I love Toronto and I love taking pictures of it. I’ve been photographing the city for many years and I plan on doing so for many more. Here are a few of my favorite shots.
ABOVE: A pair of sneakers worn by David Bowie during the 1984 ‘Serious Moonlight’ world tour. The shoes are autographed by Bowie and were acquired by the Museum in 1989.
Despite having lived in Toronto for over 15 years, there are plenty of attractions I’ve yet to visit. This past Saturday, I crossed one of them – the Bata Shoe Museum – off my list.
Before I give a quick review, here is a little about the place:
Founded in 1995, the Bata Shoe Museum collects, researches, preserves and exhibits footwear from around the world. It has over 13,000 items, and is the only shoe museum in North America.
Now, a quick review.
Growing up just outside the city, I was in high school when the museum first opened and I remember chuckling (as many did) upon hearing of it. How interesting could a shoe museum possibly be? Surprisingly, quite interesting.
The first floor is by far the best. It looks at footwear through the ages and does a good job of explaining not only their function, but also their place in various social hierarchies. The exhibits here could be shown in any museum, shoe or non-shoe.
One floor up, are the sneakers, boots and flip flops of various celebrities including Marilyn Monroe, the Dali Lama and David Bowie. This section is fun by default, and serves as a relaxing break from all the reading downstairs.
I’ll spare you a detailed account of the other floors (there are four in total) as they are non-permanent and depending on when you visit, could be completely different. Suffice it to say, they were well put together and complimented the rest of the museum well.
From start to finish, it takes about two hours to visit the Bata Shoe Museum. If you’re looking for something to do on a cold and windy winters day, I suggest you go. It’s far more interesting than it’s name suggests.
The Aga Khan Museum opened in Toronto on September 12, 2014, and although I’ve been meaning to check it out for a while, it wasn’t until this past weekend that I finally did.
Before I give my two cents, here is a little about the place:
The Aga Khan is a museum of Islamic art and heritage that includes artefacts from the private collections of The Aga Khan IV, the Institute of Ismaili Studies in London, and Prince and Princess Sadruddin Aga Khan. In addition to its permanent collection, the museum also host travelling exhibitions.
Now, my two cents:
The staff are very friendly, the building and its grounds are beautiful, and the permanent collection is well curated and worth seeing. That said, if museums aren’t really your thing, or you only go to blockbuster shows, you might find yourself a bit bored. This is a ‘museum-goers’ museum if ever there was one – it’s not flashy or sensational.
As for the travelling exhibitions it hosts, the museum appears to do a great job of attracting good ones. ‘Contemporary Art from the Barjeel Art Foundation‘ (which closed on January 3rd) was very well reviewed, and its current show ‘Abbas Kiarostami: Doors Without Keys‘ is a nice compliment to the permanent collection.
In summary, if you’re a regular museum goer, you’ll probably dig the Aga Khan Museum. Depending on when you go, you’ll probably dig its travelling exhibitions as well.