Inside HideSeek, Toronto’s newest nostalgia-themed pop-up playground

Inside HideSeek, Toronto’s newest nostalgia-themed pop-up playground

Toronto’s latest made-for-Instagram pop-up is all about childhood nostalgia. It’s a massive shrine to the ’90s and early 2000s, featuring 12 rooms filled with Slinkys, Velcro, the Spice Girls’ greatest hits and a Delia’s catalogue’s worth of inflatable bubble furniture. Here’s a look inside the space.

The space was designed to mimic a day in the life of a kid, from school to the pool. The entrance, called the “alley of awe,” is decorated with 160 shiny pink butterflies.

The first room is filled with iridescent inflatable plastic balls up to four feet tall. Most of the orbs are suspended from the ceiling, but the ones on the floor are meant to be kicked, bounced and tossed around.

This entire tunnel is filled with beaded curtains—over 6,000 strands in total.

This fluorescent room is wallpapered with orange fur and furnished with a blow-up couch imported from Italy. There’s a tour guide in every room to help visitors with their selfie requests.

This room was built using more than 2,500 rainbow Slinkys. Visitors can play with the oversized ones on the floor.

Here’s the Velcro room. There are 330 paddle discs fastened to the walls and ceiling, and guests can toss around the matching tennis balls

This room is filled with Trix and Lucky Charms. Sadly, they’re not available for consumption, but they do make for a good selfie background. This room is meant to mimic the experience of going grocery shopping as a kid and getting the best seat in the house—the cart.

Every single thing in this room is pink—even the free cotton candy, which, unlike the cereal, you can actually eat. Visitors can sign their names or write their favourite childhood memory in the lockers without getting in trouble from a teacher. Around the corner, there’s an installation with 3,000 pencils, 3,000 crayons and 1,800 gum balls (they’re all pink, too). 

Exploring this room is like going for a swim, but without the water. There’s a pool noodle forest and a massive pit filled with more than 30,000 balls.

The Rewind Room is an ode to cassettes, VHS tapes and CD-ROMs. There are also a few floating TVs, which play classics like Power Rangers and The Pagemaster. It may not look like it, but all the walls in the installation are on wheels for easy setup and teardown.

This massive pillow fort was assembled from more than 200 cushions. The teddy bear’s name is Wayback Willy.

The final stop takes a cue from Infinity Mirrors, with 15,000 glow-in-the dark stars. It took five days to assemble. 

Hide Seek runs through June 2 at 1305 Dundas Street West.