Toronto is home not only to the outstanding Royal Ontario Museum but also to a number of local and specialized museums that preserve, display, and explore history and culture of all kinds.
Known simply as "The ROM" by most locals, the hugely popular Royal Ontario Museum is a major Toronto attraction. It offers exiting exhibits exploring both history and culture, and always has a wide variety of programming for kids and adults alike. Located at the corner of Bloor Street West and Queen's Park, it is easy to reach from the TTC's St. George Station or the aptly named Museum Station. The ROM is open every day of the year except for December 25th.
As the name suggests, The Bata Shoe Museum focuses on the place of footwear in culture with a permanent collection ranging from celebrities' boots to silk shoes from 19th century China. The Bata Shoe Musuem is located at 327 Bloor Street West, just a few minutes walk west of the ROM. It is an easy walk west from St. George Station or east from Spadina Station. The Bata Shoe Museum is open seven days a week.
Black Creek Pioneer Village is a re-creation of village life in 1800s Ontario and includes costumed historical interpreters who practice trades and crafts. Black Creek also offers a general store offering items true to the time and a historic brewery. There are numerous special events held at Black Creek, including special programming for most holidays. Located at Steele and Jane, Black Creek Pioneer Village is in the north end of the city near York University. It is accessible by TTC and York Region busses and has paid parking available. Black Creek Pioneer Village is a seasonal attraction, open from May through the Christmas holidays and for March Break
Located on the north-west corner of Queen Street West and University Avenue, Campbell House Museum is an easily-accessed bit of history right in heart of downtown Toronto. It is a preserved and restored private residence which was built in 1822 for Sir William Campbell, who would later become Chief Justice for the Province of Upper Canada. The house was moved from its original location a short distance away, but it now sits steps from Osgoode subway station, Osgoode Hall, and The Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, and within easy walking distance of Toronto City Hall. Available tours give an idea of what life was like in Toronto around the time the house was built. Campbell House Museum is often used as a special event venue, and generally takes part in Nuit Blanche, Doors Open Toronto
, and other annual events.
The Canadian Air & Space Museum displays photos, artifacts, and full-size aircraft and replicas. For years the museum has been housed within Downsview Park
, however the museum is now required to move. The Canadian Air & Space Museum is temporarily closed
while a new home is sought.
The CBC Museum is a very small part of the CBC building at John Street and Front Street West, but with free admission it's worth a visit for anyone curious about the history of television production or the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The website offers lessons plans and other material for teachers. The museum is generally open 9am-5pm on weekdays.
The City of Toronto also runs ten historic museums. Several are preserved homes that recreate a time when a prominent family lived there. Others include an old schoolhouse, an inn and the Fort York National Historic Site. City-run museums generally have more limited hours than many of Toronto's other museums, but also offer an affordable admission price.
Just across the street from the ROM on the east side of Queen's Park is the Gardiner Museum. The Gardiner Museum specializes in ceramic art, displaying both ancient and contemporary work. The museum also offers ceramics classes and workshops. The Gardiner Cafe features lunch menus from Chef Jamie Kennedy. The museum is open seven days a week, although some galleries occassionally close for installation. The Gardiner Museum is just steps from the east exit of the TTC's Museum Station.
The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art showcases innovative works by Canadian and international artists. It is located at 952 Queen Street West, a little east of Ossington Avenue in the West Queen West Art and Design District. MOCCA is closed on Mondays, and has varying hours during the Christmas season. Admission to MOCCA is Pay-What-You-Can.
The Museum of Inuit Art, or MIA, includes pieces ranging from prehistoric times to contemporary works. Toronto's Museum of Inuit Art is located inside the Queen's Quay Terminal Building on the waterfront. The Queen's Quay Terminal is the most north-east building in Harbourfront Centre
, on the corner of Queen's Quay West and York Street. The Museum of Inuit Art is usually open seven days a week, but hours can change seasonally and on holidays.
The Textile Museum of Canada has a large permanent collection and organizes exciting themed exhibitions that feature clothing, carpets and related items from diverse cultures and times. The Textile Museum is located at 55 Centre Avenue, just west of the corner of University Avenue and Dundas Street West, near St. Patrick Station. The Textile Museum is open seven days a week, 360 days a year.