Originally published April 19, 2022

My kids and I had the opportunity to visit the Museum of Illusions over the long weekend and it was an exciting experience! Close to St. Lawrence Market but tucked away behind an unassuming street front, it’s an intimate space that packs in so many different types of illusions and gathering areas.

Museum of Illusions Experience

Imagine you’re falling through tunnels even though you’re in a small space with the camera flipped. Photo Credit: Melissa Mohaupt

It doesn’t take a long time to see everything, which is handy for people (especially kids) with short attention spans, but you can also linger and hang out if you like. Just be sure to be considerate of the other patrons and not hog the more popular areas, like the infinity room. This became my son’s favourite room as it is definitely mesmerizing!

Museum of Illusions Experience

Be captivated by the Infinity Room. Photo Credit: Melissa Mohaupt

Without giving away too many secrets, obviously the use of mirrors helps to make the space feel much larger. For instance, in the Anti-Gravity Room, a mirror and symmetrical wall creates the look of a long hallway.

What’s straight or crooked, me or the room itself? Photo Credit: Melissa Mohaupt

Forced perspective is another popular illusion that can create an amusingly unexpected result. These techniques are still used in filmmaking today, such as the Lord of the Rings series where a short hobbit sits beside a tall wizard.

The Chair Illusion (cover photo) makes it look like a small person is sitting in a chair, and the Ames Room is where two people in the same room are different sizes. It’s especially fun to have the larger real-life person become the smaller one!

How is my daughter suddenly so much bigger than me? Photo Credit: Melissa Mohaupt

Some of the areas are brain-teasers such as holograms, infinity tunnels, stereograms (picture within a picture) and optical illusions, but others are interactive sets.

My daughter’s favourite experience was the Vortex Tunnel, one of the best known spaces in the museum. It features a metal walkway that looks and feels as if it’s suspended in space while lights spin around you. She went through it over and over but those who are susceptible to motion sickness or dizziness (like myself) should be careful. I decided to just take pictures of the adventurous kids instead.

Hang on for dear life in the Vortex Room! Photo Credit: Melissa Mohaupt

For Mom the photographer, I always like a nice photo opportunity with a twist. The simple yet effective kaleidoscopes and lighting effects make for a picture worthy of a social media post and even a framed portrait.

Museum of Illusions Experience

With just a few coloured lights, this room looks like an Instagram filter come to life. Photo Credit: Melissa Mohaupt

Now it’s your turn to experience the Museum of Illusions… don’t forget to enter our contest below!

A triangular kaleidoscope has a fascinating visual effect. Photo Credit: Melissa Mohaupt

Museum of Illusions Toronto

When: Ongoing
Time: Monday to Thursday 11:00am–7:00pm, Friday 11:00am–8:00pm, Saturday 10:00am–8:00pm, Sunday 10:00am—7:00pm
Where: 132 Front Street East, Toronto
Website: www.museumofillusions.ca

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