Ontario Science Centre- Centennial Ontario

With science and technology top of mind with the space race of the 1960s, Premier John Robarts announced in 1964 that a centre devoted to science and technology would be Ontario’s marquee Centennial project.

The result was an entirely new kind of science museum, where families were encouraged to explore their world by interacting directly with exhibits. The Centre’s motto was simple but revolutionary: “Please Touch!”

Opening two years after the Centennial in Toronto’s Don Valley on September 27, 1969, the Centre featured the breathtaking designs of architect Raymond Moriyama – and became a model for hundreds of science centres around the world that followed.

Ontario Science Centre (Centennial Centre of Science and Technology) booklet, ca. October 1966
Click to see a larger image

Ontario Science Centre (Centennial Centre of Science and Technology) booklet, ca. October 1966
Project files of the Centennial Planning Branch
RG 5-52-59
Archives of Ontario, I007320
[Front Cover]

Ontario Science Centre (Centennial Centre of Science and Technology) booklet, ca. October 1966
Click to see a larger image

Ontario Science Centre (Centennial Centre of Science and Technology) booklet, ca. October 1966
Project files of the Centennial Planning Branch
RG 5-52-59
Archives of Ontario, I007320
[Page 1 & 2 ]

Ontario Science Centre (Centennial Centre of Science and Technology) booklet, ca. October 1966
Click to see a larger image

Ontario Science Centre (Centennial Centre of Science and Technology) booklet, ca. October 1966
Project files of the Centennial Planning Branch
RG 5-52-59
Archives of Ontario, I007320
[Page 3 & 4 ]

Ontario Science Centre (Centennial Centre of Science and Technology) booklet, ca. October 1966
Click to see a larger image

Ontario Science Centre (Centennial Centre of Science and Technology) booklet, ca. October 1966
Project files of the Centennial Planning Branch
RG 5-52-59
Archives of Ontario, I007320
[Page 5 & 6 ]

Ontario Science Centre (Centennial Centre of Science and Technology) booklet, ca. October 1966
Click to see a larger image

Ontario Science Centre (Centennial Centre of Science and Technology) booklet, ca. October 1966
Project files of the Centennial Planning Branch
RG 5-52-59
Archives of Ontario, I007320
[Page 7 & 8 ]

Ontario Science Centre (Centennial Centre of Science and Technology) booklet, ca. October 1966
Click to see a larger image

Ontario Science Centre (Centennial Centre of Science and Technology) booklet, ca. October 1966
Project files of the Centennial Planning Branch
RG 5-52-59
Archives of Ontario, I007320
[Page 9 & 10]

Ontario Science Centre (Centennial Centre of Science and Technology) booklet, ca. October 1966
Click to see a larger image

Ontario Science Centre (Centennial Centre of Science and Technology) booklet, ca. October 1966
Project files of the Centennial Planning Branch
RG 5-52-59
Archives of Ontario, I007320
[Page 11 & 12]

Ontario Science Centre (Centennial Centre of Science and Technology) booklet, ca. October 1966
Click to see a larger image

Ontario Science Centre (Centennial Centre of Science and Technology) booklet, ca. October 1966
Project files of the Centennial Planning Branch
RG 5-52-59
Archives of Ontario, I007320
[Page 13 & 14]

Ontario Science Centre (Centennial Centre of Science and Technology) booklet, ca. October 1966
Click to see a larger image

Ontario Science Centre (Centennial Centre of Science and Technology) booklet, ca. October 1966
Project files of the Centennial Planning Branch
RG 5-52-59
Archives of Ontario, I007320
[Page 15 &16]

Ontario Science Centre (Centennial Centre of Science and Technology) booklet, ca. October 1966
Click to see a larger image

Ontario Science Centre (Centennial Centre of Science and Technology) booklet, ca. October 1966
Project files of the Centennial Planning Branch
RG 5-52-59
Archives of Ontario, I007320
[Page 17 & 18]

Ontario Science Centre presentation panel, 4 architectural drawings, ink on tissue, ca. 1964
Click to see a larger image

Ontario Science Centre presentation panel, 4 architectural drawings, ink on tissue, ca. 1964
F 2187-1-6
Moriyama and Teshima Architects fonds
Archives of Ontario, I0030669


Construction of Ontario Science Centre, January 24, 1967 (67024-19)
Click to see a larger image

Construction of Ontario Science Centre,
January 24, 1967 (67024-19)
Photographer: Harry McLorinan
The Globe and Mail fonds
F 4695-4
Archives of Ontario, I0073878


Child and electronic calculator at Ontario Science Centre opening, September 27, 1969
Click to see a larger image

Child and electronic calculator at Ontario Science Centre opening, September 27, 1969
Ministry of Tourism promotion photographs
RG 65-35-1-1-H-2769
Archives of Ontario, I0052364


Child exploring the gyroscopic effects of a spinning bicycle wheel at Ontario Science Centre opening, September 27, 1969
Click to see a larger image

Child exploring the gyroscopic effects of a spinning bicycle wheel at Ontario Science Centre opening, September 27, 1969
Ministry of Tourism promotion photographs
RG 65-35-1-3-H-2769
Archives of Ontario, I0052365

Take the Stroop Test Challenge – a popular demonstration courtesy of the Ontario Science Centre!

Child and electronic calculator at Ontario Science Centre opening, September 27, 1969
Click to see a larger image

Stroop Test, based on an original Ontario Science Centre design, ca. 1969
Courtesy of the Ontario Science Centre


What’s happening?

Even when you’re only concerned with naming a word’s colour, it seems impossible to ignore the word’s meaning. You may see red ink – but if the word says “green”, you feel strangely tongue tied.

How come?

You’ve just experienced interference

When you look at one of the words, you see both its colour and its meaning. If those two pieces of evidence are in conflict, you have to make a choice. Interference is the result of having to choose against a stronger type of evidence. In this case, you have to choose against word meaning, which experience has taught you is usually more important than ink colour.

Scene from the Science Centre ca. 1969
Click to see a larger image

Scene from the Science Centre ca. 1969
Image Credit: Ontario Science Centre


Scene from the Science Centre ca. 1969
Click to see a larger image

Scene from the Science Centre ca. 1969
Image Credit: Ontario Science Centre

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