Those traveling to Toronto will have their itineraries full of must-see attractions but may want to consider squeezing in a museum day. After a day spent sightseeing throughout the frenzied metropolis, visitors of The Market Gallery can leisurely learn about Toronto’s rich history and culture. Budget-friendly visitors can experience the free art exhibits in Toronto and the rich Islamic history of civilizations past by checking out Aga Khan’s amazing exhibitions. Besides innovative domestic and international masterpieces, the city’s museums offer art classes, traveling exhibits, and musical performances that are worth checking out before retiring to one’s vacation rental or aparthotel in Toronto. Upon arrival, instead of visiting the CN Tower immediately, try stretching your legs by checking out one of the following list’s top entry-free museums in Toronto, Canada.
1. Spadina Museum
Nestled atop a Toronto highland, the Spadina Museum transports visitors to the early 20th century. Named from the Anishnaabemowin term ‘ishpadina’, the mansion chronicles the luxurious Austin family lifestyle amidst an era of innovation. Its interiors seamlessly blend Victorian charm with 1930s Colonial Revival. Admission is complimentary, with guided tours from Wednesday to Sunday, detailing the rich tapestry of Toronto’s past. From Wednesday to Friday, tours run at 12:15pm, 1:15pm, 2:15pm, and 3pm, with extended schedules over weekends.
Address: 285 Spadina Rd, Toronto, ON M5R 2V5, Canada
Website: Spadina Museum
Opening hours: Wed - Sun: 11am - 4pm (closed on Mon & Tue)
2. Gibson House Museum
Nestled in North York amidst contemporary high-rises, Gibson House is a historical treasure. This 19th-century Georgian Revival farmhouse once belonged to David Gibson, a Scottish immigrant who wore many hats - from land surveyor and farmer to politician and rebel. Tragically, the original home was destroyed in the Upper Canada Rebellion of 1837, but the resilient Gibson family rebuilt, leaving behind a testament to their legacy. Today, visitors can step back in time, enveloped by the authentic scents and sights of the 1850s. Best of all? General admission to this piece of Toronto’s history is free.
Gibson House Museum
Address: 5172 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M2N 5P6, Canada
Website: Gibson House Museum
Opening hours: Thu: 3pm-6pm, Fri - Sun: 1pm - 4pm (closed on Mon - Wed)
3. Scarborough Museum
For fun things to do this weekend in Toronto, tourists can explore the Scarborough Museum. They can enjoy strolling through the property’s four buildings to learn about the history and development of Scarborough. While checking out the museum’s interesting exhibits, guests can wander through Thomson Memorial Park’s beautiful walking trails. Throughout the year, the museum hosts youth-focused activities, camps, special events, and school field trips.
Address: Thomson Memorial Park, 1007 Brimley Rd, Scarborough, ON M1P 3E8
Website: Scarborough Museum
Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 10am - 4pm; Sat - Sun: 12pm - 4pm (closed on Mon)
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4. Art Museum at the University of Toronto - Justina M. Barnicke Gallery
Opening Reception: Listening to Snow At Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Art Museum at Univeristy of Toronto. January 18, 2020. Photo: Dominic Chan/EXimages for Art MuseumPosted by Art Museum at the University of Toronto on Friday, 31 January 2020
While exploring the vibrant metropolis, visitors should consider dropping by the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, one of the best places to visit in Toronto for free. The gallery hosts readings, performances, screenings, and guided tours to educate visitors’ knowledge of art throughout the ages. Here families can gather to spend quality time together admiring the exquisite masterpieces while deepening their appreciation for art history. Before departing the museum, visitors can contribute to keeping the gallery operational by making purchases or donations at the gift shop.
Art Museum at the University of Toronto - Justina M. Barnicke Gallery
Address: 7 Hart House Circle, Toronto, ON M5S 3H3
Opening hours: Tue, Thu - Sat: 12pm - 5pm; Wed: 12pm - 8pm (closed on Sun & Mon)
Toronto Tour Guide
5. The Market Gallery
On view now: Artist(s): Phil Saunders Location: Grace St. & Harbord St Laneway, Art Eggleton Park Year: 2019...Posted by The Market Gallery on Saturday, 1 February 2020
If you are looking for a museum in Toronto with free entry, then look no further! While journeying over to historic St. Lawernce Market, pop in on the second floor to experience The Market Gallery. Visitors to the gallery will discover everchanging exhibits featuring Toronto’s history, culture, and art. Upon checking out the creative collections, guests can sign up for one of the gallery’s educational programs to learn more about Toronto. During a fun-filled day, those traveling with families and friends can join innovative dance classes and art classes to express their creativity.
The Market Gallery
Address: 95 Front Street E, Toronto, ON M5E 1C2
Website: The Market Gallery
Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 10am - 4pm, Sat: 9am - 4pm (closed on Sun & Mon)
Museums that are free on certain days
Those participating in this exciting tour of the Art Gallery of Ontario will be able to explore the city-block long Galleria Italia created from wood and glass. While wandering through the gallery’s winding hallways, visitors will have the chance to learn something new with each exhibit. Visitors will be able to admire the stunning architecture of world-renowned architect Frank Gehry during their time at the gallery as well. Be sure to drop in at the gift shop to purchase any of the stunning replicas of pieces that caught your eye to further future exhibits and the talent of local artists.
Duration: 2 to 3 hours
7. Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto Canada
#TBT A growing neighbourhood 'Paper Park' by Sean Martindale during #SterlingWeekendPosted by MOCA Toronto on Thursday, 11 July 2019
Visitors to Toronto should consider scheduling a day to experience the Museum of Contemporary Art and its exhibits. After wandering through its network of hallways to admire the creativity of its featured artists, head over to the cafe for a casual lunch. Upon finishing your lunch, complete your experience by walking through the wooden box exhibit reminiscent of running tires. When doing this exercise in this large compilation of boxes, be careful not to tip over and injure yourself while keeping your balance.
Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto Canada
Address: 158 Sterling Rd #100, Toronto, ON M6R 2B7
Opening hours: Wed & Thu, Sat - Mon: 11am - 6pm, Fri: 11am - 9pm (closed on Tue)
Price: Under 18 free admission; Friday - Floor 1 is free; Last Sunday of the month, evening is free
8. Aga Khan Museum
Those who walk under the famous glass pyramid will be transported back in time to historically significant Muslim civilizations. Visitors will discover a vast array of objects and art pieces from Spain, North Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and China. The museum is North America’s first museum dedicated exclusively to Islamic Arts and showcases some of the priceless treasures from Prince Amy and Aga Khan’s private collections. It is also one of the most famous buildings in Toronto. The museum offers visitors the chance to use their courtyard, auditorium, and Persian salon to host business and personal events.
Aga Khan Museum
Address: 77 Wynford Drive, North York, ON M3C 1K1
Website: Aga Khan Museum
Opening hours: Tue, Thu - Sun: 10am - 6pm, Wed: 10am - 8pm (closed on Mon)
Price: Free on Wed between 4pm - 8pm
Explore's Toronto's art museums
Those artistically inclined or who share an appreciation for art will be pleased to visit Toronto’s numerous art museums and some of them are museums with free admission. During a visit, they can experience cultural enrichment in galleries such as the famous Aga Khan Museum or the historic Scarborough Museum. After battling Toronto’s busy streets, visitors will leave refreshed by taking some quiet time out to admire some of the city’s most inspiring exhibits. Joining architecture tours and Instagrammable tours in Toronto are a great way to experience the city as well!
Frequently asked questions about entry-free museums in Toronto, Canada
1. Which free museums in Toronto are located in the downtown area?
There are several free museums located in the downtown area of Toronto. To start, you can visit The Market Gallery to learn about Toronto’s rich history and culture or the Art Museum at the University of Toronto - Justina M. Barnicke Gallery.
2. Which free museums in Toronto are great for history enthusiasts?
Toronto is home to several fantastic free museums that cater to the interests of history enthusiasts. Among these, The Market Gallery stands out as a noteworthy destination. This gallery provides a captivating journey through the rich tapestry of Toronto’s history and culture.
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