Science North

Explore Science North, Northern Ontario’s most popular tourist destination. With four floors packed with exhibits, galleries, and interactive displays, visitors of all ages can expect to spend countless hours of enjoyment and learning in Science North.

Science North is located on the Southern shore of Ramsey Lake, south of downtown Greater Sudbury in Northern Ontario. It is a 1.5 hour drive from North Bay.

Check on up-to-date information and details on Science North by visiting their website. To learn more about other places you can explore nearby, keep on scrolling to see what Destination Ontario recommends!

A family admires a large skeleton displayed in the museum

More about Science North

Science North is Northern Ontario’s biggest tourist attraction, maintaining both the the second and eighth largest science centres in all of Canada. Its indoor exhibits and recreational areas are housed within two snowflake-shaped buildings (the smaller snowflake contains the Science North’s restaurant and cafeteria, while the bigger snowflake contains the exhibits), which are connected by a rock tunnel passing through a billion-year-old geologic fault—which was a surprise discovery during construction in the 1980s.

Science North is perfect for visitors of any age, with dozens of permanent indoor and outdoor exhibits ready to entertain anyone’s scientific curiosities. Everyone entering the main building will be set to gasp and gaze at the massive 20-metre fin whale skeleton hanging from the ceiling. On the first level, visitors can watch movies in the IMAX theatre, attend an event inside the mystic Vale Cavern, gaze up at planetary systems in the Planetarium, or let their toddlers run free in the TD Canada Trust Toddler’s Treehouse.

Climb up to the second level and discover wondrous things to do. There is the Nature Exchange, where visitors can research and trade various ethically collected natural items that they can exchange for points in the database. Learn how to cut, grind, and polish rocks by hand and turn them into works of art in the Lapidary lab. Visitors can drop by the F. Jean MacLeod Butterfly Gallery, a glass enclosure that is home to over 400 butterflies of 30 tropical species.

Learn about Canadian natural landscapes on the third level, which is divided into four areas. Explore the Northern Forests and visit its resident porcupines, flying squirrels, bees, bats and snakes. Learn about what goes on in the Ontario waters in the Lakes and Rivers area, which has its own resident animals that include beavers, snapping turtles, water snakes, and various fish species that are native to Northern Ontario. Visit the Wetlands area and visit its many resident frogs, turtles, rattlesnakes, and toads, and even go on a tour of the nearby Lilly Creek. Get a breath of fresh air at the Northern Garden area, an outdoor section that is home to several plant species native to Northern Ontario. Cap off your tour of the third level, or take a short rest before going to the fourth level by catching a live science show at the Discovery Theatre.

Explore the future by climbing up to the fourth level. Learn more about yourself in the Body Zone, where visitors learn about the science surrounding our DNA and human bodies and even measure the performance of their own bodies in physical exhibits. Racing enthusiasts of all ages can build their own race car and run it on in the Race Track area. Visiting astronomers will love the Space Place, a laboratory that includes a 6-foot gravity well, SNOLAB exhibits, information on Canadian space exploration, and Between the Stars, an object theatre that explores everything that is to know about dark matter. Tinker, build, and indulge engineering fantasies at the Tech Lab, where visitors can take apart and build electronics, create circuits, and play with a variety of gears and pulleys. The fourth level is also home to the Fab Lab, a collaborative space where visitors can learn how to use equipment like laser cutters, t-shirt printers, 3D printers, and waterjet cutters, participate in workshops, or even create their own innovations with the help of Science North personnel.

There are more things to do outside on the Science North grounds. Stand on Terra, the Earth’s one-millionth scale model located right outside the main entrance, or chase the North Star down Polaris Boulevard. Feeling hungry from all that exploring? Grab a snack at the Coca-Cola Corner by the IMAX Theatre, or munch down a healthy meal from Elements, Science North’s very own food court, while overlooking Ramsey Lake.

Looking for more places to explore? A quick, 10-minute drive gets you to Dynamic Earth, another interactive science museum 6.6 km away. It is also home to the Big Nickel, a 9-metre replica of the 1951 Canadian Nickel, and is the world’s largest coin, or relax and take in the scenic views of Ramsey Lake at Bell Park, which is only 1.4 km away.

Last updated: January 16, 2024

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