10 Coolest Museums to visit in Toronto


 

Toronto is the most populous city in Canada. Its museums are part of its cultural institutions, showcasing artworks from different eras. These 10 coolest museums to visit in Toronto guide you towards Toronto’s diverse culture, as you get entertained and simultaneously educated. This list provides something for every taste or interest.

1. Hockey Hall of Fame

Hockey Hall of Fame- by DXR- Wikimedia Commons

Ice Hockey is a popular sport in Canada and is played all year round. It is the official national winter sport of the country. Hockey fans and fanatics enjoy the Hockey Hall of Fame located in Toronto, Canada. This is 65,000 square feet worth of celebration of hockey. The museum pays tribute to the sport and its legends through this large museum.

At the Hockey Hall of Fame, you will get a chance to closely look at and perhaps touch the Stanley Cup- this is the coveted championship trophy awarded annually to the National Hockey League (NHL) playoff winner. The museum also houses the finest collection of hockey artifacts from around the world and a replica of the NHL dressing room.

Simulation games that challenge shooting, goalkeeping, and broadcasting skills bring a lot of excitement at the museum. There also are themed exhibits dedicated to hockey’s greatest players, teams and achievements, theatres, and an unrivaled selection of hockey-related merchandise and memorabilia at the museum’s gift store. You may want to pick up a few keepsakes here.

2. Aga Khan Museum

Aga Khan Museum- by Daderot- Wikimedia Commons

Being at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto is in itself a great opportunity. The museum is a spot rich in Islamic and Persian art as well as the Muslim culture. The museum celebrates and affords an opportunity to experience artistic, intellectual, and scientific contributions of Muslim civilizations to world heritage.

The Aga Khan Museum has a permanent exhibition of a collection of rare masterpieces in a broad range of artistic styles and materials represented in at least 1,000 objects. Portraits, textiles, manuscripts, ceramics, musical instruments, and books amongst other objects that represent more than eleven centuries of human history and a geographic area from the Iberian coast to China are found at the Aga Khan Museum.

Besides the permanent exhibitions, the museum also hosts several temporary exhibitions annually according to new artistic developments, current scholarship, and emerging themes. You can also catch art events and attend educational programs at the museum.

3. Gardiner Museum

Hand-painted Italian dishes at the Gardiner Museum- by Daderot- Wikimedia Commons

If you have ever wanted to try your hand at making pottery out of clay like a professional, the Gardiner Museum might just be it for you. This clay museum offers regular classes in hand building, wheel throwing, and slip casting, all clay work techniques.  The Gardiner Museum is a ceramics museum in Toronto with a permanent collection of ceramics amounting to over 4,000 pieces from the ancient Americas to date.

The items on exhibition at the Gardiner Museum are both ceramic and earthenware. It is the only one of its kind in Toronto, but was not quite intentional- George and Helen Gardiner opened it after they were unable to exhibit their works at the Royal Ontario Museum.

4. Casa Loma

Casa Loma- by Larry Koester- Wikimedia Commons

Casa Loma is one of Toronto’s distinctive landmarks and open secrets. It is a mansion in mid-town Toronto that has the look and feel of a European chateau. It is a former residential castle that was constructed in 1914, turned into a historic house museum.

Being at Casa Loma is magical- weddings and movies have been booked here as it is quite the architectural heartthrob. At the castle, you will be able to go through an 800- foot tunnel, stables, and five acres of prime garden.

The architecture and interior décor is captivating, and so are the room such as the Conservatory that showcases plant life and has a fountain at one end of it. The Rifles Museum within Casa Loma is also an attraction.

5. Royal Ontario Museum

Royal Ontario Museum- by Staka- Wikimedia Commons

Canada’s largest museum showcases art, culture, and nature from around the world from different time periods. The museum has an expansive collection of cultural and historical artifacts displayed across 40 galleries and exhibitions. You will hardly run out of what to see at the Royal Ontario Museum, with its 13 million artworks, cultural objects and natural history specimens that are a world-class collection.

The Royal Ontario Museum affords you an opportunity to learn about Asian art and culture, dinosaurs, gems and minerals, ancient Egypt treasures, and biodiversity.

In the summer you might catch a Friday Night Live party at the museum complete with a live DJ, food, and drinks.

6. Bata Shoe Museum

Bata Shoe Museum interior- by Daderot- Wikimedia Commons

This museum is a charming four gallery display of different types and styles of shoes. From ancient Egyptian sandals, chestnut- crushing clogs, glamorous platforms to Chinese bound foot shoes, the Bata Shoe Museum is a celebration of style and function of footwear from all around the world.

The museum also showcases more than 4,500 years of history and a collection of 20th-century celebrity shoes in a semi-permanent exhibition. Additionally, the museum hosts three other galleries that feature changing exhibitions.

7. Textile Museum of Canada

Mayan clothing at the Textile Museum of Canada- by Daderot- Wikimedia Commons

This is the only museum of its kind in Canada, devoted to textile. On display are fabrics, ceremonial cloths, garments, carpets, quilts, and related artifacts. The Textile Museum of Canada located in Toronto has a permanent collection of nearly 13,000 artifacts from 200 regions of the world covering nearly 2,000 years of textile history. It looks at the role of cloth and fabric in society.

A textile enthusiast will immensely enjoy the lectures, round-table discussions, workshops, music and dance performances, demonstrations, school programs, and public tours. This will also be quite the experience for the curious. This boutique museum also has a reference library for that textile you may have always wondered about.

8. Ontario Science Centre

Ontario Science Center- by Dennis Jarvis- Wikimedia Commons

As its name betrays, the Ontario Science Centre is a science museum that opened its doors to the public in 1969. Being inside the museum is such a thrill. You can wander through a live rainforest learning about tropical vegetation as you admire waterfalls. The museum also has educational games on its menu at the Science Arcade, as well as the Hot zone with topical science-related headlines.

The structure of the Ontario Science Centre is also captivating. It has beautiful views and outdoor paths and hosts Toronto’s only public planetarium. The Centre also has six levels of exhibit halls. Your visit to the Ontario Science Centre will take you through 150 years of Canadian natural history!

9. McMichael Canadian Art Collection

Gala at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection- Wikimedia Commons

The only publicly funded institution in Canada dedicated to celebrating the art of Canada is the McMichael Canadian Art Collection museum. It is named after Robert McMichael, whose private photography works gave the museum a headstart.

At the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, you will find Canadian works such as the First Nations, Inuit, and Metis as well as the Group of Seven and some contemporary artists. Art, culture, and nature come together in a beautiful fusion at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection located along Humber River. McMichael and his wife Signe amassed Canadian works from as early as 1952 in their home, which they donated to the province. They had 194 paintings at the time.

10. Art Gallery of Ontario

Artwork from the Art Gallery of Ontario- by Reg Natarajan- Wikimedia Commons

The Art Gallery of Ontario is one of the largest museums in North America! It hosts at least 95,000 pieces of artwork- this includes photography, contemporary art, and European masters. The museum sits on 45,000 square feet- It can afford space for exhibitions, artists in- residence office and studio, event spaces, dining areas, a gift shop, library, a research center, and workshop as well as other amenities. Its architecture is nothing of the ordinary.

In addition to Canadian art collection such as First Nations, the museum has art from African Oceanic and European artists. Additionally, the museum is progressive and organizes traveling art exhibitions. Its permanent collection has at least 98,000 pieces from the first century to date.

 

These 10 coolest museums to visit in Toronto effortlessly expose you to Canadian culture and give you a taste of elements from around the world. The museums are not only top the list of museums but are also Toronto’s finest.