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Dec 21, 2018

9 min. read

Whether you’re a Toronto local or planning a visit to the city, venture beyond the classic attractions and explore these ideas instead. Your sense of curiosity will thank you.

Expand your art horizons at the Museum of Contemporary Art

A museum with a lot of art on display.

A shimmering disco-style bust of an Egyptian queen greets visitors in the lobby of Toronto’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). The museum recently reopened after a move to the Junction Triangle, and the inaugural exhibit, Believe (running until January 6, 2019), showcases thought-provoking works from 16 Canadian and international artists.

MOCA seems intent on sparking conversations in both a serious and playful way. On the fourth floor, Art in Use (running until August 2019) features interactive exhibits like Disagreements, which encourages visitors to explore different viewpoints by balancing on a see-saw or throwing darts at a board. Meanwhile, the Light Therapy Room (open until April 30, 2019) allows visitors to examine ideas of well-being and the power of light in a simulation of a sunlit room.

Dig in to good eats at Virtuous Pie

A variety of pizzas and drinks on a table.

New to the city’s food scene is Vancouver’s popular vegan pizzeria Virtuous Pie, which opened its first Toronto outlet on College Street. The small, bright space features kombucha on tap, ice cream made from coconut and cashew milk, and the menu’s main stars, plant-based appetizers and pizza. The menu is filled with taste-bud pleasers, from the kale caesar and spicy cauliflower-based Stranger Wings to the chorizo and artichoke pizza, topped with dollops of lemon-almond ricotta and snips of fresh fennel fronds.

Play it up at Happy Place and the Museum of Illusions

A man jumping in a yellow bath tub.

Forget selfies at the CN Tower—Toronto is playing host to Happy Place, the perfect backdrop to fill your social feeds with cheery snapshots. The 20,000-square-foot pop-up, running until January 6, 2019, at Harbourfront Centre, features interactive installations such as a massive ball pit that visitors can leap into.

The interior of a shoe store with a blue wall.

A more permanent snap-happy stop is the new Museum of Illusions. The 4,700-square-foot space, located on Front Street near St. Lawrence Market, brings an educational twist to its exhibits, which include holograms, optical illusions and rooms that erase the laws of gravity and size (or so it seems). But it’s still kind of about the photos; floor markers even offer guidance on where to take the best shots. Highlights include the Ames Room, which appears to supersize or shrink you, depending on where you’re standing, and the seemingly spinning Vortex tunnel. The real challenge, however, will be deciding which pose to strike in the Rotated Room, which creates the impression that up is down. But can you ever really go wrong with a karate crane pose?

Want more unique experiences?

Try these Toronto neighbourhoods, plus, find out which Canadian attractions let you sleep over.

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