Today, Mayor John Tory proclaimed May as Museum Month in Toronto and announced that as of Sunday, May 1, Toronto History Museums will provide free general admission to all its 10 museums permanently to ensure equitable access to museum sites and provide everyone an opportunity to participate in cultural heritage and spaces. Read the official Museum Month proclamation.
The City, through Toronto History Museums, owns and operates 10 historic sites across Toronto that collect, research, exhibit and enhance the understanding of the city’s diverse stories through engaging and exciting experiences. The historic sites include Colborne Lodge, Fort York National Historic Site, Gibson House Museum, Mackenzie House, Market Gallery, 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 of museums to their communities and to kick off this summer’s tourism season. This year’s International Museum Day (May 18) theme is The Power of Museums, highlighting the many ways that museums can and are bringing positive change to their communities through contributing to achieving sustainability, innovation in digitalization and accessibility, and building communities through education.
Addressing equity and inclusion remains a City priority. Free general admission at Toronto History Museums is one initiative in a series of initiatives designed to improve accessibility to cultural spaces for Toronto residents.
Toronto History Museums is also committed to dismantling museums’ ongoing colonial legacies and working towards fostering reconciliation and healing. In 2020, the Toronto History Museums adopted a bold and transformative mission, vision and narrative. Grounded in equity, anti-racism and anti-oppression, all 10 Toronto History Museums began to re-evaluate the stories they share, and the way they are shared, in order to create space for communities and impart knowledge.
Toronto History Museums is working to highlight stories that advance reconciliation, anti-racism and anti-oppression. It is rethinking historical interpretations and highlighting histories that are lesser discussed such as the deep Indigenous connection to the land and the lives of the staff whose hard work in these historic sites allowed their wealthy employers to maintain a lavish lifestyle.
May programming highlights:
This series of live performance art was created by eight artists from the 2021 Awakenings Artist Mentorship Program cohort working under the guidance of Weyni Mengesha, Artistic Director and Academy Faculty at Soulpepper Theatre Company. The performance artists created customized work for specific Toronto History Museums sites, guided by questions such as: “How do we acknowledge the colonial past of the historic sites and our city?” and “What would a revolution of love and healing be like?”
In-person experiences start in May and run until July. Learn more about all the artists and mentors, book free tickets on Soulpepper’s website.
The City is grateful to community partner the Toronto Raptors for ongoing support of the Awakenings program. The City is proud to have 106.5 ELMNT FM Toronto continuing as a media partner.
Toronto History Museums will offer site tours as part of Doors Open Toronto, presented by Great Gulf on May 28 and 29 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. More information is available on the City’s Doors Open Toronto webpage.
Residents and visitors can shop in person every Wednesday from 2 to 6 p.m. for local vegetables, baked goods and prepared foods while enjoying live music and entertainment. Shoppers can also order online from certain vendors on the Montgomery’s Inn website. Orders that are placed online (Friday at 9 a.m. to Monday at 9 p.m.) will be available for pick up at the market on Wednesdays. The Montgomery’s Inn Farmers’ Market operates year-round at 4709 Dundas St. W. in Etobicoke.
Until June 30, Fort York National Historic Site will host DISH DANCES (2022), a video installation that focuses on a centuries-old Indigenous concept and treaty revolving around the co-governance of land 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 Biennial of Art website.
The 60 Works/60 Years: Toronto Outdoor Art Fair at 60 exhibit celebrates the history of the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair and features 60 artworks from the City of Toronto Art Collection acquired from the fair over the years. More information is available on the City’s Market Gallery webpage.
High-resolution images of select Toronto History Museums are available on Flickr.
“Free general admission to Toronto History Museums ensures equity in programming, fair access to resources, full participation within City spaces, and equitable opportunities for participation for underserved and underrepresented groups. This Museums Month and beyond, I encourage all residents to visit Toronto History Museums to learn about Toronto’s past, present and future.”
– Mayor John Tory
“The City is combating economic and cultural disparities across Toronto through impactful programs and services for equity-seeking communities and underserved areas of the city. This free general admission initiative at Toronto History Museums improves access to and affordability of space for Toronto residents.”
– Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson (Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee
“The histories you’ll experience at the City’s 10 historic sites are not tales penned by a select few. They are stories written and told by the many who shape them. They are as diverse as the perspectives and experiences of Toronto residents. I am so pleased that Toronto History Museums has removed another barrier by giving all residents access with free general admission.”
– Cheryl Blackman, Interim General Manager for Economic Development & Culture
“The Ontario Museum Association, in its 50th anniversary year, celebrates along with the Toronto History Museums the 2022 edition of May is Museum Month/Mai, Mois des Musées. In May, and on May 18th International Museum Day, in Toronto, across the province, and around the world, we can celebrate the power of museums to bring about positive change in our communities. By offering free admission to Toronto History Museums, the city recognizes and offers all its citizens and visitors the ability to enjoy and learn from our shared history, bringing us together in reimagining a new future.”
– Marie Lalonde, Executive Director, Ontario Museum Association
The Toronto History Museums’ Awakenings program is the recipient of the 2021 Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award for Community Leadership. More information is available on the Toronto History Museums’ webpage: www.toronto.ca/museums, or follow Toronto History Museums on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TOHistory, on 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 world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.