8 Museums in Toronto for an Awe-inspiring Visit
Which museums are open in Toronto, & why should you stop by them?
As you walk past the sky-scrapers, and towers of the bustling metropolis of Toronto, it might never occur to you that, even this futuristic, modern marvel has its history tucked away, somewhere in the city. Although, it might not be apparently visible to you. To go through the pages of the past of Toronto, you will have to plan a visit to one (or many) of the marvelous museums that offer a unique window into the antiquity of not only Canada & Ontario but various places across the globe.
But before you start your journey, there can arise several questions in your mind like:
‘What museums are open in Toronto?’, ‘Can museums open in the city?’ or ‘Which museums in Toronto are safe to visit now?’
It’s but natural to have these questions, given the conditions of the pandemic that we overcame. But the good news is that Canada is well on its way to normalcy, thanks to the combined efforts of health officials & residents. To help you on your quest for history, SpotEv has created a list of the best museums in Toronto. This list will save you a lot of time, and pinpoint you in the right direction.
So, let’s start our journey down history lane, with the following museums in Toronto.
1. Royal Ontario Museum
Canada’s largest museum, the Royal Ontario Museum, showcases a world-class collection of 13 million artifacts and artworks, which are featured in 40 gallery and exhibition spaces. Founded in 1914, this colossal museum exhibits artistic, cultural, and natural relics from across the globe and through various timelines. It is also one of the largest museums in North America. The museum sees a footfall of more than a million visitors each year, making it the most-visited museum in Canada. The Royal Ontario Museum’s diverse collections of world culture and natural history make it an institution of international repute. Expect to see a massive collection of dinosaurs, meteorites, & minerals, Canadian, and European history as well as African, and East Asian art collections. You will also find an extensive collection of design and fine art, that includes clothing, interior design, and art deco.
The Art Gallery of Ontario is an art lover’s paradise. It is one of the largest art museums in North America, that houses a collection of close to 95,000 works ranging from cutting-edge contemporary art to European classics and emerging Indigenous Canadian art. Their remarkable photography collection is of great importance, too. The Art Gallery of Ontario presents various exhibitions and programs that provide a platform for underrepresented artists as well. Such efforts made by organizations, to put the spotlight on deserving artists, are why museums are significant. The museum’s permanent collection has over 120,000 works that span a range from the first century to the present day. Anyone who is passionate about art must visit this grand museum for sure. It is bound to be a life-changing experience.
If you want to delve deeper into the world of Islamic art and Muslim culture, take a trip to the Aga Khan Museum. This organization collects and presents artwork from historically significant Muslim civilizations and contemporary Muslim communities from around the world. Their collection spans a vast geographical area, that covers art from Spain, North Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and China. The Aga Khan Museum was North America’s first museum dedicated exclusively to the Islamic arts. The museum houses approximately 1,200 rare objects assembled by Aga Khan and Prince and Princess Sadruddin Aga Khan. It presents an overview of the artistic, scientific, and intellectual contributions of the Muslim civilizations to world heritage. They also host educational programs and performing arts events, that foster a greater understanding of the Islamic world at large.
Named from an Anishinaabemowin word ishpadina, which means ‘highland’ or ‘ridge’, the Spadina Museum sits on top of a ravine, overlooking Toronto. This magnificent mansion will transport you to a time of victories and tribulations of the city from 1900 to the 1930s. Visit this lovely museum to get a glimpse of life in Toronto, during testing times. You can also relax in their six acres of restored garden. Through their guided tours, lectures, workshops, school programs, special events, and changing exhibits, the museum aims to keep the stories alive, that shaped the city of Toronto, in the 20th century.
5. Ontario Science Centre
The Ontario Science Centre offers several hundred interactive and permanent exhibits, featuring geology, natural history, astronomy, music, human anatomy, and many more sciences, that will leave you spellbound. Guests get to choose from over 500 interactive displays, live science demonstrations, a real-life rain forest, a science arcade, a Space Hall, and many such mind-boggling presentations. As a matter of fact, it houses Toronto’s only public planetarium. The Ontario Science Centre aims to make science more accessible and fun, through its easy-to-understand and guided exhibits. We are sure that you will walk out of this center with a higher appreciation for science. You will also have a more firm understanding of scientific concepts.
A military fortification built in the early 19th century, Fort York stands tall even today. It used to house members of the British and Canadian militaries. This historic site features stone-lined earthwork walls and eight historical buildings. Apart from the fort, the 41-acre site also includes the Garrison Common, military cemeteries, and a visitor center. Today, the fort houses multiple exhibits, which include restored period rooms, galleries and displays that explore Ontario’s glorious military history. They also conduct public programs, tours, and events.
Dedicated to the love & history of ice hockey, the Hockey Hall of Fame contains exhibits about teams, memorabilia, trophies, players, and National Hockey League (NHL) records. The museum was founded in 1943, in Kingston, Ontario, and was later shifted to Toronto. The Hockey Hall of Fame constitutes 15 exhibit areas that cover 60,000 square feet. You also get to learn about every Hall of Fame honored member through portraits and biographical information.
This museum contains the most comprehensive collection of North American Television Receivers. The MZTV Museum and Archive aims to tell the story of the medium and how it impacted the world. The museum contains related magazines, discs, original papers, toys, and other ephemera related to television. They also exhibit around 10,000 objects to the visitors. A visit to this museum will open up your mind to the long journey that the invention has gone through and how it has affected generations of people. Or take a virtual tour
Whether you are an art buff, have an inclination towards natural history, or like to browse through Indigenous artifacts, Toronto’s museums are ready to blow you away. All you have to do is take the first step towards exploring these magnificent palaces of history’s remnants. If you want to know more about the historical venues to visit in Canada, do check out our Blog. SpotEv’s extensive list of valuable resources is there to make your explorations much more enjoyable and richer.
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