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Discover some of the best museums in Toronto to explore – exhibiting everything from historical artefacts to fine art.
The museums in Toronto have something for every kind of culture enthusiast, from the Stanley Cup at the Hockey Hall of Fame to the unusual architecture and immense collection of world history at the Royal Ontario Museum. To help you plan your trip efficiently, Culture Trip has narrowed it down to the top 11. Here’s your guide to the coolest museums to visit in Toronto – most of which are conveniently located in the city’s downtown core.
The Design Exchange (DX) is the only museum in Canada that dedicates itself to the preservation of design history. The DX provides hands-on, design-based learning for children and teenagers, and it has hosted hundreds of exhibitions over the years. The museum lies in the historic Toronto Stock Exchange building in the heart of the Financial District. Admission is free.
Situated just across the street from the ROM, the Gardiner Museum is a must-visit for anyone with an appreciation for pottery. The gallery is dedicated entirely to ceramics from around the globe, with over 4,000 items on display, including English delftware, Chinese and Japanese porcelain, and pieces from the Ancient Americas. The Gardiner also has ceramics classes for all ages. Admission is 15 Canadian dollars ($11.43), but the museum offers half-price admission every Wednesday evening and free entry for university students every Tuesday. Children under the age of 18 enter for free.
What used to be a quaint collection of textiles perched above an ice cream shop has since developed into a permanent exhibition space devoted to fabrics. Covering over 2,000 years of textile history through more than 13,000 textiles from around the world, this impressive collection includes fabrics, ceremonial cloths, garments and more. The Textile Museum of Canada (TMC) lies in downtown Toronto, and admission will run you about 15 Canadian dollars ($11.43). On Wednesday evenings between 5pm and 8pm, the museum has a pay-what-you-can policy.
Mackenzie House was the last home of William Lyon Mackenzie, Toronto’s first mayor. These days, the carefully preserved landmark functions as a historic house museum about 1860s urban Victorian life. The museum hosts various exhibitions and other events throughout the year. Admission for adults is 8 Canadian dollars ($6.09), and children ages four and under can enter for free.
Unlike any other museum on this list, the Museum of Illusions, which is just a few blocks from the Hockey Hall of Fame, offers a dizzying display of new and unexplored illusions through intriguing visuals and sensory experiences. Making innovative use of modern brain games and tricks-of-the-eye displays, this playful science museum will make you question what’s in front of you and guarantees a few laughs along the way. Tickets can be up to 30 Canadian dollars ($22.86), depending on the time of day.