Centuries Of Innovation And Style On Display At Toronto’s Bata Shoe Museum

Annex / South Annex / Seaton Village, City Living

Toronto is easily one of the most-noted epicenters in North America for fashion, culture, and the arts; it makes sense that it would be home to one of the few footwear-centric museums in Canada: the Bata Shoe Museum. In fact, it was the first of its kind on this continent!

Do you have a fascination with how different cultures have “tortured” their feet over the years? How about an admiration for fashion history or an interest in the neccessary evolution of clothing?

…. how about a selfie with Justin Bieber’s sneaks, or Marilyn Monroe’s stilettos?


Image courtesy of See Toronto Now


The Bata Shoe Museum, located at the southwest corner of Bloor Street West and St. George, is the place for you! At any given time, the museum has over thousand shoes and shoe-related artifacts on display, curated from a collected of 13,000 objects.

The BSM is the brainchild of Sonja Bata who has traveled to the corners of the globe to discover and curate this impressive collection, a project which she started back in the 1940s. Once Bata’s shoe collection outgrew her personal storage capabilities, the Bata Shoe Museum Foundation was established. Through the Foundation, collection of footwear and fashion continued over the years, as did footwear research.



The building itself, designed by Moriyama and Teshima Architects is something to see from an architectural standpoint (apparently it’s form was inspired, fittingly, by the shape of a shoebox). Wander through four galleries (“All About Shoes” focuses on the evolution of the fashion and function of shoes begin in Ancient Times, through to Modern Day, while the other three galleries showcase rotating exhibitions).



You’ll find the weird and the wacky in footwear, fascinating fashion finds along with celebrity shoes. This isn’t just about admiring shoes. Fashion (and shoes in particular) have always been a way of chronicling history on points like gender, socio-economic commentary, climate change, religion and more.


Image courtesy of the Bata Shoe Museum 

In addition to the permanent “All About Shoes” exhibit, currently the BSM is showcasing “Want: Desire, Design, and Depression Era Footwear” which looks at cultural creativity in trying economic times, “The Gold Standard: Glittering Footwear from Around the Globe”, showcasing the best blingy footwear, and “Art & Innovation: Arctic Footwear from the Bata Shoe Museum Collection”, which explores how footwear in harsher climates helps not only survival, but cultural self-expression as well.

If you are interested in visiting this museum, but aren’t in Toronto, don’t fret. The BSM also offers online exhibitions, like, “All About Shoes” and “One Canadian Ground”.

There are even audio tours are included with your admission!


Image courtesy of the Bata Shoe Museum


And the space is versatile! The BSM hosts free concerts in their Atrium (although pre-registration is required). Most recently they staged swinging music of the 1930s.  Looking for something fresh to do with your book club? The BSM hosts book club meetings in a very cool, very unique setting.



Those boots were made for walkin’! Strut on over to one of the most unique cultural offerings in the city!


The Bata Shoe Museum

327 Bloor St W
Toronto M5S 1W7
Open Monday-Wednesday, Friday-Saturday 10am-5pm, Thursday 10am-8pm and Sunday 12pm-5pm.




Thanks for reading!


~ Steven

Steven Fudge, Sales Representative
& The Innovative Urbaneer Team
Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage – (416) 322-8000

– we’re here to earn your trust, then your business –


*Like what you’ve read? Did you know we were recently listed as one of The Top 25 Toronto Real Estate Agents To Follow On Twitter, The Top 50 Blogs On Toronto and the Top 100 Real Estate Blogs In Canada!!? Consider signing up in the box below to receive our FREE monthly e-newsletter on housing, culture and design including our love for unique urban homes and other Toronto real estate!

*Love Canadian Housing? Check out Steve’s Student Mentorship site called Houseporn.ca which focuses on architecture, landscape, design, product and real estate in Canada!


Previous Post
Urbaneer April 2019 E-Promo
Next Post
Toronto Real Estate Activity Increased Significantly In April 2019