Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre



  • Collection of vaudeville scenery,
  • Original Simplex Silent Film Projector
  • A period dressing room containing objects from the early 20th century

Public Programming:


Interpretive tours are offered year-round to the public, recounting the history and renovation of the site, showcasing the original and new lobbies, the Elgin Theatre and the Winter Garden Theatre. Visit website for dates and times.

Theatre Museum Canada

Conservation / Preservation:


Set designs, playbills, photographs, props, and other memorabilia dealing with the development of live theatre in Canada.

Public Programming:


Temporary and touring exhibitions deal with various aspects of the history and art of live theatre in Canada. Past exhibits have focused on set design, notable performances and individuals, women in theatre, and historic theatres.


The Legend Library is a video database of interviews with prominent members of the Canadian theatre industry, including actors, directors, set designers, and more.

Virtual Museum of Canada


Online Exhibitions

Virtual exhibits and interactive learning resources on numerous subjects, created by Canadian museums and galleries. Local history exhibits that capture Canadian community memories, drawn from the collections of small museums and local memories and treasures are also available.  Organized by museum, name or subject, the themes of Aboriginal Art, Culture and Tradition, Arts in Canada, Canada at War, Canadian Musical Traditions, Canadian Women, Science and Medicine and Vancouver 2010 make up the bulk of the collection.

Image Gallery

Showcases thousands of artefacts, photos, paintings and objects from Canadian museums. Amongst others, it contains the works of the Group of Seven, Marc-Aurèle Fortin, Emily Carr, and many other artists. 

Costume Society of Ontario

Public Programming:


A variety of lectures, seminars, workshops, field trips, and publications for members only.

Past symposiums include topics such as “Dancing Through Time: Toronto’s Dance History from 1900-1980” and “Eternal Style: Ancient Egyptian Influence in Modern Times”.

Bata Shoe Museum


Digital Archive

Highlights from past exhibits, both Main and ‘Snapshot’, featuring digital photographs and historical contextualization for the artefacts.

Public Programming:


Main Exhibits:

One semi-permanent and three changing exhibitions in specially-designed galleries.

Past exhibits include:
The Roaring Twenties: Heels, Hemlines and High Spirits, Art in Shoes, Shoes in Beauty, Identity, Pride, Native North American Footwear, All About Shoes: Footwear Through the Ages.

Snapshot Exhibits:

Occasional small-scale themed displays, on view for one or more weeks, consisting of three to ten display cases, which are usually in the lobby and/or lower (B1) level.

Past exhibits include The New Woman 1890’s – 1910’s: These Boots Were Made For Walking, Pitter Patter: Little Feet and the Influence of Adult Styles.

Online exhibitions

All About Shoes:

This online exhibition features stories and artifacts, based on the Museum’s existing collection, that focus on the footwear traditions of Aboriginal groups and Canada’s multicultural communities.

On Canadian Ground: Stories of Footwear in Early Canada:

Hosted by the Virtual Museum of Canada, this bilingual exhibition website allows visitors to listen to audio clips, explore artifacts and learn about the various methods of footwear production used by skilled aboriginal and immigrant peoples.

On Canadian Ground features the largest display of three-dimensional photography in an online exhibition to date. For the first time ever, visitors can ‘handle’ artifacts from the collection online.


Group and School tours daily, focusing on main exhibits as well as highlighting the architecture of the museum building

Special Events

A variety of special tours and events.

Past special events include films and lecture series pertaining to non-permanent exhibits, and hands-on demonstrations with artefacts.

Archives of Ontario



Ontario Government Records:

The majority of the records in the collections of the Archives were created by the government of Ontario and its predecessors in the fulfillment of its legal and administrative functions. These records date from the late eighteenth century to the present day concerning:

  • Political and legal decisions.
  • The evolution of provincial administration.
  • The interaction between the government and its citizens.
  • The rights and responsibilities of Ontarians.

Private Sector Records:

Since 1903, the Archives of Ontario has been acquiring records from the private sector. The Archives holds the records of over 2600 private individuals, businesses, clubs and associations, labour and political organizations. These collections can range in size from one or two items to thousands of items that occupy hundreds of metres of shelf space.

These records include:

  • Paper files, diaries and photographs.
  • Maps and architectural records.
  • Sound recordings and moving images.

Genealogical Records:

The Archives of Ontario holds many important sources for researching family history in Ontario. There is no single finding aid or database for this type of research.

Vital Statistics:

Historical registrations of births, marriages and deaths. No database yet exists that allows you to search these records by name. Rather, these records must be searched using microfilm.

Records Relating to Aboriginal Peoples:

The Archives of Ontario has a substantial number of records relating to aboriginal history, very widely scattered through the Archives’ total holdings. Dating from the 1760s, most focus on what is now Ontario. However, a reasonable number — for example, fur trade and missionary papers — refer to Aboriginal people of Quebec, other parts of Canada, and the United States


The J. J. Talman Library at the Archives of Ontario is a research and reference collection for the general public and the staff of the Archives. Most of the Library collections relate to the social, political, economic, cultural and military history of the Province of Ontario.

There are approximately 75,000 pieces including:

  • Books, pamphlets and Ontario Government publications.
  • Periodicals, microfilm, microfiche and other printed and published items.

Special Collections


The Archives of Ontario’s photographic collection consists of approximately 1.7 million images documenting activities, people, places and events in Ontario from the mid-1800s to the present.

These images come in many formats including: colour and black and white prints, daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, slides, and glass plate negatives.

The Archives photographic holdings include images from many private sources such as: photojournalists, studio photographers, amateur photographers, and corporate collections.

The Archives’ photographic holdings also include images created by many Ontario government ministries and agencies to document programs and activities.

Photographs are accessed through the Reading Room.

Online Photographic Database:

A selection of images drawn from the holdings of the Archives of Ontario which document the province’s history and landscape. Images are continually being added to the database.

Cartographic Records:

The Cartographic Records Collection of the Archives of Ontario contains over 40,000 maps, plans, hydrographic charts, atlases, bird’s eye views, and other cartographic materials relating to the Province of Ontario. Many of these maps are in manuscript form and thus are unique items.

The Archives has significant collections of private cartographic records including those produced by or for: Lieutenant Governor Simcoe, Thomas Talbot, the Canada Company, and David Thompson.

The foundation of the collection consists of maps produced by and for the Government of Ontario, most notably the Ministry of Natural Resources and its predecessors. Maps in the collection span the period from the early eighteenth century, when Ontario was still part of New France, to the present.

The collection contains maps and plans documenting many aspects of the province’s history and development including:

  • Exploration maps, settlement maps and township and town surveys.
  • Road maps, fishing maps and boundary maps.
  • Electoral plans, fire insurance plans, and maps showing the location and distribution of various natural resources.

Architectural Records:

An extensive architectural records collection of approximately 200,000 drawings and other items, dating from the early 1820s to the 1990s. These records document Ontario’s built environment and heritage.

The collection consists of architectural materials created or accumulated for government purposes. An example would be the records of the Public Works Department, which was responsible for the construction of prisons, hospitals, special schools, and other facilities.

The Archives also holds architectural records created by individual architects or private sector firms. The scope of these records ranges from houses to factories to skyscrapers.

Documentary Art:

The Archives of Ontario holds a collection of approximately 4000 documentary art records that document the people, places and events in Ontario from the 1790s until the 1900s.

The collection contains paintings, drawings, and prints by both amateur and professional artists, such as: Caroline Armington, William Armstrong, Thomas Burrowes, Anne Langton, C. W. Jefferys, Stewart C. Shaw, Elizabeth Simcoe, Fred Brygden, Robert Sproule, Owen Staples, and Dorothy Stevens.

It covers a wide range of subjects such as views of small towns, famous and infamous people, and historical events.

Public Programming:


Several exhibitions that highlight the collections. The most recent online exhibits can be accessed directly from the website.

Joan Baillie Archives of the Canadian Opera Company



  • Corporate and administrative records.
  • Audio and video recordings of performances.
  • Slides and photographs.
  • Set and costume designs, historical Canadian Opera Company memorabilia.
  • Periodicals and documents associated with the opera dating back to the mid-twentieth century.
  • Blue prints of stage settings ,costume sketches  and posters are encapsulated.

Public Programming:


The archives participates in certain publicity events such as Open Doors Toronto for which they set up temporary displays of historical posters and costume designs.

National Ballet of Canada Archives

Conservation / Preservation:


Records of the company from 1951 to the present including,

  • Costumes
  • Dance materials
  • Photographs
  • Posters
  • Programmes
  • Videos


The Erik Bruhn Library and Archive Video Collection contains over 2,500 items related to dance, theatre, music, scenography, choreography, and anatomy.

Public Programming:

Online Programming

The Virtual Museum is an online gallery featuring items held within the National Ballet Archives. Items digitized for inclusion in the National Ballet’s Virtual Museum are catalogued and preserved in The Helen G. Balfour Soutron Database.