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CityPass Toronto Part One: The ROM

"FREEZE! Step out from the Art work, Ma'am"

I had wondered into Carlos Garaicoa's Ikea lamp inspired From the Series of New Architectures installation, currently at the ROM's Institute for Contemporary Culture until December 31, when I heard the voice of authority reprimanding me. I turned to face the scolding security guard who attempted to guide me out with explicit directions: "Lift up your right foot, SLOWLY! Place it gently on the floor".

I interrupted him with the slow deliberate voice of a hostage negotiator, "Everything Will Be All Right. I Am An Experienced Artist. I've Been Inside Art Before. I Know What To Do."

(The Security Guard didn't find it funny either).

Now that the semester is finished and I have all this free time on my hands, I decided to book in my Toronto vacation with the kids. While we are not on that tight of a budget, our entertainment leash is still somewhat restricted. So when I see a fair deal such as Toronto's CityPass, I jump on it.

The CityPass comes in a booklet of prepaid tickets (which you can purchase at anyone of the attractions or online) and includes admission to the ROM, Casa Loma, the Ontario Science Centre, the AGO, the Toronto Zoo and the CN Tower. The catch: we have only nine consecutive days in which to use it. No biggie, if you are planning to actually spend your vacation in Toronto like I am. Currently the price stands at $55 for adults and $37 for youths (ages 4-12). Considering that the CN Tower costs $27.55 ($21.19 for kids) for a standalone Observation + SkyPod Experience ticket, it is worthwhile even if we were to make it to only three out of the six attractions.

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We decided to kick-start our Toronto touristy tour at the ROM where there is something for everyone. For myself, I enjoyed not getting into too much trouble at the Carlos Garaicoa exhibit. I was also simply gaga for every single piece of jewellery and glassware at the Deco Lalique exhibit; so if anyone who loves me ever has any spare bundles of cash lying around, buy me one of those. For the kids, Ethan, age 10, and Liam, age 5, the interactivity of the CIBC Discovery Room and the Hands-On Biodiversity Gallery are always a huge hit. Starting next week Dec 27 and running until Jan 7, ROM for the Holidays will have a lot more activities for the kids. We were sorry to miss the fun, but not sorry to miss the crowds. Finally, the Italian Arts and Design: the 20th Century show was -- how can I say this? -- Italian. Ethan felt gypped that the 20th century did not include the Renaissance. I felt the first half of the exhibit to be much stronger, with beautiful Art Nouveau, Divisionist (pointillist) and Futurist pieces, whereas the latter half felt like walking through -- dare I say it again? -- Ikea.

I was also pleased to find out that the current temporary exhibits were included in the general admission price, which is currently $18 for adults, $15 for seniors and students, and $12 for kids without the CityPass, or $5/$2 Fridays nights after 4:30.

Tomorrow I will continue with CityPass Toronto Part Two: Casa Loma.


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