10 Niche Galleries & Museums

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By Helen Racanelli.

Aga Khan Museum

Music and dance performances, plus theatre, lectures, workshops and film screenings, coexist with the permanent collection at this museum dedicated to the history of Islamic civilizations.

Gardiner Museum

The ceramic arts are celebrated in the Gardiner’s permanent collection and intriguing exhibitions. Try a drop-in open-studio clay class.

Gardiner Museum

Bata Shoe Museum

Shoeaholics will delight in this staggering display of footwear, housed in a striking, shoebox-shaped building. Ancient Egyptian sandals, chestnut-crushing clogs and 20th-century celebrity shoes are all here!

Bata Shoe Museum

CBC Museum

Take a #museumselfie with a microphone from 1910, on the main floor of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Toronto Broadcasting Centre, or tune in to interactive TV exhibits, plus cool archival materials from as far back as the 1930s.

Craft Ontario

The province’s member-based crafters’ organization hosts public exhibitions of artisan works, including furniture and textile sculptures, in its airy gallery. It’s also home to the Craft Ontario Shop and Inuit & Native Gallery.

Textile Museum of Canada

Mirroring Toronto’s diversity, over 200 global regions are represented in this downtown museum’s more than 13,000-piece collection, which includes rare religious artifacts.

Chinese Children's Hat by Maciek Linowski /
Textile Museum of Canada

Art Gallery of Mississauga

Canadian art is the focus at this gallery, where you might spot iconic works and contemporary digital photographic artwork. Check for events like pay-what-you-can drop-in yoga.

The Art of Yoga /
Art Gallery of Mississauga

Peel Art Gallery, Museum and Archives

Brampton’s PAMA programming runs the gamut, from regional military history to contemporary graphic novels. The gallery’s permanent art collection boasts 4,300 works, with Peel Region landscapes holding pride of place.

The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery

Part of a working power plant until 1980, Harbourfront’s tall smokestack will lead you to this gallery, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. Enjoy sweeping lake views, along with thought-provoking exhibitions by leading Canadian and international contemporary artists.

The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery

Spadina Museum

If you love period shows like Downton Abbey, Spadina House captures Jazz Age Toronto as experienced by the Austin family, in a manse that’s now a museum. Discover period décor and artifacts, along with six acres of restored 1905 gardens.