10 Best Museums in Toronto: Explore Toronto’s Cultural Treasures
Welcome to the vibrant city of Toronto, the coming together of history, art, and culture. Here, you can dive into a multicultural city and enjoy its harmony. If you are a fan of history and art, you will be amused by the museums in Toronto. From ancient artifacts to contemporary masterpieces, this cosmopolitan city showcases its heritage and global influence.
We will review some of Toronto’s best museums. Whether you are a museum fanatic, a curious visitor, a history buff, or a science enthusiast, there’s something for you in the stunning landscape of Toronto museums.
Here are the ten best museums in Toronto. Get ready to dive deeper into the captivating legacy of this city.
Top Museums in Toronto
We will quickly review each item. Feel free to check and compare as much as you want. Then, find the place that best enhances your experience in Toronto.
1- Royal Ontario Museum
We will start our list with the most visited museum in Canada. Every year, more than one million people visit the Royal Ontario Museum. As one of the largest museums in North America, it contains more than 13 million pieces of artwork, cultural items, and natural items. Therefore, it creates an impressive collection divided into 40 different galleries.
To name a few interesting ones:
- The Age of Dinosaurs is one of the world’s best collections of fossils. It has 17 full-scale skeletal casts. Some of them have never been seen before in Canada.
- Canadian and European historical artifacts. Showcasing items from Europe through the ages.
- Eastern cultural collections. For instance, there’s a gallery focused on Chinese architecture. It also includes galleries showcasing ancient societies from the Middle East.
- A newly opened gallery is called The Dawn of Life. It showcases rocks and fossils from 4 billion years ago.
Did you know one of the most exciting Toronto nightlife activities happens in this museum on Friday nights? Every Friday, a party takes place in this museum, allowing you to dance and drink in one of its salons. Check out the museum website for more information.
2- Aga Khan Museum
Among the best museums in Toronto, Aga Khan is the most ambitious. The architectural sight alone is a fascinating piece of art. On top of that, Aga Khan is the largest museum in Western countries dedicated to Islamic culture.
Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of Ismaili Muslims, always wanted to have an extensive Islamic museum. This way, he could bring Shia and Islamic culture into the spotlight. Eventually, he chose Canada to set up his project. Construction began in 2010, and the museum officially opened in September 2014.
The result was an astonishing cross-cultural building with an eye-catching design. The museum is filled with more than 1,200 objects, capturing the vastness and delicacy of Islamic culture. Their astounding collection includes pieces from Spain, West Africa, the Middle East, and eastern Asia.
3- Bata Shoe Museum
The idea of this museum started when Sonja Bata’s travels began in the 1940s. Besides her travels, she started collecting shoes from all over the world. And through the decades, her collection grew bigger. Eventually, she established a museum to house and exhibit her collection permanently. The outcome was the largest collection of footwear worldwide.
The museum opened in 1995 and houses over 1300 pairs of shoes or related objects. Here, you can immerse yourself in the 4500-year history of human footwear. You won’t regret visiting this place. It’s based on a fun and creative idea. Consequently, it makes for a unique experience among Toronto museums.
4- Art Gallery of Ontario
It is the second-largest art museum in Toronto after the Royal Ontario Museum. The Art Gallery of Toronto hosts more than 120,000 objects. They vary from contemporary pieces to classic European or indigenous Canadian artworks.
Surprisingly, this museum attracts an impressive number of nearly one million visitors annually. No matter your preferences, this place can provide you with many engaging exhibitions.
5- Ontario Science Centre
On September 26, 1969, a radio wave, after traveling 1.5 billion light-years, hit a tiny circuit. Then, it raised the curtains and officially announced the opening of the Ontario Science Centre. That’s a great opening story for one of the most amusing museums in Toronto.
In this center, there are more than 500 interactive stations divided into different exhibition halls. You can delve into any topic you want, from the wonders of the human body to meteorites found on Mars. Also, immerse yourself in nature by exploring a passage through a real-life rainforest.
In addition, The Ontario Science Centre has the only OMNIMAX Dome theater in Ontario as well. Also, don’t forget to check out the Science Arcade.
6- Hockey Hall of Fame
There has to be a place in Canada dedicated to the country’s favorite sport. The Hockey Hall of Fame, located in downtown Toronto, is one of them. And arguably, the best one. This museum in Toronto has the largest hockey collection in the world.
Whether you’re a newcomer or an old hand at the game, you will find this place fascinating. Alongside the galleries showcasing the game’s artifacts and trophies, this museum has an interactive style. For instance, it allows you to have fun while playing against life-sized animated NHL stars or broadcasting memorable moments in hockey.
All in all, the Hockey Hall of Fame is the best museum in Toronto for sports lovers.
7- Casa Loma
Our next item on the list of the best museums in Toronto is a huge Gothic-style mansion influenced by medieval castles. The architecture of the building is undeniably astonishing. Originally, Sir Henry Pellatt owned the place. He spent a large sum of 3.5 million dollars on it back in the 1910s. Later, it evolved into a luxury hotel. Now, it is a historic house museum.
Moreover, this house has a spectacular interior design. Its battlements and hidden tunnels let you delve deeper into the medieval atmosphere. No wonder why this place attracts more than 650,000 people each year.
8- Museum of Illusions
We can name this item the weirdest museum in Toronto. The idea behind it is a little odd. It is not something you would expect from a traditional museum. However, it sets up an exciting experience. The Museum of Illusions will surprise you with its set of optical illusions, holograms, and installations.
Located in Old City, it’s a small place. It may take only an hour to visit the whole museum. So why not? Enjoy your time collecting memorable photos in your gallery.
9- Gardiner Museum
Among the art museums in Toronto, this museum specializes in ceramic arts. Even if you don’t know much about ceramic art, don’t get disappointed. This place has a lot to offer. Its stunning collection includes more than 4,000 artworks worldwide. Namely, it showcases artifacts from contemporary ceramic artists back to ancient civilizations like China or Europe.
Meanwhile, other exciting events happen in this museum as well. You can try pottery yourself by attending one of the museum’s drop-in classes. What are the odds of you becoming the next ceramic artist?!
10- Textile Museum of Canada
And now the last item among the museums in Toronto. As the name suggests, this place is dedicated to textile arts and crafts. Here, they display textiles from more than 2,000 years ago. You will find many elegant artworks inherited from different cultures. Don’t forget to pay a visit to this place. It’ll be a rewarding experience.
As you can see, Toronto has so much to show you. From its iconic landmarks to top museums and cultural centers, you have many options in this city. Don’t miss visiting top museums in Toronto as they have wonderful stories to tell you about the history of the city.
The Royal Ontario Museum is the most visited in Canada and one of its most popular attractions. This place always hosts many different exhibitions. Also, the Art Gallery of Ontario is among the largest museums in North America. It has over 90,000 artworks in its collection. Lastly, Casa Loma is one of the only remaining castles in North America. This mansion offers an astounding sight.
Yes. There are always special events in Toronto museums, such as art exhibits, performances, and creative classes. You can check out Toronto’s website to find the events and see if you’re interested.
There are plenty of websites offering this option. You can search the museum’s name and book your online ticket. Also, most museums have a website that allows you to buy an online ticket. So don’t forget to check the museum’s website as well. Moreover, if any discounts are available, they’ll let you know.