With the release of 50 000 LEGO bricks from a front-end loader, global leisure corporation Merlin Entertainments marked the official groundbreaking of the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Toronto, which is located at GTA shopping and entertainment destination Vaughan Mills, which is owned and operated by Ivanhoé Cambridge. The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by the Honourable Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Steven Del Duca, MPP for Vaughan, the Hon. Maurizio Bevilacqua, Mayor of the City of Vaughan, James Burleigh, Divisional Director, Midway Developments, Merlin Entertainments, and George Fiddler, Senior Vice President, Retail, Central North America, Ivanhoé Cambridge.
“We are so excited about bringing the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre to Toronto,” said James Burleigh of Merlin Entertainments, operators of the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre. “This new attraction will be the ultimate destination for children who are in love with LEGO and we can’t wait until we get to open the doors to families in the spring.”
“Ontario welcomes world-class attractions like the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre,” said Minister Chan. “Merlin Entertainments’ choice of Vaughan for its first location in Canada confirms Ontario’s reputation as a great destination for tourism investors and a great place for families to live and to visit. This unique venue will generate jobs and growth in the GTA and across Ontario.”
Opening in spring 2013, the $12 million LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Toronto is the first of its kind in Canada. The family attraction will employ a staff of approximately 100 people.
The 34,000 square-foot indoor attraction will be geared towards children ages 3-10 and their families, perfect for little LEGO® fans. The LEGOLAND Discovery Centre will feature over three million LEGO bricks and consist of several interactive features including hands-on play areas, a 4D cinema, master classes from LEGO Model Builders, LEGO rides, special party rooms and MINILAND®, the venue’s signature recreation of Ontario landmarks, made out of LEGO bricks.
“The City of Vaughan welcomes this wonderful new attraction to our growing community,” said Vaughan Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua. “We are proud to have worked with Merlin Entertainments Group to make the City of Vaughan the site of the first LEGOLAND Discovery Centre in Canada. This world-class entertainment venue will be a fun and exciting addition to an area of our City that already attracts millions of visitors every year and we are thrilled to add LEGOLAND to our dynamic and vibrant community.”
“As a leading owner and manager of shopping centres across Canada, Ivanhoé Cambridge continually strives to provide best-in-class experiences for consumers in all its properties.” said George Fiddler of Ivanhoé Cambridge. “The decision by Merlin Entertainments to build a LEGOLAND Discovery Centre at Vaughan Mills, already one of GTA’s premier shopping and entertainment destinations, reinforces the centre’s reputation as a distinct tourist attraction.”
Next up for LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Toronto will be the first ever Canadian Brickfactor, a competition to find Toronto’s Master Model Builder. LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Toronto will be holding the event on November 24th and 25th at Pawsway Toronto located at Toronto’s Harbourfront to audition skilled LEGO craftspeople with a passion for the brand in order to become the attraction’s superstar builder. This unconventional job provides an opportunity to turn a beloved childhood pastime into a dream career.