Home to some of the finest
art collections in the world, as well as a kid's only museum, an homage
to hockey and a shrine for shoes, Toronto museums and galleries offer
a one of a kind experience. Don't miss the impressive permanent and travelling
collections at the ROM and the Art Gallery of Ontario, or the out of this
world exhibits at the Aerospace Museum.
Art Gallery of Ontario
317 Dundas Street West Toronto (416) 979-6601
With a collection of over 24,000 works consisting of 1,000 years of European,
Canadian, Inuit, modern and contemporary art, the AGO is the eighth largest
art museum in North America. The AGO's collection is on display both inside
the building and out. Inside you'll discover 20th century Canadian works
by the Group of Seven, as well as world-renowned traveling exhibits featuring
artists like Michelangelo and Picasso. Outside, in the northeast corner
of the gallery, a giant Henry Moore sculpture attracts more than just
art lovers, as children crawl and climb over the celebrated work. You
can purchase reproductions of most of the art works in the gallery's impressive
gift store, lunch at the Agora restaurant or street level café,
or attend a calendar of social and cultural gatherings for family activities,
lectures, films, and performances for which the AGO is host.
Bata Shoe Museum
327 Bloor St. West, Toronto (416) 979–7799
Five storeys and over 10,000 shoes, this shoe collection is enough to
make the girls from Sex and the City green with envy. Inside architect
Raymond Moriyama's award-winning building is a foot fetish worth of artifacts
ranging from Chinese bound foot shoes to ancient Egyptian sandals to Elton
John's platforms and Marilyn Monrone's red leather pumps (what else would
you expect from Marilyn?). The Bata Shoe Museum celebrates the style and
function of footwear with a collection that spans 4,500 inside in four
impressive galleries. Special exhibits include the history of the high
heel, and North American Native footwear. Plus, there's a Celebrity walk
of fame, including fancy footwear from Picasso, Mikhail Barishnikov, Elizabeth
Taylor, John McEnroe, Gloria Swanson, even Indira Gandhi and Winston Churchill.
Children's Own Museum
90 Queen's Park, Toronto (416) 542-1492
The interactive, hands-on exhibits at this creative play space for children
encourage play-based learning for parents as well as kids. Aimed at children
aged 1 to 8, this "child's neighbourhood" features a garden,
construction site, animal clinic, art workshop, theatre and story nook
where children to create, imagine, build, wonder and learn.
Hockey Hall of Fame
30 Yonge St. Toronto (416) 360-7735
He Shoots! He Scores! He's History! Much more than your average museum,
the Hockey Hall of Fame is Mecca to the Canadian hockey fan. State-of-the-art
technology and interactive displays and games put you on the ice and in
the action. In the Rink Zone you can test your slapshot or play goalie
against "virtual reality" players. Call the play by play of
some of the game's greatest goals in the TSN Broadcast Zone. Get your
picture taken with the Stanley Cup, the holy grail of hockey, and explore
all of the memorabilia and artifacts, including the lucky "loonie"
that was buried beneath center ice during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.
The Hall also features the "Spirit of Hockey" gift store, perfect
for souvenirs of your Toronto visit.
Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)
100 Queen's Park, Toronto (416) 586-8000
Canada's largest museum is home to an outstanding and innovative collection
combining decorative arts, archaeology and science. Of the more than six
million objects on display and more than 40 galleries, the ROM can't be
seen in one day. Favorite exhibits include the spooky Bat Cave, the Egyptian
mummies and the dinosaur gallery, where 13 skeletons are arranged in realistic
simulated settings. In addition to the fantastic and educational displays
and activities, the ROM is also a major research and post-secondary educational
institution. Visitor favourites include the Armour, Bat Cave, Chinese
Tomb, Dinosaur, and Gems & Gold exhibits. Plus, there are gift shops,
a cafeteria and a licensed dining room.
Toronto Aerospace Museum
Downsview Park 65 Carl Hall Rd. (416) 638-6078
A unique collection of military, commercial and experimental aircrafts
and artefacts makes for a high flying time at this museum. Dedicated to
preserving Toronto's aviation heritage, the museum is housed, appropriately
enough, in a historic de Havilland hanger.