Toronto: Bata Shoe Museum

Bata Shoe Museum
Bata Shoe Museum. Shame the ruby slippers won’t fit me.

You don’t have to be Imelda Marcus or Carrie Bradshaw to love this museum. I defy anyone not to be fascinated by the permanent display of shoes through history supplemented by several special exhibitions. When we were there in April, these included Arctic footwear, the history of men in heels, fashion victims of the 19th century and footwear of the stars. The last two were my favourites and I was excited to see a signed pair of Roger Federer’s tennis shoes and some shoes worn by Jon Hamm in Mad Men. Sorry, blurry iPhone pics taken through glass.

The museum’s atrium featured an installation by Jim Hake called Pump It Up. The glass shoes catch the light and are inspired by cathedral windows. Beautiful!

This was the last morning we spent in Toronto before flying home – but it’s not the end of my posts. I’ve saved our one venture out of the city till the end: next time – Niagara!

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47 thoughts on “Toronto: Bata Shoe Museum

  1. mamba2 May 19, 2016 / 10:42

    Fab. As always. I did not even know such a museum existed in Toronto.
    Gx

    Like

    • Anabel Marsh May 19, 2016 / 10:52

      It’s a brilliant museum! I’ve never been to anything else quite like it.

      Like

  2. Pit May 19, 2016 / 12:48

    Now that might be a museum for my wife. 😉

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    • Anabel Marsh May 19, 2016 / 12:55

      Ah, she is a shoe fan! I find them interesting to look at but, sadly, my feet are such that I can’t wear anything too fancy. A combination of being very narrow and a history of broken bones 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Suzanne et Pierre May 19, 2016 / 14:23

    You did cover a lot of ground on your trip to Toronto and got to some of the off-the-beaten track attractions. The Shoe Museum is fascinating. We visited a few times when we had visitors and it was always interesting. Even the architecture of the museum is interesting as it is looks like a shoe box…Glad you enjoyed your time in Toronto. (Suzanne)

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    • Anabel Marsh May 19, 2016 / 15:06

      Yes, I can see you would get something different out of it every time – you can’t possibly look at all the shoes at once!

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  4. Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor May 19, 2016 / 14:34

    This looks fun! Who would have thought there would be a museum just dedicated to shoes? Looking forward to seeing your posts/pictures from Niagara.

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  5. findingnyc May 19, 2016 / 15:24

    This looks so fun! I always love the little quirky specialty museums like this. And shoes make a great focus. I love how they were incorporated into the art as well.

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  6. Retirementallychallenged.com May 19, 2016 / 16:17

    I’m not sure I could get my husband to go with me to that one. The glass shoes are gorgeous! What an inspired art installation!

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    • Anabel Marsh May 19, 2016 / 16:41

      Oh, John enjoyed it! Though he was a lot more interested in the Arctic section than I was, particularly the parka made out of some sort of intestines. I didn’t bother including that picture….

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  7. Liesbet May 19, 2016 / 16:54

    I never would have thought I would enjoy visiting a shoe museum, but you changed my mind. Interesting concept and very entertaining, indeed! 🙂

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  8. ms6282 May 19, 2016 / 17:35

    The unusual ideas for museums never ceases to amaze me! Yet even the most unlikely topic can prove interesting

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  9. VioletSky May 19, 2016 / 22:11

    I am not a shoe fanatic, yet this is my favourite museum. I’m glad you saw it.

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  10. Lynne Rickards May 19, 2016 / 23:26

    I have narrow feet too and could only ever hobble in high heels. My footwear of choice is the low-heeled black leather boot you might see on the Fonz. Historical shoes are fascinating (like historical costume) so I’d be looking for 18th-century French pumps and Ceylonese silk slippers…

    Like

    • Anabel Marsh May 20, 2016 / 00:12

      The history gallery had examples of just about everything you might want to see!

      Like

  11. Su Leslie May 20, 2016 / 05:39

    Brilliant! I must admit I thought until I saw your post that Bata was a New Zealand company that just made sneakers (she admits somewhat shamefaced). I love the art installation; clever and beautiful.

    Like

    • Anabel Marsh May 20, 2016 / 07:18

      Thanks! Company originally founded in Czechoslovakia in the 1890s, not quite sure when the Canadian connection happened but the museum grew out of a personal collection by a Bata family member.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. restlessjo May 20, 2016 / 08:18

    Gorgeous glass slippers! Niagara next? I’ll be there in spirit. 🙂

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  13. joylovestravel May 20, 2016 / 10:25

    What a quirky and different place – love the sound of this museum!

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    • Anabel Marsh May 20, 2016 / 10:27

      I know! When I tell people their first reaction is to think it weird but when I describe it they all want to go. There’s actually a lot of social history in shoes.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Jackie May 20, 2016 / 15:23

    I love that museum as well.

    I also agreed with your comments about the ROM and AGO, they are expensive. I take a yearly membership for myself and a guest, that way I can take my husband or a friend. With the membership I can go when I feel like it and the temporary shows are free. We saw the tattoo exhibit and I know I would have thought twice about paying that entry fee otherwise.

    I also agree about the food they serve. Luckily as a member there is a private lounge at the AGO that is lovely. Not sure about the ROM.

    Like

    • Anabel Marsh May 20, 2016 / 15:33

      Yes, I thought that would be the way to go – especially now I know about the private lounge!

      Like

  15. corinnevail May 21, 2016 / 16:10

    It looks like my kind of museum, nice and quirky. If I go, I’ve have to take my daughter Erika with me. She’s been a mini-Imelda since she was three!

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  16. jazzfeathers May 23, 2016 / 08:34

    This sounds like a fantastic museum. I like social history and it sounds like you got some here, eh? 😉

    Niagara! I was there with my friend when I visited her in Boston. The highlight of my American holiday. Loved it. Can’t wait to see your pics 🙂

    Like

  17. Birgit May 23, 2016 / 15:48

    I missed this entry until now! I love Bata shoe museum and see they have added more which is great. I never thought I would like this museum but it is one of the best.

    Like

  18. anotherday2paradise May 25, 2016 / 22:54

    I only have to hear or see the word “shoes” and I’m right there. What an interesting collection they have. I also love the ruby slippers, but the glass shoes are just fabulous. 🙂

    Like

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