Mind-boggling Museum of Illusions opens in Toronto

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Head on a plate illusion in Museum of Illusions
Head on a plate illusion in Museum of Illusions.

nita balani

TORONTO: A brand-new museum opened in Toronto which is fast becoming the talk of the town. The Museum of Illusions opened its doors to the public on November 7 on Front Street East.

The worldwide popular museum is already open in 14 cities, including Berlin, Athens, Dubai, New York and Kuala Lumpur. Toronto is the first Canadian city on the map.

The museum appeals to all ages as it takes you through interactive, tactile rooms and displays which play on your mind and eyes. The illusions and installations all “tease the senses while bringing out a playfulness in guests of all ages” explains Michaela Radman, owner and curator of the Museum.

The entire experience takes about an hour and a half or so and guests can take photographs and videos to post and share with friends over social media. The display has mind boggling images, rooms, optical illusions and plays tricks on your “mind’s eye”. The 80-plus exhibits take you through multiple visual deceptions which are all based on science, maths, and psychology.

The tilted room (not for the faint of heart) is truly amazing as you struggle to keep your balance even as your mind tries to figure out what is going on. There are also reverse rooms (where everything is upside down), asymmetrical rooms and vortex tunnels to walk through which are fun to experience.

Museum of Illusions
Optical illusion (top) and the vortex tunnel.

The optical illusions chair really is a thrill. The person sitting on the chair, when photographed relative to someone else standing next to it, shows us how perception relative to size works in our minds and eyes.

There are loads of images which trick your eyes into seeing things!  The painting with random stuff like numbers and images seems to be nothing until after a few moments of staring you suddenly see a wondrous face staring at you and once you see it, it can’t be undone. You wonder how when you first looked at it, it just seemed a collection of random images! The true-to-life holograms study is a wonder for adults and kids alike. The giant kaleidoscope takes us back in time to our childhood days when we used to make simple ones as science projects in school! My favourite exhibit was the vortex tunnel which literally spun me round and left me weak in the knees!

The series of images of an Einstein look-alike on the wall appear to be 2-dimensional or flat but are a real surprise when you stare at them and move sideways. The eyes follow you no matter which angle you are standing!

A popular one with the kids is the room where your head can be served for dinner on a platter! What makes this museum so much fun is the fact that it does not try to control or restrain visitors with ‘do not touch’ or ‘no photos’ signs everywhere. You can take photos everywhere and interact and touch and see almost everything. The idea is to see and touch and experience everything and understand the science behind it. Yet at the same time it is not a formal science museum. It would be more in the category of a new genre of “edutainment” (education plus entertainment) museums.

The holiday season is just coming up and it is the perfect fun outing that parents and kids will enjoy especially as it gets colder outside! It lightens up the mood, wakes up your brain, and literally opens up your eyes. Well folks, seeing is believing….so get your family passes or make it a fun date evening with your significant other (or see it any which way you choose) and experience this new genre of “edutainment” museums!

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