Winter’s unpredictable weather can sometimes make outdoor activities hard to plan, but Ontario’s amazing museums and art galleries ensure there are endless options for indoor discovery. And while you’re catching up on culture, get a head start on your holiday gift list by picking up the kinds of imaginative keepsakes that you likely won’t find anywhere else.
We’ve rounded up a list of some of Ontario’s highest caliber cultural attractions with exceptional gift shops that are just as thoughtfully curated as the exhibits under the same roof.
Image credit: National Gallery of Canada
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
It’s been said ‘the earth without art is just eh’. Get acquainted with the very best in Canadian and Indigenous art, then visit the Gallery Boutique for art inspired books, prints, photography, apparel, jewellery and art supplies.
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
Explore room after room of Canadian, Indigenous and international art through the ages, including the Early Rubens exhibit or Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room. Don’t miss shopAGO, a thoughtful gift shop that complements the art collection and design aesthetic of the gallery. The back wall features an impressive selection of posters and prints, and locals will love the playful items like the ‘Racoons vs Toronto’ tees.
Image credit: Art Gallery of Algoma
Art Gallery of Algoma, Sault Ste Marie
Take in the masterpieces of Norval Morrisseau and Canada’s famed landscape painters, the Group of Seven. Then take home your own treasure of pottery, prints and memorabilia at the Gallery Shop.
Image credit: Art Gallery of Hamilton
Art Gallery of Hamilton, Hamilton
Visit the permanent collection and visiting exhibits at one of the oldest public art galleries in Canada, followed by a browse through one-of-a-kind items like exquisite vases and glassware, stationery and games in the Shop at AGH.
Image credit: Canadian Museum of Nature
Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa
Discover the mysteries of the earth at this mind-blowing national museum. From fossils, minerals, books and artisan gifts, scratch all the nature enthusiasts off your gift list at The Nature Boutique, with super unique merch inspired by the natural history collection.
Aga Khan Museum, Toronto
You’ll need a few hours to fully experience the museum’s fascinating collection of Islamic and Iranian art and Muslim culture, and its stunning gardens. A visit to the Gift Shop is a must for Middle Eastern style gifts, art and fabrics, including an impossibly gorgeous line of men’s silk ties, all inspired by the museum’s permanent collection.
Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto
This quirky little gem walks you through the fun and fascinating history of footwear, from rare Arctic boots to game-worn Toronto Raptors sneakers. Find books, ornaments and gifts in the Museum Shop for the shoe lover in your life.
Photo credit: McMichael Canadian Art Collection
McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg
Just a half hour north of Toronto, treat yourself to over 6,500 works of art by the likes of Tom Thomson, the Group of Seven, their contemporaries and Indigenous artists. Then treat someone special on your list to a truly unique Canadian-made gift from the Gift Shop.
Image credit: Gardiner Museum
Gardiner Museum, Toronto
Toronto’s unique ceramic museum is also one of Ontario’s most hands-on attractions offering workshops, tours and events. The hand-crafted, love-for-life pieces of sculptured art by featured local and international artists in the Gardiner Shop make this exquisite gift shop feel more like an extension of the museum.
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto
This is the place for curious minds and creative thinkers. From the museum’s Michael Lee-Chin Crystal design, to the innovative exhibits and galleries located within, the past and present come beautifully to life here. And so naturally, you’ll find an extensive selection of fascinating gifts, books, stationery, prints, jewellery, toys and keepsakes in the ROM Boutique.
Explore even more of Ontario’s amazing museums, galleries and science centres. And when in doubt, a gift certificate or membership to a cultural gem never goes out of style.