Toronto museums offer a broad look at the history, culture, art, and legacy of this great city from the prehistoric First Nations people that once lived here and into the future. Here you can see vast art installations, learn about science and technology with hands-on exhibits, explore the railway history and legacy of the city, learn about society, culture, and natural history, and of course, explore the history of Canada's national sport. You can even look at museums full of shoes worn by iconic historical and pop culture figures.

    Whether you want deep history, scientific knowledge, cultural installations, or the quirky and unusual, you'll find it all here. Check out some of the best museums in Toronto.

    1

    Ontario Science Centre

    Get hands on with science and technology

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    The Ontario Science Centre offers ten exhibit halls with over 500 interactive stations, a planetarium, and a dedicated, domed IMAX theatre, all designed for fun and education. Here you can learn about science and technology while getting hands-on with the exhibits, plus visit tonnes of art installations that were all built and designed in-house. You can visit an astounding planetarium, hear speakers in a 400-seat auditorium, and walk through a living rainforest with waterfalls and wildlife. You can even hit a dedicated Science Arcade with sci-tech games.

    The Science Centre is a place where adults and kids can play all day and learn while doing so. It's all just 20 minutes north of town.

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    Location: 770 Don Mills Rd., North York, ON M3C 1T3, Canada

    Open: Wednesday–Friday from 10 am to 4 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm (closed Monday–Tuesday)

    Phone: +1 416-696-1000

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    photo by Dennis Jarvis (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    2

    Royal Ontario Museum

    Explore the entire natural history of the region

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    The Royal Ontario Museum offers an expansive collection of historic and cultural artefacts, exhibits, and displays ranging from First Nations art to dinosaur bones, to modern fashion and beyond. This museum in a building featuring eclectic, jagged postmodern architecture offers over 13 million cultural objects, artworks, and natural history exhibits spread over 40 galleries and exhibit spaces. Here you can see Arabic textiles, Japanese samurai swords, Chinese sculpture, Greek antiquities, and one of the world's finest fossil collections.

    The museum also offers regular events like its Friday Night Live parties that turn it into a nightclub complete with DJ. The museum is in Queens Park, directly in the heart of city centre Toronto.

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    Location: 100 Queens Park, Toronto, ON M5S 2C6, Canada

    Open: Wednesday–Sunday from 10 am to 5.30 pm (closed Monday–Tuesday)

    Phone: +1 416-586-8000

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    photo by Daniel MacDonald (CC BY 2.0) modified

    3

    Toronto Railway Museum

    Learn about the city's railway legacy

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    The Toronto Railway Museum in the heart of city centre Toronto's Roundhouse Park offers a look into the railway history and legacy of Toronto and how important this industry has been to the city. The museum has a mission to connect people to the history of the industry that propelled this city from a sleepy small town into an economic powerhouse. It's managed by the Toronto Railway Historical Association and showcases hundreds of exhibits, photos, artefacts, and other ephemera from the legacy of the rail industry throughout history.

    The exhibit spaces are indoor and out and you can even see full historic locomotives and ride a train simulator. It's a fun and hands-on way to experience railway life.

    Location: 255 Bremner Blvd, Toronto, ON M5V 3M9, Canada

    Open: Wednesday–Sunday from noon to 5 pm (closed Monday–Tuesday)

    Phone: +1 416-214-9229

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    4

    Hockey Hall of Fame

    Discover the storey of Canada's national sport

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    The Hockey Hall of Fame explores the entire history of hockey from its Canadian origins to the global phenomenon of today, with uniforms and hundreds of exhibits. You can see the gear and equipment of famous players here, learn about the fact that there is more than one Stanley Cup, touch the Cup itself, and even see the original Cup, which was just a simple silver bowl. The fun thing about this particular museum is that it doesn't just focus on the NHL, but looks at the entire history of the sport.

    If you're a hockey fan, this museum is a must-visit where you'll learn things you never knew. It's right in the heart of city centre Toronto.

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    Location: 30 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M5E 1X8, Canada

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 4 pm

    Phone: +1 416-360-7765

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    Aga Khan Museum

    Explore the legacy of Islamic civilisations

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    The Aga Khan Museum offers an examination of the history of Islamic civilisations and the effect and influence they have had on the entire world throughout time. The museum's expansive complex is located in North York and features a lavish outdoor park with formal, tended gardens, and is named for its founder, His Highness the Aga Khan. It's famed not just for its astounding collection, one of the most expansive outside of an Islamic nation, but for its astonishing architecture by award-winning architect Fumihiko Maki.

    Some featured exhibits include a 10th-century prayer amulet, a planispheric astrolabe made of bronze, and a vast collection of illuminated manuscripts. It's just a 30-minute drive north of town.

    Location: 77 Wynford Dr, North York, ON M3C 1K1, Canada

    Open: Thursday–Sunday and Tuesday from 10 am to 5.30, Wednesday from 10 am to 8 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +1 416-646-4677

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    6

    Museum of Contemporary Art

    View important modern paintings and multimedia

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    The Museum of Contemporary Art in Toronto empowers and exploits the contemporary art scene across every medium, and provides a hip and vibrant cultural atmosphere for artists of every stripe. While it focuses on Canadian artists, the museum and its galleries showcase the works of important modern artists from all over the world. Here you will see paintings, graphic art, sculpture, photos, video, and every kind of multimedia presentation you can imagine. All of the permanent and rotating exhibitions here showcase the way that art is rocketing into the future.

    The museum is right in the middle of the Junction Triangle area. It's about 25 minutes from the centre of city centre.

    Location: 158 Sterling Rd #100, Toronto, ON M6R 2B7, Canada

    Open: Wednesday–Thursday and Saturday–Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm, Friday from 11 am to 9 pm (closed Monday–Tuesday)

    Phone: +1 416-530-2500

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    photo by Leventio (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    7

    Bata Shoe Museum

    See The Queen's slippers and John Lennon's boots

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    The Bata Shoe Museum showcases the one-of-a-kind private collection of Sonja Bata, shoe industry executive and world traveller, offering a hidden gem look at famous footwear the world over. Just a few of the exhibits here include high heels worn by Madonna, slippers worn by the Queen herself, the boots of John Lennon, and even the sandals of the Dalai Lama. This museum is lesser-known so it's easy to get into, but it's frequented by shoe collectors and aficionados. The overall collection includes more than 13,000 shoes ranging from ancient foot coverings to the most popular collector shoes of today.

    The building showcases award-winning architecture from Raymond Moriyama. It's 11 minutes north of central city centre.

    Location: 327 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S 1W7, Canada

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm, Sunday from noon to 5 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +1 416-979-7799

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    photo by Eberhard J. Wormer (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    8

    Gardiner Museum

    Create your own ceramics

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    The Gardiner Museum is a hidden gem in the city, dedicated to showcasing thousands of pieces of ceramic art from dishes to sculpture in an award-winning architectural wonder. The museum was originally designed just to house the private collection of George and Helen Gardiner but was later expanded to the facility it is today. In addition to its expansive collection of statuary, figurines, pots, vases, plates, cups, and other creations, the museum offers classes in wheel throwing, hand-building, and slip casting so you can get your hands dirty learning how it's all done.

    While here, be sure you wander up to the third-floor terrace for astounding city views. It's in Queens Park right in the heart of city centre.

    Location: 111 Queens Park, Toronto, ON M5S 2C7, Canada

    Open: Monday–Tuesday and Thursday–Friday from 10 am to 6 pm, Wednesday from 10 am to 5 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 416-586-8080

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    photo by Secondarywaltz (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    9

    Textile Museum of Canada

    Learn the role of fabric and cloth in society

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    The Textile Museum of Canada is unique and the first of its kind, offering over 13,000 exhibits tracing the storey of fabric, clothing, and textiles over 2,000 years of history. The museum has a vast permanent collection and also offers regular rotating exhibitions showcasing the works of important contemporary artists from clothing designers to graphic artists that work in fabrics. The collection also covers the traditions of more than 200 different countries, cultures, and regions. You'll be amazed at the important role that cloth and fabric have played throughout society.

    From ancient and modern art to high fashion, this lesser-known museum covers it all. It's also directly in the heart of city centre Toronto.

    Location: 55 Centre Ave, Toronto, ON M5G 2H5, Canada

    Open: Thursday–Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm, Wednesday from 11.30–6.30 (closed Sunday–Tuesday)

    Phone: +1 416-599-5321

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    photo by Raysonho (CC0 1.0) modified

    10

    Art Gallery of Ontario

    Explore thousands of years of art and sculpture

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    The Art Gallery of Ontario showcases tens of thousands of works of art from sculpture and statuary to paintings and graphic design over thousands of years of history. The permanent collection contains over 95,000 works, many of which are of Canadian origin and trace all the way back to the First Nations people. You can also see the works of famous European Masters alongside artists from Central Africa, the Far East, and beyond.

    The museum also offers dining facilities, a gift shop, art studios, and libraries. It's a place where you can completely immerse yourself in the world of art. It's also in the heart of city centre Toronto.

    Location: 317 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5T 1G4, Canada

    Open: Hours vary

    Phone: +1 416-979-6648

    Map

    photo by Steve Harris (CC BY 2.0) modified

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