All conditions listed below are subject to change. Check with the Toronto Public Library for the most up-to-date information.
As most tourists know, there are just too many cultural and historical museums here in Toronto to take in during one visit. Yet many Toronto residents -- who should have ample opportunities to see and do it all -- also don't spend much time at our city's museums and historic sites. Sometimes it's just due to a lack of interest or time, but for some there's also the financial concern of fitting in admission fees on a limited budget. Wouldn't it be nice if there was some kind of free Toronto museum pass available just for local residents?
Enter the Sun Life Financial Museum and Arts Pass! Available from every Toronto Public Library branch in the city, these passes -- which offer free admission to one of over a dozen local museums -- can be signed out by anyone with an adult Toronto Public Library card. The conditions vary depending on which museum you'd like to visit, but in general the pass is good for 2 adults and 2-5 children.
There are a limited number of passes available from each branch each week, and they are given out on a first-come, first-served basis. Most branches begin signing out the week's allotment on Saturday morning. Exceptions to this are Barbara Frum (Mondays 6:30pm), City Hall (Mondays 10am), and Forest Hill (Thursdays 6pm).
If you are early enough to get one of the passes, note that you can only use it once and will surrender it to gain admission (so you have to pick a museum from the list, not make a day of museum-hopping!). You can only sign out one pass a week, and you can only of each venue's pass once every three months.
So Where Can Your Toronto Museum Pass Take You?The following museums and attractions are currently part of the Sun Life Financial Museum and Arts Pass program:
- The Art Gallery of Ontario
- Black Creek Pioneer Village
- The Gardiner Museum
- The Museum of Inuit Art
- The Textile Museum of Canada
- And all 8 of the City of Toronto's Historic Museums
There are also a very limited number of passes available to the The Bata Shoe Museum, the Ontario Science Centre, Casa Loma, the Royal Ontario Museum and the Toronto Zoo, but those passes are only available at 32 of the TPL's 99 branches.
Of course there are some restrictions on when you can use the passes (not during March Break, for example) and the age and number of children who will get free admission varies with each institution. Visit your local branch or the Sun Life MAP page on TorontoPublicLibrary.ca for full details and conditions of borrowing - then get out to a museum!