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Sunday, April 29, 2018

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There was, alas, no sighting of Meghan Markle on SO's recent visit to Toronto. From Ryerson University to The Four Season's to The Ritz, 'Mink Mile', Eaton Centre, Hudson Bay/Saks Fifth Avenue and even an evening at The Bridle Path; no Markle in sight! Where to drown one's sorrows? Why, at the Bata Shoe Museum, of course, where solace and comfort — surely Markle would have visited — were sought and had!

Fun Facts

A collection of 12,000-plus shoes brilliantly displayed in architect Raymond Moriyama's award-winning four-storey building.

Bata's brief to Moriyama was to create “a small gem of a museum” to house her extensive shoe collection.

The building — a deconstructivist form with canted walls and a copper-clad roof offset from the walls of the building below — an interesting play of volume and void — is meant to evoke an opening shoe box.

The museum features four main exhibits: All about Shoes: Footwear Through the Ages; Beauty, Identity, Pride: Native North American Footwear; Collected in the Field: Shoemaking Stories from Around the World; and Fashion Victims: The Pleasures and Perils of Dress in the 19th century

Sonja Bata started the collection in the 1940s. She travelled the world with her husband Thomas Bata and collected shoes from the countries visited in 1979, the Bata family established the Bata Shoe Museum Foundation ostensibly for research and to house the collection in the Don Mills area of Toronto.

In June 1992, the Bata Shoe Museum opened a gallery on the second floor of the Colonnade, in downtown Toronto, where it remained until 1994.

On May 6, 1995 the current museum opened its doors to the public.

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