From mass appeal to niche interests, these 5 unique Toronto museums spark curiosity and conversation during Museum Month and beyond.

Toronto museums are hubs of innovation and history in a city filled with diversity and creativity. But finding museums that offer enriching experiences with full wheelchair accessibility can be a challenge.

That’s why I’ve visited these top five museums in Toronto: they have exciting exhibits and inclusive environments. These museums are perfect for history buffs, arts lovers and curious adventurers visiting or living in Toronto, during Museum Month and any time!

Immerse yourself in history at the Royal Ontario Museum

A shimmering depiction of civilization’s rich history and cultures, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is a gem in midtown Toronto. 

Its mixture of contemporary and traditional architecture transports visitors to where past narratives intertwine with those from the present. Exhibits like ancient Egyptian artifacts or colossal dinosaur fossils tell tales of faraway lands and forgotten times. 

The ROM inspires curiosity. Enter inside and embark on a journey through time where every object asks more questions than answers.

Must-See Exhibits: Earth: An Immersive Journey (opens June 1, 2024), a multisensory tour through vibrant ecosystems; Wild Cats (opens June 15, 2024), an interactive immersion into the captivating world of felines of all sizes

Accessibility: Free attendant ticket, ramps, elevators, flat services, wheelchair-accessible washrooms, free loaner wheelchairs, sensory-friendly online guide, American Sign Language Interpretation with advance notice, and more

Indulge your footwear fetish at the Bata Shoe Museum

Shoe enthusiasts assemble! Just down the block from the ROM, Toronto’s Bata Shoe Museum, each step—see what I did there?—tells a story. 

It’s a captivating place where you can learn how footwear has changed through history—from ancient African sandals to modern sneakers. As you explore its exhibits, note the excellent craftsmanship and global significance of the shoes, sandals and boots on display. 

With over 15,000 objects in its collection, including uncommon styles from around the world (chestnut-crushing clogs, anyone?), the Bata Shoe Museum offers an enchanting look at humanity’s progress through time, as seen through our soles.

Must-See Exhibits: Exhibit A: Investigating Crime and Footwear, a look at forensics, bias and social constructions of criminality; Dressed To Impress: Footwear and Consumerism in the 1980s (now through March 16, 2025), a look at how footwear from Gucci loafers to PONY sneakers captured the zeitgeist of the era

Accessibility: Ramps, elevators, flat services, wheelchair-accessible washrooms

Dive into colour and emotion at the Art Gallery of Ontario

Immerse yourself in a world where the creative spirit is unrestrained at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). Situated adjacent to Chinatown, the AGO invites art lovers and curious minds to embark on an exploration voyage. 

With its extensive 95,000-piece collection that spans genres and centuries—including Indigenous and Canadian art, European Old Masters, Global Africa and the Diaspora and contemporary multimedia—the gallery provides an enthralling glimpse into the rainbow of human expression. 

Must-See Exhibits: Making Her Mark: A History of Women Artists in Europe, 1400-1800 (now through July 1, 2024), an overview of artistic heroines worth rediscovering; KAWS: FAMILY (now through August 5, 2024), featuring murals, paintings and sculptures from the pop culture phenom

Accessibility: Free attendant ticket, fully wheelchair accessible building, free loaner wheelchairs, BlindSquare enabled (BlindSquare is an app for blind, deafblind and partially sighted individuals that uses GPS to coordinate with wayfinding and described audio stops), and more

Score epic photo ops at the Hockey Hall of Fame

Explore the revered ice of hockey history at the Hockey Hall of Fame. This tribute to Canada’s cherished sport honours the heroes, historic victories, and memorable events that have influenced the game.

Each display transports guests into the story of hockey traditions, featuring jerseys and of course, hockey’s holy grail: the original Stanley Cup. You’ll feel the excitement of winning and the disappointment of defeat as you revisit moments through hands-on exhibits and multimedia showcases.

Whether you’re an enthusiast or a newcomer to the game, the Hockey Hall of Fame provides a voyage through the essence and spirit of hockey culture, conveniently located in the heart of Old Town.

Must-See Exhibits: NHLPA Game Time interactive hub where you can test your skills against the NHL’s greatest talents, with downloadable video for posterity

Accessibility: Free attendant ticket, fully wheelchair-accessible building, free loaner wheelchair and more

Cultivate your creativity at the Gardiner Museum

(Closed for renovations from July to October 2024)

Entering the Gardiner Museum, you’ll step into a museum devoted to the craft of clay. Discover the beauty and resilience of ceramic traditions from around the world at this hidden gem (that hides in plain sight, right across the street from the ROM.)

Every work, from antique to contemporary pieces, tells a story of creativity, tradition and community, illustrating how this alluring art form has evolved. Wander through galleries filled with sculpture, pottery, and vases, each more fascinating than the last. 

Whether you’re interested in collecting ceramics or want to try your hand at a drop-in class, this museum offers an insightful visit that could change your viewpoint forever.

Must-See Exhibit: Zachari Logan: The Flourishing Edge (now through June 30, 2024), an exploration of queer male identity through weeds and wildflowers

Accessibility: Free attendant ticket, fully wheelchair-accessible building (including washrooms, studios and third-floor restaurant), identified quiet zones and more