Ontario is a province with a rich and diverse history that spans centuries. From the indigenous peoples who lived here before the arrival of Europeans to the modern-day multicultural population, the province’s heritage is a testament to the resilience and ingenuity of its people. A great way to explore Ontario’s history is by visiting its many museums and landmarks.
Here are the top ten that are definitely worth checking out:
Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)
The ROM is one of Canada’s largest museums, and it houses an extensive collection of artifacts from around the world. Its collections include everything from dinosaur fossils to Chinese ceramics to Egyptian mummies. The museum’s iconic Michael Lee-Chin Crystal addition is a stunning example of modern architecture that complements the classic Beaux-Arts style of the original building.
Canadian Museum of History
Located across the river from Ottawa in Gatineau, Quebec, the Canadian Museum of History is a must-visit for anyone interested in the history of Canada. The museum’s exhibitions cover everything from the First Nations to the present day, including the country’s role in both world wars.
Canadian War Museum
Also located in Ottawa, the Canadian War Museum tells the story of Canada’s military history from the earliest days of the country to the present day. The museum’s exhibitions include everything from weapons and uniforms to personal stories of Canadian soldiers who fought in various conflicts.
Aga Khan Museum
The Aga Khan Museum in Toronto is a cultural gem that showcases Islamic art and artifacts from around the world. Its collection includes everything from ancient manuscripts to contemporary art, and the museum’s stunning architecture is inspired by traditional Islamic design.
National Gallery of Canada
The National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa is a showcase of Canadian and international art. Its collection includes works by famous Canadian artists like Tom Thomson and Emily Carr, as well as works by international masters like Monet, Van Gogh, and Picasso.
Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)
The AGO is another must-visit museum in Toronto. Its collection includes works by Canadian artists like the Group of Seven, as well as international artists like Rembrandt and Rubens. The museum’s iconic Frank Gehry-designed renovation in 2008 is also a work of art in its own right.
Fort York National Historic Site
Located in Toronto, Fort York is a preserved military fort that dates back to the War of 1812. The site includes several restored buildings, including barracks, a powder magazine, and an officers’ mess, as well as a museum that tells the story of the fort’s role in Canadian history.
This stunning Gothic Revival mansion in Toronto was built in the early 20th century by Canadian financier Sir Henry Pellatt. Today, visitors can tour the castle’s grand rooms, gardens, and tunnels, as well as learn about its history and architecture.
St. Lawrence Market
Located in the heart of downtown Toronto, the St. Lawrence Market is one of Canada’s oldest and most famous public markets. It offers a wide variety of fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and other culinary delights, as well as crafts and other goods.
Located on the St. Lawrence River between Ontario and New York State, the Thousand Islands are a picturesque archipelago that’s perfect for boating, fishing, and sightseeing. Visitors can take a boat tour of the islands, visit historic sites like Boldt Castle, and enjoy the natural beauty of the region.
Ontario is home to a wealth of cultural and historical landmarks that are well worth a visit. From the Royal Ontario Museum to the Thousand Islands, these sites offer a fascinating glimpse into the province’s rich and diverse past, and provide opportunities to learn and appreciate the contributions of the people who have shaped Ontario into the province it is today. Whether you are interested in art, history, architecture, or nature, Ontario’s museums and landmarks have something to offer everyone. So the next time you find yourself in Ontario, be sure to visit these top ten sites and explore the province’s cultural heritage for yourself.