Toronto is home to amazing museums and art attractions. There is a plethora of artists who exude culture and creativity. Even though the city was closed for a period, many of Toronto’s museums and heritage attractions were adapting to new demands and drafting new ways to engage the public. Now the doors are open, and we can be reacquainted with Toronto’s arts and culture scene once again. Many of us aren’t entirely familiar with museums but don’t worry, there’s something for everyone in the city. There are historic Victorian-era houses, breathtaking exhibits, and unique art installations. Toronto’s museum scene has something for everyone.
Even if you haven’t visited Toronto’s most well-known museums, you know them by name. The Royal Ontario Museum boasts the title of Canada’s largest museum. Its Department of Natural History collections comprise one of the largest holdings of natural history specimens in Canada and is recognized internationally. The ROM also holds nearly 1 million objects of art and culture from around the world, dating from pre-historic civilizations to present-day contemporary artworks. Its new open hours are Wednesday to Sunday. And if you wish to go, you have to purchase a timed ticket online.
Another new landmark museum is the Aga Khan. If you haven’t heard of it by name, you have seen it while driving along the Don Valley Parkway. Its building is an architectural work of beauty. The Aga Khan showcases the artistic accomplishments of Muslim civilizations from the past thousand years.
Local History Museums
Toronto History Museums are back and brand new. The city’s local history sites have been running their HistoricTO campaign, introducing community-focused programming and more inclusive narratives. There are ten museums in the city, so no matter what corner of Toronto you live in, there is a site near you to learn about your local history. HistoricTO has indoor and outdoor tours for exploring the neighbourhood and ecosystem. Tours run Wednesday to Sunday and tickets must be purchased online in advance.
The Bata Shoe Museum is an unusual and unique attraction in the city of Toronto. It has reopened its doors and welcomes guests back to enjoy its collection and stories. This inspiring museum holds over 13,000 shoes. The Bata Shoe Museum celebrates the style, development, and function of footwear across four impressive galleries, with displays ranging from Chinese bound foot shoes and ancient Egyptian sandals to chestnut-crushing clogs and glamorous platforms. There are over 4,500 years of history reflected in its permanent exhibition, All About Shoes.
One of the popular art galleries in the city is the Art Gallery of Ontario. The AGO is also one of the largest art museums in North America. The AGO’s collection of close to 95,000 works ranges from cutting-edge contemporary to a vast collection by the Group of Seven and works by established and emerging Indigenous Canadian artists. Like most museums, timed tickets must be purchased online.