Background and HistoryBorn in Switzerland in the 1920s, Sonja Bata moved to Canada to pursue her professional ambitions in business. In the 1940s, she became involved with Bata Shoes by marrying one of the company's leaders. For decades, she collected footwear from all over the world as part of personal and business interests. By the 1970s, her private collection of shoes overwhelmed her available storage space at home and work. Consequently, she established the Bata Shoe Museum Foundation to preserve and celebrate her own collection. In the spring of 1995, the museum welcomed its first visitors. As one of Canada's leading architectural firms, Moriyama and Teshima Architects designed the new building for the well-established organization. Upon its opening, the venue had approximately 39,000 sq feet of floor space available for exhibits and other functions. The five-story building is considered an important architectural landmark in the heart of Toronto. In fact, the eye-catching facade of the museum deliberately resembles a shoebox.
Museum HighlightsHaving a soft velvet texture, an Italian-made platform chopine from the 1500s is one of the most valuable items in the collection of the Bata Shoe Museum. This particular artefact is one of the earliest examples of platform shoes in Renaissance Europe. The museum also owns an extensive collection of footwear from various Native American tribes. For example, you'll see circumpolar boots and other accessories that have been traditionally worn by Eskimos, Inuits and other people in the polar regions of North America. The Bata Shoe Museum also displays plenty of shoes that have been worn by celebrities and prominent public figures in modern history. Some examples include Queen Victoria's ballroom slippers and Elvis Presley's blue loafers. The ancient collection at the museum includes items from some of the world's most prolific civilizations, such as the Greeks and Romans. The medieval gallery highlights the clear evolution of shoe design from ancient times to the Middle Ages. As you browse the galleries, you'll discover the history of shoes that spans more than 4,500 years. Most of the shoes in the permanent galleries are displayed in chronological sequences. Therefore, you'll clearly notice some of the major elements of fashion, craftsmanship and technology in shoe industries worldwide. Click to book your admission.
Visiting Bata Shoe MuseumThe Bata Shoe Museum is located near the corner of Bloor Street and St. George Street in Downtown Toronto. Served by the 1 and 2 lines of the Toronto Transit system (TTC) subway, the St. George Station is located just one block north of this museum. Subway and streetcar services are also available at the Spadina Station that's situated only a few blocks west of the attraction. There are several major landmarks that could be used as reference points for finding this specialty museum. For example, the Royal Ontario Museum and the St. George campus of the University of Toronto are just around the corner. On-site parking isn't available, but you could find metered parking and indoor garages within walking distance. For instance, the nearby Bloor-Bedford Garage is officially managed by the Toronto Parking Authority.
Location: 327 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5S 1W7
Click here to visit Bata Shoe Museum official website.Note: This information can change without notice. Confirm all details directly with the company in question.