Legoland is coming to the Toronto area next spring.

Construction is set to begin this summer on the $12-million centre at Vaughan Mills Shopping Centre, about 30 kilometres north of Toronto, leisure giant Merlin Entertainments announced Thursday.

The Legoland Discovery Centre is being billed as an interactive and educational two- to three-hour indoor experience geared to families with children aged three to 10.

The centre, based on the popular Lego brick, will have a range of play areas including a 4D cinema, brick pool, classes from a master model builder, rides and special rooms for birthday parties and other celebrations.

A Miniland exhibit featuring buildings nominated by the community will be designed to reflect the iconic buildings and skyline of the area.

Lego models for the approximately 3,160-square-metre Vaughan location will be made in Merlin studios around the world and shipped in during construction.

More than 139 million people live within a day's drive of the site in southern Ontario.

"The enthusiasm with which we have been welcomed was a key factor in selecting our location," Glenn Earlam, managing director of Merlin's Midway Attractions Operating Group, which includes the Legoland Discovery Centres, said in a release.

He added that the company has also identified two other potential new sites in Canada.

Canada will be the 21st country in which Merlin has attractions. The company has 90 attractions in 19 countries and plans to open six new sites in 2012, including four in the U.S. Attractions include Legoland theme parks, Sea Life aquariums, Madame Tussauds and water parks.

Vaughan Mills, a shopping and entertainment destination, is owned and operated by Ivanhoe Cambridge.