Bata Shoe Museum

Check out the only museum in North America solely dedicated to shoes

Exterior of the Bata Shoe Museum
Exterior of the Bata Shoe Museum cc licensed photo by John M

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 Visit

Fee: Yes

Bata Shoe Museum Hours:
Opening hours 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

Bata Shoe Museum Reviews

Rated 4.4 out of 5 Star Rating

5 Star Rating This is such a secret gem in our City. When we think of museums we don't often think of shoes now do we? But if you really think about it shoes, the creation of shoes and the ability to walk upright and with the evolution of life on Earth shoes would make sense, that it would be a representation of our history. Historically shoes also represent the social and economic classes, and what region of the world one lived and currently lives in. So yes, there is a Shoe Museum and it is a very vital part of our history that we should all be made aware of. So, with that being said go and visit the Bata Shoe Museum and marvel at the history of it all. You won't regret it and find yourself hours into the magical history of it all.
Sandi Cole - 2 weeks ago

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4 Star Rating I love the layout of this museum. I love museums dedicated to specific things tracking its history and straight forward information provided no history textbook nonsense. And that is exactly what this museum is. It’s a treat for the eyes. The interior of this building is great. The way the shoes are displayed accompanied by concise information on it is, also, entirely delightful. I love this place and I recommend it.
Kavitha R. - 2 months ago

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4 Star Rating I definitely recommend this as a tourist stop. The museum has three floors of shoe exhibits, arranged in chronological and thematic displays. The shoes tell a story of human history, culture, society, and politics. I would like to see better/more short videos about various shoe topics (yes, there are lots of them out there), and my friend thought that a key missing exhibit was the size of feet and shoes through the ages, including how shoes are sized around the world. I think children would enjoy the museum as much as adults, and there were kids' activity sheets, books, and a shoe-themed scavenger hunt. All in all, this is a lovely and very niche museum.
Terri Mewborn - a month ago

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5 Star Rating The Bata Shoe Museum was enjoyable, despite being overshadowed by the nearby world-class exhibit, the ROM. Spanning multiple floors, the exhibits focus on footwear fashion and design trends across different eras. The museum also offers drop-in games every few hours. One memorable part was where visitors could try on unique shoes and snap photos with the full-length mirror. The gift shop was small, and I would recommend the postcard as a souvenir. For those mindful of admission fees, planning a visit for Sundays, when entry is free, is worth considering.
Johnson - 3 weeks ago

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5 Star Rating I visited here alone and I had a great time going through their collections, and reading about the history of shoes and evolution of footwear trends. I think there were three floors and I was able to go through majority of the exhibitions within an hour. Highly recommend visiting!
Nana Khadijah - 3 months ago

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Directions

TTC Subway Line Nearest Station Walking Time
Bloor-Danforth St. George Station1 Minute
Yonge-University-SpadinaSt. George Station1 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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