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New LEGOLAND features stunning models of Toronto

Posted by Melody Brown / March 11, 2013

LEGOLAND TorontoThe GTA is now home to the first Canadian LEGOLAND location. Found next to Lucky Strike Lanes and Lounge in the sprawling Vaughan Mills Mall, it's hard to miss with its bright purple and yellow facade. Unlike the 100+ acre theme parks found in Florida and California, this LEGOLAND has been pegged an indoor Discovery Centre and spans a mere 34,000 square feet. That being said, the space still manages to house two small roller coasters, a 4D cinema, and an awfully cool miniature version of Toronto.

If I were a kid, I'd be wide-eyed at first sight. Greeted at the doorway by two life-size LEGO figures, I'd immediately make my way to the big bowls filled with bricks and fish for my favourite building materials. I'd listen carefully as the "scientist" in the white lab coat shows how LEGO pieces are made. I'd step on the scale to see how much I weigh in LEGO bricks before moving onto the first roller coaster: Kingdom Quest Laser Ride

LEGLOLAND TorontoIf I were a kid, I'd grab my laser and shoot at all of the evil trolls and skeletons, getting as many points as I could before the ride was over. Then I'd make my way to the 4D Cinema where I'd reach for the 3D LEGO pieces that seem so close I can almost touch them. I'd be sprayed with water and lightly covered in snow as I gleefully watched the story unfold. After the movie, I'd visit the Master Builders to improve my building skills and then I'd create my own LEGO Racer and test it on the speed track.

But I'm not a kid, and I don't have a kid either. As an adult with a nostalgia for all things LEGO, I appreciate the attention to detail put into the Discovery Centre, especially the remarkable Miniland of Toronto's most popular landmarks, made completely of LEGO.

LEGLOLAND TorontoYou'll see Union Station, the ACC, Rogers Centre, The Waterfront, Casa Loma, City Hall, Bay St, and of course, the CN Tower. There's even a scene with construction workers jack hammering their way into a street — a typical TO sight. Within 10 minutes or so, the room transitions from light to dark, and the city's nightlife shines with the familiar glow of the our major landmarks.

LEGLOLAND TorontoThere is an additional display featuring Niagara Falls and the famous Maid of the Mist tour, which is equally impressive. Made of 1.5 million LEGO bricks, the display is remarkable. For more information, visit the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre website.

LEGLOLAND TorontoLEGOLAND TorontoLEGLOLAND TorontoLEGOLAND TorontoLEGOLAND TorontoLEGOLAND TorontoNote Well: LEGLOLAND discriminates against adults. According to its admission policy, adults must be accompanied by a child between the ages of 0-12. We suggest "shoulder-tapping" families on the way in should the photos above not satisfy your curiosity.

Photos by Brian Morton



Kevin / March 11, 2013 at 01:36 pm
"But I'm not a kid, and I don't have a kid either." SO I WAS REFUSED ENTRY.

You failed to mention that no adults or couples are allowed in without a child. Apparently they failed to tell the press this. Yup, you can't pay $22 to enjoy this unless you pony up another $18 and locate a kid. Although they say one day they will have adult only times. For shame LEGO. I hope you step on a brick.
Jon replying to a comment from Kevin / March 11, 2013 at 02:02 pm
A grown man turned away at LEGOLAND. Really? Are we supposed to feel sad for you?
Hank / March 11, 2013 at 02:03 pm
I wanted to go too but Rob Ford grabbed my butt.
Oldmanpete replying to a comment from Kevin / March 11, 2013 at 02:11 pm
The policy is in place to to keep pervs out, I like the policy.
Ford4ever replying to a comment from Kevin / March 11, 2013 at 02:12 pm
My two cents' worth.

The time comes in life when you just have to grow up and let kids' things be kids's things, friend. A young adult male should be focused on other things...

Don't worry -- when you have kids of your own, you get to rediscover toys, and it's awesome.

Steve replying to a comment from Oldmanpete / March 11, 2013 at 02:29 pm
"The policy is in place to to keep pervs out, I like the policy."

Yeah? Really? Remember that the next time something that they might be interested in isn't available to your kids because there's a no Children policy in place. See how you like exclusion policies then.
Ash replying to a comment from Ford4ever / March 11, 2013 at 02:30 pm
And for those of us with no intention of having kids...?
MrsPotato / March 11, 2013 at 02:32 pm
I have to have a child with me to go here?

This is really unfair. I don't want children.
But my husband were kinda thinking of going to Legoland for fun. :(
We're not perverts. We just like Lego. And fun date nights :(
iSkyscraper / March 11, 2013 at 02:38 pm
Very impressive, exactly the kind of attraction the city should be encouraging and developing with the private sector...

...except they didn't, because this thing ended up in Vaughan.

Let's look at the locations of the other "Discovery Centres" (the two theme parks are not a comp):

Berlin - in central Berlin (a la College Park)

Kansas City - in central Kansas City (a la College Park)

Tokyo - in Tokyo waterfront (a la Harbourfront)

Manchester - in downtown Manchester (a la Eaton Centre)

Atlanta - in Buckhead, near the subway (a la North York City Centre)

Chicago - way deep in the Chicago suburbs (a la Vaughan Mills)

Dallas - way deep in the Dallas suburbs (a la Vaughan Mills)

New York - way deep in the New York suburbs (a la Vaughan Mills)

So I guess I can't cry over this too much - it's aimed at families, and in big cities not located in Europe families live in the burbs, and if the city is not an empty shell like Kansas City or Atlanta it is hard to drive downtown, so I guess I get it. What's good enough for Chicago or New York is good enough for Toronto. Just a shame that this couldn't have happened in the Eaton Centre or some other downtown space with good public transit. Would have helped provide for things to do in the core for those with kids and also made for a grand trip to "the city" for the suburban families.

c / March 11, 2013 at 02:41 pm
needs a casino
Rossana / March 11, 2013 at 02:47 pm
Wait!! WHAT? You can only go there if you are with a KID? This is pathetic!!!!!!
johnsonstarfish / March 11, 2013 at 02:47 pm
If this was an "adults only" exhibit you can be guaranteed that this board would be filled with modern day, self absorbed parents crying about how the world is not kid friendly, "my kid is so special", blahblahblah.

Kid at Heart / March 11, 2013 at 02:47 pm
So if you have a 13 year old you still can't get in, I didn't realize Lego is only for those 12 and under.

What is a 0 year old? Can I get in with my imaginary child? Or my pregnant wife?

Screw you Legoland.
Skye replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / March 11, 2013 at 02:52 pm
Hmmm, I'm certain there was a Legoland exhibit on the seventh floor of The Bay on Queen Street back in the 80s. I remember my dad taking us there when I was a kid (or was it Simpsons then?).

We lived in what's now the outer edge of the 905 so yes, this was an exciting trip to the big city. We were almost as excited about riding the subway as we were about Legoland. So you have a point.

That said, I'm sure my father would've much preferred if Legoland was located just off the 400, and not right downtown...
Justin Copp replying to a comment from Ford4ever / March 11, 2013 at 02:58 pm
From LEGO's own website: "A growing number of adult LEGO enthusiasts have been setting up groups (LEGO User Groups - LUGs) in which to share their LEGO hobby. They call themselves “AFOLs” (“Adult Fans of LEGO”). Over a period of years, the LEGO Group has actively developed relations with more than 50 “AFOL” groups with a total of 40,000 registered members."

Also: Just take a look at LEGO's offerings and try to tell me that the hundred-plus dollar sets that make up a fat portion of their bottom line are in any way intended for anyone under 12.
Ketchup replying to a comment from MrsPotato / March 11, 2013 at 03:04 pm
I'm with you, Mrs. Potato! Unfair, I say, unfair! My better half and myself were thinking the same thing - it would make for a fun outing... For shame, LEGO!

Brian / March 11, 2013 at 03:34 pm
In fairness, they do say they will have "adult only" evenings.
will / March 11, 2013 at 03:36 pm
Can anyone comment on whether it's worth $22? That seems steep.
Brian replying to a comment from will / March 11, 2013 at 03:45 pm
TL;DR: No.

Long form: Maybe. Our experience was probably a little different from most attending, since we were there to cover it for "Media" and not to have fun with/as kids. We were also there at about 3pm on a Saturday afternoon, a week after it opened. We had to wait in lines to do most things (enter, take any ride, etc). They were all about 15 minutes long. Aside from the "4D" cinema and two quasi-rollercoaster rides all you can really "do" is play with lego pieces. They have a room where you can learn from "expert" builders to help you build better lego. There is a jungle gym type thing. There is a cafe where you can get some food. But generally it's just a big place where your kids can play lego with other kids.

Is that worth $22 per kid? I don't know, i guess it would depend on how many pieces of lego you own at home, and how many other kids you know that want to come over and play lego.

I would say it is certainly worth it just to satiate your curiosity if you have a few extra dollars. It will probably keep your family entertained for 2-5 hours, depending on how absorbed you get.

One other thing to note about when we went: there were a shocking number of people purchasing the "annual pass" for their kids (which required a photo... ugh). I personally am not sure if kids have to be supervised while they're there (intuition says yes) but if you just wanted to shop at Vaughan Mills and let your OLDER child play there by themselves or with an OLDER sibling that seems like it might have some legs.

Folks also weren't too appreciative of me toting around a big camera and snapping photos. Just saying.

lilfunky1 / March 11, 2013 at 03:48 pm
There's an "individual yearly membership" for $60.00 that's "good for one person" I wonder if you're allowed to go in by yourself as an adult if you buy that?
Oldmanpete replying to a comment from Steve / March 11, 2013 at 03:54 pm
I don't go to children stores without my kids, no reason too.
Ford4ever replying to a comment from Ash / March 11, 2013 at 03:54 pm
"And for those of us with no intention of having kids...?"

Oh, good grief.

I have a feeling that the day is just around the corner when h*psters decide to start frequenting City splash pads and shoving the kiddies aside.
will replying to a comment from Brian / March 11, 2013 at 04:02 pm
Thanks for that, very informative. I have a 7-month old, but was really just going to use her as an excuse for me to check out the models of Toronto. Maybe I'll wait until she's almost 2, so she can appreciate it more, but still get in free.
Chuck E. Cheese / March 11, 2013 at 04:10 pm
Try stepping foot in a Chuck E. Cheese without kids as well and you'll be shown the door. What a terrible world we live in.
Skye replying to a comment from Chuck E. Cheese / March 11, 2013 at 04:39 pm
And that's not FAIIIIIR. What if we want to re-create the ball room episode of "The Big Bang Theory"? Bazinga to that.

...seriously, though: Legoland just opened, so give them time to work out the kinks. LEGO knows that a huge amount of collectors are adults; they'll probably introduce adult hours after 7pm, or similar.
iSkyscraper / March 11, 2013 at 04:46 pm
Re: cost. Here are the standard prices of CHILD tickets at the various Discovery Centres. (Most cities have after-4pm tickets with even lower prices also)

Atlanta - $13.50
New York - $15
Chicago - $12
Dallas - $11.25
Kansas City - $13

and, wait for it...

Toronto - $18

We have the most expensive museums and subways and toll roads and milk and books, why not the most expensive Legoland too?

Kid at Heart replying to a comment from Oldmanpete / March 11, 2013 at 04:47 pm
Well I guess you don't ever go into children's stores to buy gifts for your kids, as a surprise? Moron.
MrsPotato replying to a comment from Ford4ever / March 11, 2013 at 05:37 pm
I'm about 15 years older than the average 'hipster', so try again with your unfunny cliche response.
Mayor McBolivian Marching Powder / March 11, 2013 at 06:14 pm
I went the other night. And, just as I'd imagined, everywhere I looked there was gravy. GRAVY! GRAVY! GRAVY!

Get Doug on the line...I'm gonna need another term to clean up all the gravy in Legoland, too.
Oldmanpete replying to a comment from Kid at Heart / March 11, 2013 at 06:44 pm
why i have a wife, stupid idiot. grown men don't pay money to look at toys.
Jose / March 11, 2013 at 07:09 pm
I think some of us are regretting leaving Neverland.
oldmanhateshiskids replying to a comment from Oldmanpete / March 11, 2013 at 08:52 pm
"why i have a wife".

Nice. So you hate your kids and have no interest in doing nice things for them. They are lucky to have you as a father.
Me replying to a comment from Oldmanpete / March 11, 2013 at 09:04 pm
Oooh, name calling. haha!! must be Simon Tarses off his meds again. Bravo!!
Reality Check replying to a comment from Oldmanpete / March 11, 2013 at 11:31 pm
Most pervs already have children. It's why they have them.
Ford4ever replying to a comment from Justin Copp / March 12, 2013 at 05:57 am
Dude. You sound like "Comic Book Guy" from the Simpsons.
Ryan / March 12, 2013 at 06:59 am
I remember the old Lego exhibit Ontario Place had years ago when I was a kid. I still stand by my idea that Lego should have offered to take over Ontario Place and turn it into something everyone can enjoy.
It's a shame you need a kid to go into here; you don't see them telling people "kids only" at their Legoland theme parks. It's a sad state of the world when people that like to experience things they liked when they were younger are automatically labelled pervs.
Dude, you're OLD! replying to a comment from Ford4ever / March 12, 2013 at 10:38 am
Simpsons' reference? Wow. It's been years since I heard one of those.
Sanjay / March 12, 2013 at 12:10 pm
I was disappointed to see that the suggested ages only went to 10. I have 10 year old twins and a twelve year old and from what I saw from watching the video on their website it is definitely geared towards younger children than mine. I really wish they would have had interactive stuff for older kids and adults to do because I know for my three boys just looking at cool Lego creations isn't enough. They want to be building that stuff as well. I also think the no adult without a child policy is BS. Okay just one more thing, I really wish it would have been located some where in down town Toronto instead of Vaughan Mills.
Sanjay replying to a comment from Sanjay / March 12, 2013 at 12:14 pm
Sorry the website actually says up to ages 12 for a kids admission. Has anyone actually been there yet and can give their opinion of it? If my family was to go it would cost us $98 to get in (yikes).
Rocky replying to a comment from Jon / March 12, 2013 at 12:29 pm
Guess you haven't played with Lego's before.
Lego is stupid replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / March 14, 2013 at 06:10 pm
The Lego company seems to be under the impression that Canada is America and that our downtowns are dead after 5pm. Look at where they put everything in Toronto. Sherway, Yorkdale, Fairview, Vaughan Mills. Somebody get them a clue.
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Be Fair about the Vaughn thing / March 15, 2013 at 12:40 pm
Vaughn Mills was developed by the Mills Corporation (now defunct).

Those are projects are typically in suburbs. Many of the Mills developments have family entertainment anchors like a Nascar Cafe (orginally here), Legoland, or an Aquaruim.

Offer free parking and an excuse for the kids to get you the mall during the winter and money will be spent. Plus it's right beside Wonderland and Chuck E Cheese.

I am downtown guy and hate the trek but the location makes a lot of business sense.
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from Me / March 16, 2013 at 07:33 am
Asshole, I'm not on any 'meds', nor am I insane; please don't confuse having an opinion with being mentally ill. If you don't like my opinion, you don't have to read it, or be here at Blog TO (although I'd say that most of the people who post here complaining about the TTC the way they do would also have issues to any MD, in that they blow up anything bad with the TTC to monolithic proportions.)
Andy / March 17, 2013 at 11:19 pm
My wife and I took our two boys on Friday. Paid $98 bucks to get in. I found it very underwhelming. My boys had a good time, which is the most important thing, but it felt like a money grab. I would not waste my money again.
John W / March 18, 2013 at 07:08 am
Adults have no business at Lego Land without a child. Grow up, go to a bar or club or have sex with your partner. I don't want to go there with my kids only to wait behind some skinny jean wearing, stupid beard, over educated, U of T grad know it all who's rich parents never bought him enough lego.
John W / March 18, 2013 at 07:11 am
I hate you assholes. Go to Starbucks and die. Get a job you useless hippies
skinnyjean / March 18, 2013 at 07:30 am
You are a rasist asshole. If I ever saw you, I would yell at you and your rasist kids. I hope you die. Adam Vaughn rules!!! Rob Ford is a black asdhole
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big happy family / March 23, 2013 at 08:04 pm
what if we have 7 adults and 1 kid how many get to go in?? we're one big happy family.
Gail Roberts / March 24, 2013 at 09:14 pm
We were very excited in the Spring of 2012 to inform our grandchildren that we would take them to Legoland when it opened in 2013. They were so excited - ages 5 & 7 (girl and boy). We took them (cost: $90. for 2 adults and 2 children) on March 8, 2013 and the 7 year old boy had a grand time; we stayed 5 hours. However, our granddaughter got bored after going on the rides 2x and seeing the movies; we were hard pressed to keep her busy for the whole time. 2 criticisms are: far too expensive. The children had no idea of the value of $90. that was spent on them; add lunch at the cafe ($20.00) and the outing broke the bank. Also two was crammed in to so little square feet. Luckily we arrived at 10:00 a.m. and it didn't get very, very congested until 11:45 a.m. after that there was a long wait for everything. Legoland is definitely geared to boys ages 7-10. We will probably not return; once is enough.
JP / April 1, 2013 at 11:51 pm
Seriously... If I have to put up with parents bringing their kids to the "trendy hip" bars and brunch spots because they refuse to believe they have to change their lifestyle when they have kids, then I can damn well get into a LegoLand without one!
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