The Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto

For today’s fashion post, I wanted to talk about my visit to The Bata Shoe Museum a couple weeks ago when my boyfriend’s family came to visit. It was my first time so I didn’t know what to expect. The museum has five floors and we started from the lowest and worked our way up. During the time of our visit, they had 4 exhibitions running.

All About Shoes: Footwear Through The Ages which takes you through the history of shoes from Ancient Egypt to Modern Day Hollywood. Here are a few highlights:

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I really enjoyed seeing the evolution of the shoe through history, even through fictional history. They had Barbie shoes and a section on the different Cinderella stories from all over the world.

The 2nd exhibition was Collected in the Field: Shoemaking Traditions From the World, which was, from my understanding inspired by the travels of the museum’s founder, Mrs. Sonja Bata. It features shoemaking traditions that are slowly disappearing. Because of our Dutch neighbor, I gravitated toward the Dutch section. But the entire exhibition, that also has India, Mongolia & Korea among others, was equally as interesting.
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The 3rd exhibit was particularly fascinating to my boyfriend’s family who has Native American ancestry. Entitled Beauty, Identity, Pride: Native North American Footwear. It was divided into the different parts of North America and the different tribes. It was also more interactive with shelves at each station to examine and feel. I was blown away by the details and the craftsmanship of each shoe, plus all the variations between regions.
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Last but not least they have a very funny, very beautiful exhibition called Fashion Victims: The Pleasures and Perils of Dress in the 19th Century. Aside from showcasing beautiful dresses and shoes, they also talk about the dangers of the period, like the use of arsenic as a green dye.
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I highly recommend a visit next time you’re wondering what to do in Toronto!

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