Inside Toronto’s new Museum of Illusions, an Instagrammable funhouse of infinity mirrors and spinning vortexes
What: Museum of Illusions
Where: 132 Front St. E
Size: 4,700 square feet in a former condo property management office
The Museum of Illusions, with locations around the world, is a whimsical, endlessly Instagrammable fantasia of optical trickery. After visiting versions of the museum in Austria, Slovenia and Croatia, curator and owner Michaela Radman decided to open a Toronto outpost. “Toronto has an appetite for interactive exhibits like this,” says Radman. “Those tactile concepts create a different kind of museum experience. I think it’s a trend that is here to stay.”
The 4,700-square-foot museum is home to over 70 installations designed to tease and trick your mind. Some of the illusions are reminiscent of a funhouse—like an upside-down room with furniture installed on the ceiling—while others feature more complex aerograms and holograms. Here’s a look inside.
Some rooms use angles and slanted surfaces to distort perspective. This trapezoid-shaped installation plays with proportions, creating the illusion that one person is much larger than the other:
The upside-down room, has furniture bolted to the ceiling. Guests are encouraged to incorporate themselves into the exhibits and take photos:
The smaller installations feature explainers on the science behind each illusion:
There are a variety of brainteasers on display that test dexterity. “They’re not easy to solve, but pushing folks to try and be creative,” says Radman.
If you missed out on the AGO’s Infinity Mirrors exhibit, there’s a similar installation inside this museum. The light-filled wonderland uses carefully angled mirrors to create the illusion of infinite space:
This installation uses light and colour to create a psychedelic illusion reminiscent of a 1980s music video:
And this is the spinning vortex, which uses flashing lights to create the illusion of movement:
This deceptive mirror set-up lets visitors sit at this card table and play poker with themselves:
The museum even has its own illusionist to entertain guests while they wait in line. Here’s Steven Jones, a 25-year-old self-taught illusionist from the U.K. who learned his tricks off of YouTube: