Toronto is easily one of the most-noted epicenters in North America for fashion, culture, and the arts; it makes sense that it would be home to one of the few footwear-centric museums in Canada: the Bata Shoe Museum. In fact, it was the first of its kind on this continent!
Do you have a fascination with how different cultures have "tortured" their feet over the years? How about an admiration for fashion history or an interest in the neccessary evolution of clothing?
.... how about a selfie with Justin Bieber's sneaks, or Marilyn Monroe's stilettos?
Image courtesy of See Toronto Now
The Bata Shoe Museum, located at the southwest corner of Bloor Street West and St. George, is the place for you! At any given time, the museum has over thousand shoes and shoe-related artifacts on display, curated from a collected of 13,000 objects.
The BSM is the brainchild of Sonja Bata who has traveled to the corners of the globe to discover and curate this impressive collection, a project which she started back in the 1940s. Once Bata’s shoe collection outgrew her personal storage capabilities, the Bata Shoe Museum Foundation was established. Through the Foundation, collection of footwear and fashion continued over the years, as did footwear research.
The building itself, designed by Moriyama and Teshima Architects is something to see from an architectural standpoint (apparently it’s form was inspired, fittingly, by the shape of a shoebox). Wander through four galleries (“All About Shoes” focuses on the evolution of the fashion and function of shoes begin in Ancient Times, through to Modern Day, while the other three galleries showcase rotating exhibitions).
You’ll find the weird and the wacky in footwear, fascinating fashion finds along with celebrity shoes. This isn’t just about admiring shoes. Fashion (and shoes in particular) have always been a way of chronicling history on points like gender, socio-economic commentary, climate change, religion and more.
Image courtesy of the Bata Shoe Museum
In addition to the permanent “All About Shoes” exhibit, currently the BSM is showcasing “Want: Desire, Design, and Depression Era Footwear” which looks at cultural creativity in trying economic times, “The Gold Standard: Glittering Footwear from Around the Globe”, showcasing the best blingy footwear, and “Art & Innovation: Arctic Footwear from the Bata Shoe Museum Collection”, which explores how footwear in harsher climates helps not only survival, but cultural self-expression as well.
If you are interested in visiting this museum, but aren’t in Toronto, don’t fret. The BSM also offers online exhibitions, like, “All About Shoes” and “One Canadian Ground”.
There are even audio tours are included with your admission!
Image courtesy of the Bata Shoe Museum
And the space is versatile! The BSM hosts free concerts in their Atrium (although pre-registration is required). Most recently they staged swinging music of the 1930s. Looking for something fresh to do with your book club? The BSM hosts book club meetings in a very cool, very unique setting.
Those boots were made for walkin'! Strut on over to one of the most unique cultural offerings in the city!
327 Bloor St W
Toronto M5S 1W7
Open Monday-Wednesday, Friday-Saturday 10am-5pm, Thursday 10am-8pm and Sunday 12pm-5pm.
It really gives new dimension to your leisure time if you’ve got these kind of experiences close by to home. It cuts down on travel and planning and increases the actual leisure. If you lived at this Signature Commercial/Residential Victorian On Avenue Road In Yorkville Village, offered for $3,858,888, these are exactly the kind of lifestyle-enhancing amenities that you’d be surrounded with.
Thanks for reading!
Steven Fudge, Sales Representative
& The Innovative Urbaneer Team
Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage - (416) 322-8000
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