New museum celebrates beauty of Ontario in an interactive, miniature way
A new museum is seeking to change the way Canadians experience cities.
Our Home and Miniature Land specializes in three-dimensional, interactive exhibits that celebrate the beauty of Ontario in a miniature way. Founded by Jean-Louis Brenninkmeijer and David MacLean, the museum encourages visitors to explore, experience and learn about Ontario’s cities in an up-close and personal way.
Architect David Domanski was commissioned to design the Toronto and Hamilton exhibits. Domanski, 28, graduated from the University of Waterloo School of Architecture with an Honours Bachelor of Architectural Science in 2012 before spending three years with Stafford Haensli Architect in Mississauga and another year in Urban Design for the City of Brampton. He specializes in the design and fabrication of both large-scale and small-scale projects.
For the Toronto exhibit, Domanski developed a plan of the downtown core, breaking it down into three distinct areas: The central core, with landmarks such as Union Station and the skyscrapers in the financial district; The west area, with the Gardiner Expressway and a number of tall glass condo towers; and the east area, with a section of low- to mid-rise commercial and residential developments, as well as the Bloor Street viaduct, Don Valley Parkway and other notable landmarks. Once established, Domanski began constructing the miniature models at a scale of 1:87.
Domanski took a similar approach for a Hamilton project, dubbed the “Golden Horseshoe,” which includes sections devoted to Oakville, Burlington, and the Royal Botanical Gardens. Now, he is working on Ottawa and Niagara, learning from the early miniatures and adjusting his process in result. It took two years and a team of up to 25 people – carpenters, software technicians, electricians and model makers – to build Toronto, and another full year for the Golden Horseshoe. Domanski says the new and improved process means four exhibits can now be built in a two-year time frame.
“The exhibits for Toronto and the Golden Horseshoe involved a design-build strategy with a lot of trial-and-error,” he says. “Now, we have a better-defined plan with specific deliverables. This means enhanced efficiency, a reduced schedule and a reduced budget.”
Several other students, architects, companies and firms have been involved in the project, including Myles Burke Architectural Models in Vaughan, who replicated the Rogers Centre at a scale of 1:150 and a cost of $60,000. The miniature replica contains a working Jumbotron, interior floodlights, a retractable roof with push-button control, 12,000 figurines, and more.
Our Home and Miniature Land, located in two warehouses in Mississauga, is expected to open to the public in 2018. For more information, please click here.