April 29, 2022
Today, Mayor John Tory proclaimed May as Toronto Museums Month and announced that starting Sunday, May 1st, the Toronto History Museums will permanently offer free general admission to all of its 10 museums to ensure equal access to museum sites and allow everyone participation in cultural heritage and spaces. Read the official Museum Month announcement.
Through the Toronto History Museums, the City owns and operates 10 historic sites in Toronto that collect, research, exhibit and enhance understanding of the city’s diverse stories through engaging and exciting experiences. Historic sites include Colborne Lodge, Fort York National Historic Site, Gibson House Museum, Mackenzie House, Gallery Market, Montgomery’s Inn, Scarborough Museum, Spadina Museum, Todmorden Mills and Zion Schoolhouse. More information is available at www.toronto.ca/museums.
Museum Month is an opportunity to celebrate the contributions museums make to their communities and to kick off this summer’s tourism season. The theme of this year’s International Museum Day (May 18) is The Power of Museums, which highlights the many ways museums can and do bring positive change to their communities by contributing to sustainability, innovation in digitization and accessibility, and building communities through education.
Addressing equity and inclusion remains a priority for the city. Free general admission to Toronto’s history museums is one initiative in a series of initiatives designed to improve the accessibility of cultural spaces for Torontonians.
The Toronto History Museums are also committed to deconstructing the museums’ current colonial legacy and work to promote reconciliation and healing. In 2020, Toronto’s history museums have adopted a bold and transformative mission, vision and narrative. All 10 of Toronto’s justice-based, anti-racist, and anti-oppression history museums have begun to re-evaluate the stories they share and how they share them to create space for communities and impart knowledge.
Toronto’s history museums strive to highlight stories that promote reconciliation, against racism and oppression. It is about rethinking historical interpretations and highlighting less-discussed histories, such as the deep indigenous connection to the land and the lives of the staff whose hard work at these historic sites allowed their wealthy employers to maintain a lavish lifestyle.
May program highlights:
Awakenings Artist Mentoring Program: A Live Love Revolution in collaboration with Soulpepper Theater Company
This live performing arts series is created by eight artists from the Awakenings 2021 Artist Mentoring Program cohort, working under the direction of Weyni Mengesha, Artistic Director and Academic Faculty at Soulpepper Theater Company. Performance artists created customized work for specific sites of Toronto’s history museums, guided by questions such as, “How do we acknowledge the colonial past of historic sites and our city?” and “What would a revolution of love and healing look like?”
Personal experiences begin in May and run through July. Find out more about all the artists and mentors, book free tickets on the Soulpepper website.
The city is grateful to community partner Toronto Raptors for their continued support of the Awakenings program. The city is proud to have 106.5 ELMNT FM Toronto continue as a media partner.
Doors Open Toronto
Toronto’s history museums will offer tours as part of Doors Open Toronto presented by Great Gulf on May 28 and 29 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. More information is available on the city’s Doors Open Toronto website.
Montgomery’s Inn Farmer’s Market (May 4, 11, 18 and 25)
Residents and visitors can personally shop for home-grown vegetables, pastries and prepared food every Wednesday from 2 to 6 p.m. with live music and entertainment. Customers can also order online from select retailers on the Montgomery’s Inn website. Orders placed online (Friday 9am to Monday 9pm) will be available for pickup at the market on Wednesdays. Montgomery’s Inn Farmers Market is open year-round at 4709 Dundas St. W. in Etobicoke.
Toronto Art Biennale
Through June 30, Fort York National Historic Site will host DISH DANCES (2022), a video installation focusing on the centuries-old aboriginal concept and treaty of land co-management between different nations, created by Ange Loft with Jumblies Theatre. & Arts, in collaboration with a team of artists including choreographers, dancers and composers. More information is available on the Toronto Art Biennale website.
Market Gallery Exhibits 60 Works/60 Years: Toronto Outdoor Art Fair at 60
60 Works/60 Years: Toronto Outdoor Art Fair at 60 celebrates the history of the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair and presents 60 works of art from the City of Toronto Art Collection acquired at the fair over the years. More information is available on the website of the City Market Gallery.
High-resolution images of select Toronto history museums are available on Flickr.
“Free general admission to Toronto’s history museums ensures equity in programming, equitable access to resources, full participation in city spaces, and equal opportunities for participation for underserved and underrepresented groups. This Museum Month and beyond, I encourage all residents to visit Toronto’s history museums to learn more about Toronto’s past, present and future.”
– Mayor John Tory
“The city is fighting economic and cultural disparities in Toronto with effective programs and services for justice-seeking communities and underserved areas of the city. This initiative for free general admission to Toronto’s history museums improves access to and affordability of space for Torontonians.”
– Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson (Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee
“The histories you will experience at the city’s 10 historical sites are not stories written by a select few. They are stories written and told by many who shape them. They are as diverse as the views and experiences of Torontonians. I’m very pleased that Toronto’s history museums have removed another barrier and offered free general admission to all residents.”
– Cheryl Blackman, Interim Director General of Economic Development and Culture
“On its 50th anniversary, the Ontario Association of Museums celebrates the 2022 edition with the Toronto History Museums May is the month of museums/Mai, Mois des Musées. May and May 18th International Museum Day can be celebrated in Toronto, across the province and around the world the power of museums bring about positive change in our communities. With free admission to Toronto’s history museums, the city recognizes and offers all its citizens and visitors the opportunity to enjoy and learn from our shared history, bringing us together to reimagine a new future.”
– Marie Lalonde, Executive Director, Ontario Museum Association
Toronto History Museums’ Awakenings program has received the 2021 Ontario Heritage Lieutenant Governor’s Community Leadership Award. More information is available on the Toronto History Museums website: www.toronto.ca/museums or follow the Toronto History Museums on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TOHistoryon Instagram at www.instagram.com/TOHistoryMuseums, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TOHistoryMuseums and on YouTube at www.youtube.com/TOHistoryMuseums.
Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people, whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the most diverse and livable cities in the world. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a world leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation and consistently ranks at the top of international rankings for investment supported by government, residents and businesses. For more information, visit the website of the Municipality or follow us TwitterInstagram or Facebook.