Saturday, February 06, 2010

Bata Shoe Museum puts right foot forward
I'm pretty practical when it comes to footwear, unless you consider Converse Chuck Taylor high-tops to be exotic.

But if you have a foot fetish, or a couple of hours to kill during your holidays to Canada, you should consider a visit to Toronto's Bata Shoe Museum.

Hundreds of shoes, from a collection of more than 12,500, are on display in the modern four-storey, 39,000-square-foot building designed by architect Raymond Moriyama at the corner of Bloor Street West and St. George Street near Toronto's high-end shopping district.

There are sandals and shoes from around the globe that encompass 4,500 years of history, including a collection worn by 20th century celebrities. The displays also tell the stories of the ties between the shoes and their relation to history and culture. There are permanent, semi-permanent and changing exhibitions so shoeaholics can make repeated visits and still find new ways of getting their fix.

The museum was founded by Sonja Bata and opened in May 1995. The millionth visitor passed through its doors in September 2008.

The Bata Shoe Museum can be visited six days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sundays from noon until 5 p.m. It stays open an extra three hours on Thursday evenings when it has a pay-what-you-can policy, with a suggested fee of five bucks.

Admission fees are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, $6 for students and $4 for children. Those under five get in free.

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