they like.
This may be the first public institution some children have ever gone to. What better message than one of education, progress, and hope to offer children, than something in their neighbourhood?
We are months away from opening the new Science Centre LRT station at Eglinton. Ontario Place has nothing. At least the buildings are on stilts when Lake Ontario rises #climatechange.
My point in all this (other than I love being here) is this:

How much will be lost in the confusion and loss of purpose built space when moving to Ontario Place? How many programs lost, what habitat, what culture in moving to the lake shore?
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