The Top Museums of Toronto



The Arts




University of Toronto has two museums to check out. The University of Toronto Art Centre is at 15 King’s College Circle. The collection focuses on Canadian art, both historical and contemporary. There is also the Malcove Collection focusing on Medieval art from Europe. Across from this museum is the Justina M Barnicke Gallery, connected to Hart House. Check out their website for current exhibitions.

Gardiner Museum: If you like ceramics, china and pottery this is a great museum. I collect pottery and have taken ceramics classes so this was very enjoyable for me. They have a small café and store and offer classes in the lower level. It is located at 111 Queen’s Park.

Royal Ontario Museum (ROM): Located at 100 Queen’s Park, next to the University of Toronto, is a museum noted for its natural history and world culture exhibitions. The new wing, designed by Daniel Libeskind and opened in 2007, is really outstanding.

Bata Shoe Museum: This was a really fun museum experience. The museum has a collection of hundreds of shoes from ancient Egyptian sandals to shoes owned by Marilyn Monroe. One of my favorite parts of the collection were the shoes of the flappers and the Roaring Twenties. There is a large collection of Native American and Canadian footwear. It is located at 327 Bloor St. West.

Art Gallery of Ontario: At 317 Dundas Street West, this is a major art museum with over 80,000 works including many by Canadian artists. It also has the largest public collection of sculptures by Henry Moore. The new wing by architect Frank Gehry is really excellent. Toronto is Gehry’s hometown.

Sharp Centre for Design: Near the AGO is the Sharp Centre for Design which has an amazing design by architect Will Alsop. It is part of the campus of the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) which is Canada’s largest and oldest educational institution for art and design. Check out the website to see the current schedule of temporary exhibitions.

Textile Museum of Canada: Located at 55 Centre Avenue, this is a small museum housing over 13,000 artifacts from over 200 countries and regions. The collections include traditional fabrics, costumes, carpets, domestic artifacts, environmental materials, beadwork and basketry. I thought it was well worth the visit.

There is also the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art at 158 Sterling Rd. Here, I visited two contemporary art exhibits on display. It’s worth the visit, but make sure that the galleries are open and not closed for setting up exhibitions like I experienced on my last trip.

You should also check out the website of the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery at the Harbourfront Centre to see if there are any art exhibitions that you might want to view. It was closed when I was there as they were mounting a new exhibition.