Welcome to Children's Discovery Centre!
On May 23rd, 2015, we finally opened the doors to Toronto's first and only children's museum designed specifically for our youngest kids, aged 6 and under. What started as a 'dream' 13 years ago when I visited the Bay Area Discovery Museum in San Francisco with my 2-year old nieces, turned into a serious 'passion project' less than three years ago when my daughter was 4 years old.
Ever since the first months of maternity leave, I had been experiencing the frustrations that many parents with young children feel today - of looking for 'something to do' or 'somewhere to go' that is fun, engaging and educational, but without being overly programmed either. Something in addition to our parks and places like the ROM, Science Centre and AGO which we visited often but felt were more suitable for 'older' kids. Yet I also did not want to just create a huge indoor playground for rainy days because I was also seeing through my own daughter just how capable and eager little kids are to explore, discover and learn, even from the youngest age.
This is when I remembered back to my first visit to that magical place in San Francisco where young kids learned through play... and then I did what I normally do: I took out a paper and pen and started figuring out a way to create a place like this in Toronto for my daughter and for all of our youngest children.
So that's how the Children's Discovery Centre came to be, but this has only become a reality because of the generous support from an incredibly talented team of early childhood development experts, curators, architects, designers and consultants, as well as grassroots support from family, friends and colleagues who have shared in our vision. Special thanks to Laura Aaron of Rouge Consulting whose production experience and expertise helped take this idea 'from good to great'.
The purpose of our pilot project was to demonstrate that young families want an educational, fun and dynamic place specifically designed for our youngest kids to play, explore, learn and grow. Thanks to the support of nearly 15,000 families who visited us over the past year, we heard loud and clear that Toronto should have a permanent children's museum, like the ones already found in over 200 cities in North America.
Our pilot project closed on July 31st, 2016 after 14-months of fun, smiles, laughter and memories, but we are continuing to look for a permanent location! We have a few potential sites actively in consideration, and hopefully we will be able to announce a final location sometime in 2019.
Note: For those of you who supported our 20,000 Bricks Fundraising Campaign, your donation is still being held towards funding our permanent new home and your name(s) will still appear on a brick on our supporters wall when we re-open!
So stay tuned for more exciting updates!
Founder + CEO + Mom