There is a big bright happy face along Lake Ontario and Toronto kids are flocking en masse to have a peek. And a pic. A lot of pics. The Happy Place, a massive pop-up experience has taken over part of Harbourfront Centre and is filled with room after room after room of colourful playful selfie moments.

Toronto is the third stop after sold-out stays in L.A. and Chicago for this all-ages affair – adults, hipsters, teens, kids and babes all with phones in TOw lining up to capture one of the many Instagrammable shots. Every stop is a photo opp: posing in a rubber ducky bathtub, making confetti angels and jumping into a yellow ball pit (happiness at the end of a double rainbow.)

I bought my kids in TOw on weekend for the first slot (timed tickets are every 30 min.) There was already a line-up outside and as we shuffled in and made our way through the spaces with our fellow photo-happy happy-seekers, it was surprising how everyone gladly took turns getting their photo. It’s silly really, but I think that’s point. It definitely put smiles on all our faces. A big shout out to the Happy staff who seemed to genuinely remain happy welcoming visitors and snapping their pics.

Here are a few views:




Getting there:The Happy Place has set up shop at Harbourfront Centre along Queen’s Quay just south of the CN Tower. On TTC, walk from Union Station or get off at the Harbourfront Centre stop from the 509 Harbourfront or 510 Spadina streetcars. Paid parking lots in the area.

Low-down:There are timed tickets every 30 minutes. Best to buy online. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday (open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.) it’s $32.50 (plus ticketing fees); Friday, Saturday and Sunday (open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.) it’s $39.50 (plus ticketing fees). Closed on Tuesdays (except January 1st.) Same price for all ages, except kids four-and-under are free. Coat check is $3 per coat – card only. Same thing with the Sweet Shack and Lemonade Stand. No cash accepted. No strollers, tripods or selfie-sticks. Check out these FAQs if you have more questions.

In the hood: The CN Tower and the Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada are a short walking distance to the north. Burn some energy outside with a skate at the Natrel Rink right next door or walk along the waterfront to check out the tall ships and boats.


Happy Place Toronto
245 Queen’s Quay West, Harbourfront Centre