Telus Spark; EV's Winning Playground

Spark turned into a flame when CMLC took home an armful of Mayor’s Urban Design Awards from a ceremony at the sparkling new centre.

Telus Spark Science Centre just opened last month, but it’s already one of our favourite places – perhaps because we spent a very gratifying evening there November 2. CMLC, the master developer of East Village, took home five prestigious Mayor’s Urban Design Awards. We were winners for RiverWalk Phase 1 and RiverWalk Plaza and received an honourable mention for the 4th St. Underpass in the Civic Design Projects category; we earned honorable mentions for art in the public realm and the Langevin Bridge lighting system in the Urban Fragments category; and we took the night’s top prize, the Mawson Urban Design Award, for the East Village Master Plan.

While we were walking up to the podium, we couldn’t help but notice that Spark is potentially a great playground for East Villagers. It’s not far – just north of the Zoo on St. George’s Drive NE in Bottomlands Park, and it’s well worth the short trip. There’s far more here than digging machines and Scribble Dee Dee. Sure you can take the kids there. But aren't human hovercrafts sort of wasted on four-year-olds? Part laboratory, part arcade, part neighbourhood playground, under one enormous sunlight-diffused roof, Telus Spark is a brainy EV neighbour close to our own backyard.

With Adult Only Night celebrated the second Thursday of each month – the first one is December 8 – there's no need to elbow that Grade Three class out of the way if you simply must test your sea legs at the Creative Kids Museum water table. With a bar, funky music, and a strict +18 policy, you can get your science groove on in all the galleries until late in the evening.

Spark makes it tempting to unleash your inner Bill Nye anytime. The Energy and Innovation, Being Human, or Earth and Sky galleries are prime places to explore. On Astronomy Night, invite your good-looking neighbour to share a telescope with you on the Spark terrace.

Telus Spark gets on well with all the neighbours, too: Once a month, the Ironwood Stage and Grill in Inglewood will dust off the chalkboard to host Science Cafe nights. Wander down 9th Avenue and stop in for a beer. Pick the brains of local neurologists, or show off your grasp of String Theory with the waiters. You’ll come home to East Village way smarter.