Saturday, November 22, 2008

Ontario Science Center

Having worked until 8pm yesterday, answering work questions from people in Irvine, I decided to get away from the computer and take a trip to the Ontario Science Center today. Since parking is $8 and a TTC day pass is only $9, I parked at Finch station (free parking) and took the subway/bus.

Inside a subway car. The subway system in Toronto is pretty small. There was only two lines when I lived here in the 80's and the system hasn't grown that much. They've added two short spur lines and added one extra station on the west end of the east-west line. On the subway (and bus), they announce the next stop so you know when to get off. In Taiwan, the announcements were in 4 languages: Mandarin, Taiwanese, Hakka, and English. I think in Beijing, the announcements were in Mandarin and English. In Toronto, it was English only... no French, even though it's one of the official languages of Canada.

TTC bus route 34. I took the subway to Eglington station and got on the bus to go to the science center. I think it added an extra hour to the trip versus if I just driven there.

The science center is built on the side of a valley. The entrance is at the top of the east side of the valley and the remaining center is down below, connected by corridors and escalators.

On Level C, there was a huge metal contraption that had a lot of tracks for rolling balls. It was pretty cool.

One of the exhibits about the vastness of space. There is a planetarium inside the science center. They just replaced the mechanical projector with a digital one this year.

What?! M&M and Smarties in the same vending machine? There were a lot of vending machines and everything was quite expensive.

An exhibit where you build stuff with old computer/printer components. I thought this was poisoning villages in China?

Tall columns with air blown upwards. You can put paper cups and other stuff in the tube and it would blow it out the top. There is a cone cup at the top that was just blown out.

Bobsled simulator.

A projected koi pond. If you step on the ground inside the "pond," it causes ripples in the projector. Again, pretty cool.

Van der Graff generator and "making hair stand-on-end" demo.

Pedal power! I remember playing with this and other exhibits in the Science Arcade 25+ years ago. Actually, it looks exactly the same... pretty good maintenance.

Tornado generator.

Rainforest exhibit inside the science center. It was hot and humid, not like Canada at all.

Large cockroach exhibit. I hat cockroaches.

Stand behind the yellow line! Reminds me of "My Sassy Girl."

Some guy playing guitar in the subway station at Bloor-Yonge. At the Finch station, there was a long-haired guy with an electric guitar singing Led Zepplin songs.

After taking a different bus (route 25) from the science center to another subway station (Pape), I went all the way to Union Station to check out the CN Tower. From here, you can take trains to Ottawa, Montreal, and even New York.

A view of downtown Toronto from the Skywalk connecting Union Station to the Convention Center and CN Tower. I think it's looking north on York Street.

CN Tower. It used to be tallest building in the world. I was going to go up to the observation deck to take a look but the tickets were $22 so I skipped it. :)


Anonymous said...

you work at one of the most successful chip companies located in the OC and all i hear is how expensive things are. you have become Haley's dad.

hogsman said...

I remember going to the Science Center (Centre?) when I was a teenager -- it was pretty cool since I hadn't been to many such exhibits. Boy, I sure miss visiting Toronto -- it's a charming city.

totochi said...

Things are expensive in Canada, especially when they add the 15% sales tax. At least I paid the $1 to rent a locker for my jacket at the science center. Lots of people were just carrying their junk around.

Darryl said...

Thanks for the pictures... I was only in Toronto for a year (Grade 13) - but I took that subway every day. Despite being a fairly large city, it was easily accessible via public transit - unlike some of the cities in California...

Although Measure B (finally) appears to have passed here in the Bay Area - extends BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) to San Jose! Woo Hoo! We can take one train from SJ to SF now!