The Bata Shoe Museum is a five storey building that was built to house Sonja Bata's shoe collection. It uses four of those storeys to publicly display over 1000 shoes in four fascinating galleries starting from an era that goes back about 4500 years in the flagship exhibition.
These informative galleries will educate you about the materials and techniques that were used through-out the ages to make footwear both fashionable and practicable.
In the BSM you will find a collection of over 13,000 artifacts and shoes that represent the era, region and history of the world in which the specimen shoes came from. This wide variety of footwear ranges from bound foot shoes worn by some of the Chinese females, Ancient Egyptian sandals, practical clogs used to crush chestnuts, cowboy and riding boots, dazzling high heels, platforms, sports shoes including specialized shoes worn for dance plus many others.
Shoes worn by celebrates are a popular favourite for most guests. A few examples include Queen Victoria's ballroom slippers, Elton John's silver platform boots, Elvis Presley's blue patent loafers and a running shoe that belonged to Terry Fox. There are many more on display for visitors to view.
Since 1940 Sonja Bata has searched the world for shoes to add to her collection. However, it wasn't until May 6th 1995 that the museum was built in its present location in downtown Toronto. Here, they constructed this fascinating building which is designed in the shape of an open shoe box.
2015 is the 20th anniversary of the opening of the museum, which has become one of Toronto's cultural landmarks and famous establishments.
The BSM Museum continues to collect shoes from around the world, research information about the shape, material, how they were made and for what purpose. It also preserves and displays them in creative and informative ways that keep you interested while educating you about a bit of history and fashion throughout time. Most exhibits are on display for one or two years and feature shoes focused on a specific time period. All about shoes: is a long term exhibit, that takes you back in time on a journey through the years of footwear.
When visiting the museum be sure to check out the gift shop. This fun little shop is well supplied with lots of souvenirs, books and other items related to shoes.
Facts For Your VisitFee: Yes
May differ on holidays
- Monday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
- Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
- Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
- Thursday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
- Friday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
- Saturday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
- Sunday: 12:00 – 5:00 PM
Address: 327 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S 1W7, Canada
Phone: (416) 979-7799
Official Website: Bata Shoe Museum
Ratedout of 5
I got the MAP pass from the Toronto Public Library (the passes are available online so you can check out the library website to learn more). My mom loves flowers so the idea was to bring her there to see the newest exhibition. There are 4 floors, they recommend us start from the basement, where kids and adults can enjoy trying on and playing with some humongous shoes 👞 👟 👠 The Bloom exhibition was on the 3/F. Upon arrival we borrow their wheelchair (their website mentioned there is 1 wheelchair available, first come first serve). The whole museum was very accessible despite there were different floors. It was nice to see the history, culture and evolution of shoes. The Bloom exhibition did not disappoint, we loved the flower installation in the middle of the space. It’s a small museum and quite delightful. The staffs were friendly. In terms of parking, there are some parking spaces on Huron road, north of Bloor.
Marz K. - 4 months ago
When you hear 'shoe museum', the first thing that comes to mind is "how can that be entertaining?" The Bata Shoe Museum proved us so wrong. We entered in the afternoon of a Saturday, where we were able to quickly purchase tickets for only $38(there were four of us). The elevator happened to be out of service at the time, but the employees assured us that it was running just fine in the winter. Each exhibit added more to my knowledge of shoes. And let me tell you, I've never wanted a pair of shoes so bad. Would definitely come again!
zoe!! - 3 months ago
The whole museum requires 1-2 hrs to cover 3 floors. It’s quite interesting you will see the evolution of foot wear right from back 16th century to current. By the end, you may observe how humans perception keep changing from need to want by simplification and modernization. Definitely one time watchable. Another observation you may see that LV was into shoe rack business.
prab Cad - 2 months ago
This is one of the smaller museums in the city (something to keep in mind) but is definitely worth checking out if you love shoes, or interested in how footwear differs through time and different countries. The museum is good for all ages, and is easily accessible by transit, located right outside the west exit of St. George subway station. Depending on how often you visit this place, and how much time you take to read the exhibit descriptions, you can expect to spend one to three hours here. Self guided tours and free WiFi are available, and the museum is very easy to navigate. Their permanent collection on the lower level explores 4,500 years of footwear history, from ancient Egyptian sandals to contemporary worn by celebrities to shoes made for modern days dolls like Barbie and Polly Pocket. They also change the exhibits on their other floors regularly. Some of the featured exhibits I've checked out over the years included Manolo Blahnik, All Dolled Up, and most recently In Bloom all of which I found interesting.
Sarah Phu - 2 months ago
Entry is free on Sunday, and worth a visit to enjoy a history of Bata shoes. There's plenty of seating on the floors, allowing you to sit for awhile and enjoy the exhibits. Plenty of photo opportunities of the shoes through the ages, some of which are quite amusing. Gift shop was quite small and a bit disappointing. Wanted to get a postcard of the outside as the building is shaped like a Bata shoebox, but was only available as a fold out note card. Some of the bizarre shoes would have made excellent postcards. Marketing opportunities right there 😄.
Metal Mama - 17 days ago
Accommodations near Bata Shoe Museum:
|TTC Subway Line||Nearest Station||Walking Time|
|Bloor-Danforth||St. George Station||1 Minute|
|Yonge-University-Spadina||St. George Station||1 Minute|
How to get to Bata Shoe Museum by TTC Subway
From St. George Station on either the Bloor Danforth or University-Spadina Line: exit onto St. George Street and go left (south) to Bloor Street West. Cross the road both ways to the museum.
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