museums toronto

The Best Museums in Toronto

The best museums in Toronto let visitors and locals escape from the city to explore historical artifacts, priceless works of art and hockey memorabilia. As a cultural hub, Toronto is a hotbed for esteemed institutions that provide us with endless learning opportunities and stellar rainy day (and winter) activities.

Here are the best museums in Toronto.

The Royal Ontario Museum is cool again thanks to weekly Friday Night Live events that let you drink and dance amongst the dinosaurs and other artifacts. No longer just for tourists and elementary school classes, this centrally located museum has a variety of world class temporary exhibitions and permanent galleries that are both educational and entertaining.

With its Frank Gehry facelift, this esteemed art gallery is another institution that's a hit with the twenty-something crowd because of its monthly First Thursday parties - there's something thrilling about strolling through the galleries while clutching a cocktail. Parties aside, the AGO is a feast for the eyes (and soul) with its permanent collections and rotating roster of blockbuster exhibitions.

The Hockey Hall of Fame
Indulge in your love for Canada's favourite sport with a visit to the Hockey Hall of Fame. Its conveniently located within walking distance from the ACC if you want to gaze at your favourite stars on ice before heading to a game.

Aga Khan Museum
While many of Toronto's museums are located near the downtown core, the Aga Khan is situated in midtown. It focuses exclusively on Muslim civilizations, both from historical and contemporary perspectives. The space also includes a stunning public park as well as the fusion restaurant Diwan.

Bata Shoe Museum
With more than 1,000 shoes on display, a visit to the Bata Shoe Museum at Bloor and St. George will let you window shop without temptation. There's footwear on display from a myriad of eras, from Ancient Greece to modern times. You'll never look at your sneakers the same way again.

The Gardiner Museum
Located just across the street from The ROM, The Gardiner is Canada's national ceramics museum. Along with showing both permanent and special exhibitions, this cultural space offers drop-in clay classes and workshops for children and adults alike.

The Design Exchange
We usually don't even appreciate how much design positively effects our lives, but a trip to the Design Exchange should sort that out. Objects in its permanent collection explore five decades of Canadian industrial design. And perhaps most notable about this museum is its location; it's situated inside the historic Toronto Stock Exchange building, a wonderful example of art deco design.

The Textile Museum of Canada
Travel back nearly 2,000 years through the various garments, cloths and fabrics on display here. The oldest item in its 13,000 piece collection dates back to 100 AD from the Nazca culture of southern Peru. Learn how textiles have evolved around the world in the only major Canadian museum devoted to this subject.

Archives of Ontario
It's well worth a schlep to York University if you're keen to do some archival sleuthing. The archive keeps public, private and business records and offers workshops if you're looking for guidance before delving into the past. It also has exhibitions focusing on various historical events.

CBC Museum
Admission is free for this museum located on the first floor of CBC's Front Street headquarters. Trace our public broadcaster's history back to its first days on air in 1936 and relive your favourite programs and segments.

The MZTV Museum of Television
Plan your visit accordingly because The MZTV Museum of Television is open from Tuesday to Friday between 2 and 5 p.m. Created by Toronto's TV legend Moses Znaimer, the collection focuses on television technology from the 1920s to the 1970s; its mission is "to protect, preserve and promote the receiving instruments of television history."

Photo by End User in the blogTO Flickr pool

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