Exploring Toronto: Top Things to Do Near Royal Ontario Museum

Exploring the Royal Ontario Museum

Inside the Museum

Submerge yourself in knowledge and mystery that’s found within the Royal Ontario Museum. Your first stop naturally, is the museum itself. Take a tour through 40 galleries of art, archeology, and natural science. Dissect the vast collections, 6 million objects strong, including specimens, artifacts, and artworks. With an array of dynamic exhibitions ranging from dinosaurs to mummies, from African art to the biodiversity of life, it’s easy to lose track of time in this exciting exploration.

The museum houses collections that feature major work of decorative art. Admire over 13,000 pieces, spanning three millennia, that trace historical design trends in Europe and America. Also, it’s home to Canada’s largest selection of sculptures and bronzes from ancient Egypt. That’s not even mentioning the mineralogy and geology section housing over 150,000 specimens, one of the most significant mineral collections in North America.

Nearby Exhibitions

But, there’s more to experience beyond the walls of the Royal Ontario Museum. Step out and you’re in the museum neighbourhood with an array of attractions you’d definitely want to visit. For instance, you’ve got the Gardiner Museum around the corner, known for its collection of ceramics. Located just about 500 metres away, it showcases more than 4,000 objects that span centuries, even fly to the other side of the world.

Also close by is the Bata Shoe Museum. Just fifteen minutes away by foot, it boasts over 13,500 footwear items and related artifacts. Imagine that! It’s a curious and fun detour that lets you walk through the history of shoes.

Outdoor Activities Close to the Museum

In the vicinity of the Royal Ontario Museum, you’ll find not only rich history and diverse exhibits but also a plethora of outdoor activities to indulge in. Step outside the museum’s sophisticated halls and be prepared to immerse yourself in unique outdoor adventures just a stone’s throw away.

Queen’s Park

Queen’s Park makes for an idyllic outing, sitting less than half a mile away from the museum. A blend of historic monuments and meticulously landscaped gardens, this urban oasis provides a serene retreat. You can stroll amidst mature trees, lavish plantings – including a stunning rose garden. If you’re a fitness enthusiast, enjoy a scenic jog along the well-maintained paths.

Immerse in the rich political history of Ontario by observing the stunning sculptures. They depict esteemed individuals like King Edward VII or Ontario’s first Premier, Oliver Mowat. Also, don’t miss the opportunity to tour the impressive Ontario Legislative Building, a gorgeous example of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture.

Philosopher’s Walk

Just around the corner from the museum, you’ll find the leafy Philosopher’s Walk. This tranquil footpath, nestled behind the University of Toronto, offers a serene escape from city noises. Its winding trails, beautiful gardens, and historical buildings create a picturesque setting for a leisurely walk.

The trail flows through Trinity College’s well-kept grounds, passing the Leslie L. Dan Pharmacy Building and the Royal Conservatory of Music. You can view various art installations that dot the path, introducing an artistic flair to your walk. With Taddle Creek bubbling gently alongside, Philosopher’s Walk paints a peaceful atmosphere that’s hard to resist.

Combine your museum visit with these charming outdoor attractions, and you’ll add an extra layer of enjoyment to your day. Who knows, you might just stumble upon an untold tale, a picturesque sight, or a cherishing moment that’ll etch an unforgettable memory in your journey.

Cultural Experiences Near the Museum

After soaking up some nature and history outside, you might be itching for more cultural immersion. Well, you’re in luck! The Royal Ontario Museum’s vicinity boasts a rich array of cultural experiences you won’t want to miss.

Bata Shoe Museum

Across the road from the Royal Ontario Museum, a museum dedicated to all things footwear awaits. It’s the unique Bata Shoe Museum, an often-overlooked gem filled with shoes representing millennia of history across diverse cultures.

The Bata Shoe Museum boasts over 13,000 shoes and related artefacts in its collection, from ancient Egyptian sandals to heels worn by Marilyn Monroe. It’s not just a purely visual experience, but a chance to investigate into the societal significance of footwear. Come explore the shoe-centred civilisation stories that unravel how humans have stepped through history.

Gardiner Museum

Just a stone’s throw from the Royal Ontario Museum, the Gardiner Museum invites you to another world of art – ceramics. Canada’s only museum dedicated solely to ceramics, the Gardiner houses more than 4,000 ceramic pieces, dating back as early as 3,000 BC.

Explore the museum’s collections from Europe, East Asia, and the Americas, and admire how artists from different eras have breathed life into clay. Plus, the Gardiner offers workshops if you’re keen to get your hands dirty, too! From beginners to seasoned potters, it’s a wonderful opportunity to tap into your creativity and add pottery to your list of skills.

Dining Options Around the Museum

In the vicinity of the Royal Ontario Museum, you’ll discover a myriad of dining options, ranging from upscale restaurants to casual cafes. Whether you’re after a fine dining experience or just a quick coffee and snack, there’s a spot around the corner from the museum for you.

Upscale Restaurants

Feeling fancy? Around the museum, you’ll find a selection of upscale restaurants that offer not just a meal but a culinary experience. For instance, Piano Piano, renowned for its Italian fare, tempts visitors with its delectable pasta and artisanal pizza. On the other hand, One Restaurant in the Hazelton Hotel offers an exquisite fusion of Canadian and global flavours.

Alternatively, Yūgen, located within a short walk from the museum, provides a unique, high-end Japanese dining experience, where you can relish impeccably prepared sushi and sashimi. The richness and elegance of these restaurants extend not just to their menu but also to their ambiance, each with a unique decor and views of the bustling city.

Casual Cafes

If you would prefer something low-key, numerous casual cafes dot the area around the museum. Boxcar Social, a hip café that serves crafted brews comes highly recommended. The dessert items on their menu, such as their pastries and cookies, complement their coffee offering nicely.

For those of you with a penchant for baked goods, The Art Square Gallery and Cafe serves a memorable tiramisu alongside a curated selection of local artwork. On the other hand, if you’re seeking a healthy, organic meal, Fresh on Bloor offers a wide selection of vegan and vegetarian fare.

Shopping Destinations Nearby

After the edifying exploration of local museums and indulging in a culinary adventure, it’s time to satisfy your retail desires. In close proximity to the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto offers a myriad of shopping experiences. From quirky boutiques to bustling markets, you’ll find treasures that speak to your unique taste.

Yorkville Boutiques

Your sojourn takes you next to Yorkville Boutique district, known for its high-end designer shops. Browsing around, you’ll notice high-profile brands like Louis Vuitton and Chanel alongside local designers showing the best of Canadian fashion.

One notable venue, Holt Renfrew, houses an extensive collection of designer apparel and beauty products. An artist’s dream, The Craft Ontario Shop is recognised for its handmade crafts and jewellery, made by local artisans.

Bloor Street Market

A stone’s throw away from the Royal Ontario Museum is the famous Bloor Street Market. It’s not your typical grocer’s, offering a wide array of international food items, freshly baked goods, quality meats, and an extensive selection of wines. Whether you’re looking for fresh ingredients or a unique culinary souvenir from Toronto, ensure you reserve time to explore this vibrant local market.

Bear in mind, shopping near the Royal Ontario Museum promises not only retail satisfaction but also an engaging cultural insight into Toronto’s local scene, interpreting the city in a wholly different light.


So, you’ve got an array of options to explore near the Royal Ontario Museum. You can investigate into the world of footwear at the Bata Shoe Museum or get hands-on with ceramics at the Gardiner Museum. Don’t forget to tantalise your taste buds at the diverse range of eateries around the museum. If shopping’s your thing, the boutiques in Yorkville and the Bloor Street Market won’t disappoint. It’s clear that a visit to the Royal Ontario Museum extends far beyond the museum walls, offering you a cultural and culinary journey through the heart of Toronto.

Author: Ryan

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