Visitor Guidelines

Welcome back! The Textile Museum of Canada is open with FREE admission until December 31, 2021. Advanced ticket reservations are available online.

On now are two new exhibitions: And other monuments, and Jagdeep Rania: Chase, in addition to the extended exhibition, ᖃᓪᓗᓈᖅᑕᐃᑦ ᓯᑯᓯᓛᕐᒥᑦ Printed Textiles from Kinngait Studios. The Textile Learning Hub is open to visitors for studio activities, in addition to the Library, the Life Cycle of a Textile display, and the reimagined Textile Reuse Program, featuring great deals on fabric and notions. The Museum Shop is also open for in-person or online shopping.

Everything you need to know about visiting the Textile Museum of Canada, including updated COVID-19 guidelines and safety measures, can be found in the FAQ below. The Museum is grateful for our community’s continued support through these unprecedented times.

Person in museum gallery

01. Plan Your Visit

Opening hours:
Sunday to Tuesday – Closed
Wednesday – 11:30am to 6:30pm (last entry at 5:30pm)
Thursday to Saturday – 10am to 5pm (last entry at 4pm)

Advanced ticket reservations are available online.
Download the Museum App for wayfinding and exhibit information.

02. Visitor Guidelines

Health and safety is our top priority – effective October 22, 2021, all visitors aged 12 and older must show proof of vaccination along with valid ID to enter the Museum.

Bring a mask. Please contact us at admissions@textilemuseum.ca if you require any accommodations around mask-wearing.

Please follow these guidelines when inside the Museum:

  • Stay two metres (6.6 feet) away from other visitors not in your party.
  • Please follow capacity signage while in the Museum.
  • Contactless payment is preferred.
  • Be mindful of distancing when using the washrooms and wait for others to exit.
  • The coatroom is currently closed and there is no storage for large bags or suitcases at this time. Backpacks must be worn on your front.
  • No food or drink allowed. The water fountain is temporarily unavailable, and water bottles are allowed but must remain sealed at all times while in the galleries.
  • Please self-screen before your visit. If you feel ill or are experiencing symptoms, please stay home.

For more details about health and safety guidelines, please view the COVID-19 FAQ below.

Community Access

03. FAQ — COVID-19

Health and safety is our top priority – effective October 22, 2021, all visitors aged 12 and older must show proof of vaccination along with valid ID to enter the Museum.

To be considered fully vaccinated, you must have received your second shot at least 14 days before your visit. You can present either a paper or digital copy of your vaccination receipt, along with supporting ID that includes your name and date of birth. You can see a full list of acceptable documents here.

If you’re visiting from outside of Ontario or outside of Canada, you will also be required to show your proof of vaccination, along with supporting identification that includes your name and date of birth.

Please note that the Museum has an internal policy requiring all employees, volunteers, trustees, contractors, and students to be fully vaccinated.

The Museum will accept the Ontario enhanced vaccine certificate when it becomes available. We will also accept the following documentation:

  • Receipt of full COVID-19 vaccination issued by the public health authority that administered the vaccine.
  • Government-issued ID (i.e. Driver’s license or passport) that matches the proof of full vaccination documentation.

The Museum will accept any combination of vaccines currently approved by the Province of Ontario, with the last dose having been administered at least 14 days before a visit. Please visit the Ontario.ca website for more information.

The Museum will accept document exemptions as outlined by the Province of Ontario.

At this time, we will not be accepting negative COVID-19 tests in lieu of vaccination.

Textile Museum of Canada has an internal policy requiring all employees, volunteers, trustees, contractors, and students to be fully vaccinated.

Yes! Bring a mask. As outlined in Stage 3 of the Reopening Ontario roadmap, all visitors and staff are required to wear a face mask while in the building. We are following the City of Toronto By-Law 541-2020. Please contact us at admissions@textilemuseum.ca if you require any accommodations around mask-wearing.

04. FAQ — General

Opening hours:

Sunday to Tuesday – Closed
Wednesday – 11:30 am to 6:30 pm (last entry is at 5:30)
Thursday to Saturday – 10 am to 5 pm (last entry is at 4 pm)

You can book a ticket to visit the Museum here. At this time, we are asking all visitors to please book a ticket online before arriving at the Museum. Tickets will also be available for walk-ins onsite, although space at the time of arrival is not guaranteed.

Booking your ticket before your arrival helps us manage visitor capacity to make your time at the Museum safer for both you and our staff.

If you are unable to book a ticket online, please contact admissions@textilemuseum.ca and we will work to accommodate you.

The Museum is offering free admission until December 31, 2021.

Until December 31, 2021 there is no need to present your reciprocal admission eligibility, gift pass, or other free admission passes. Once we return to our regular paid admission model, we will be happy to honour all reciprocal admission, gift passes and other free admission passes (such as Toronto Public Library’s MAP program).

Members can access the Museum by booking a ticket online here. Tickets will also be available for walk-ins onsite, although space at the time of arrival is not guaranteed.

If you are having trouble booking your tickets, please contact our Membership Coordinator Caitlin Donnelly at cdonnelly@textilemuseum.ca.

Our Museum Shop is available for in-person shopping and online 24/7 at shop.textilemuseum.ca.

At this time, we are asking all visitors to please book a ticket online before arriving at the Museum. You can book a ticket to visit the Museum here. Tickets will also be available for walk-ins onsite, although space at the time of arrival is not guaranteed.

If you are interested in an item that you don’t see online, please email shop@textilemuseum.ca and we’d be happy to facilitate your order.

Photography and Video Recording

Photography (without flash) and video recording is allowed everywhere in the Museum, for personal use only. Please tag us on Instagram (@textilemuseumofcanada) and Facebook! For media requests, please contact Caitlin Donnelly, Membership & Marketing Coordinator, at cdonnelly@textilemuseum.ca or 416-599-5321 x 2245.

Food and Drink

No food or drink is allowed in the galleries. Parents are welcome to breastfeed anywhere in the Museum.

Drawing and Sketching

No pens or markers are allowed in the galleries. Pencils and pencil crayons may be used.

Scents

We ask for your cooperation in keeping the Museum scent-free in order to maintain a safe and enjoyable visit for everyone. Visitors are encouraged to avoid or reduce the use of heavily fragranced products, which may include perfumes/colognes and scented lotions.

Video Surveillance

For the protection of visitors, staff and our exhibitions, the Textile Museum of Canada is monitored by video surveillance.

Animals

Pets are not permitted in the Museum; however, service animals are allowed.

US Tender

We accept American cash at par. Please note that we do not accept US debit cards.

We are offering a rich variety of programming such as workshops, artist talks, and tours. As permitted by provincial COVID-19 guidelines, we will be offering a hybrid model of online and in-person programming starting on October 22, 2021. Please keep an eye on our What’s On page for our upcoming programs!

At this time, due to the Museum’s conservation policies, no outside materials can come into the Textile Learning Hub space, our galleries, or our Museum Shop. During our open studio hours on Wednesdays (5-7 pm) and Saturdays (2-5 pm), visitors can explore drop-in activities and use provided materials or items purchased from our Textile Reuse Program. Visitors are welcome to bring paper and pencil into our spaces and personal non-flash photography is permitted.

At this time, all tours are being offered virtually. Learn more about our Virtual Group Tours, explore our selection of offerings, and book here. For any additional inquiries, please contact our Education Coordinator Yahn Nemirovsky at ynemirovsky@textilemuseum.ca.

All School Visits programs are currently being held virtually. Learn more about our Virtual School Visits, explore our selection of programs, and book for your group here. For any additional inquiries, please contact our Education Coordinator Yahn Nemirovsky at ynemirovsky@textilemuseum.ca.

At this time, the Museum will not be accepting any facility rental requests. Please continue to check our website for updated information.

The Museum has one small elevator, and we ask that visitors please leave the elevator available to those who need it. Currently, 2 people maximum are allowed in the elevator at a time.

Washrooms are available on the mezzanine and second floor.

Mezzanine: All-gender and single-use.

Second Floor: Two all-gender washrooms, each with an accessible stall for wheelchairs or mobility scooters.

Please ask a staff member if you have any questions about our washroom policy.

Yes, we have one manual wheelchair available for visitor usage. Please reserve it ahead of time by emailing admissions@textilemuseum.ca or calling 416-599-5321 during opening hours (Wednesday 11:30 am to 6:30 pm, Thursday to Saturday – 10 am to 5 pm).

Washrooms are available on the mezzanine and second floor.

Mezzanine: All-gender and single-use.
Second Floor: Two all-gender washrooms, each with an accessible stall for wheelchairs or mobility scooters.

Please ask a staff member if you have any questions about our washroom policy.

You come into contact with them every day!

Textiles are objects that protect the body, furnish the home, and express personal and cultural identity.

Made from a wide range of natural and synthetic materials, they demonstrate the ingenuity of their makers, who transform wool, cotton, silk, animal skins, bark, polyester, or grass into cloth that perfectly suits its purpose.

Our collection represents historic techniques that continue to be practiced today. It includes woven textile fragments from 11th century Egypt, an Inuit seal skin appliquéd hanging, a Malaysian cowrie shell war vest made around 1910, an early 20th century camel headdress from Afghanistan, Indigenous beadwork, a child’s suit made from salmon skin from China, hooked rugs and quilts from across Canada, a collection of Chinese children’s festival hats, William Morris curtain fragments, prayer rugs from Iran, indigo-dyed women’s wrappers from Nigeria, and woven alpaca ponchos from Bolivia.

Our contemporary exhibitions celebrate textiles as personal and cultural expressions, technical innovation, cultural continuity, and new materials.

The Textile Museum of Canada is relevant to anyone who has clothes on right now, or who stepped out from between the sheets this morning to open the curtains and put their feet on the rug. These are just a few of the basic encounters we have with textiles and fibre, but it’s a global human experience that runs deep and rich.

We have digitized our collection of over 15,000 objects, and they can be viewed online here. We incorporate objects from our collection into our exhibitions whenever possible. However, there is not a dedicated physical installation at this time. We are working towards re-establishing a collection gallery by 2022.

At this time, we are be unable to accommodate visits to our collection. Please contact Senior Curator, Manager of Collection Roxane Shaughnessy for inquiries at rshaughnessy@textilemuseum.ca.

Textiles are one of the most light-sensitive materials that you will find on display at a museum. Exposure to light causes weakness of fibres and fading, which can result in severe damage to textiles if left unchecked. All forms of light can cause damage but light sources with high UV content, such as daylight, are the most destructive. Light damage to textiles is cumulative and irreversible, so it’s important for us to reduce the amount and intensity of light exposure to our collection whenever possible.

The Museum uses a dimming LED lighting system in our galleries, as it contains low levels of the UV spectrum and can be adjusted for the needs of individual pieces. We also have motion detectors that dim the lights when no one is in a gallery to reduce the amount of light exposure a textile receives. Placing a light source father away from an object reduces the intensity of light exposure that an object receives while on display. For this reason, we do not place spotlights within our cases.

We strive to make our galleries accessible for our visitors but sometimes the needs of the textiles on display require low lighting levels for their care. If you are finding that the lighting in a gallery is making it difficult to read the labels, a clear print exhibition guide is available at the front desk. Tours for visitors with low vision are also available through our education department.

Please don’t. Our museum is special because there is no glass separating you from the artifacts on display, and you can get up close. But we ask you not to touch, and here’s why:

Our skin contains oils, salts, and residues. When people touch an object, these things build up and result in chemical reactions that cause deterioration. Damage caused to textiles is a slow, gradual process and the immediate effect of poor handling is not apparent. Although the damage isn’t as easy to see as a ceramic vase breaking when you drop it, it’s still happening!. This also means that a textile, especially an old one, is probably much more fragile than it looks at first glance. Dyes, chemicals, and a variety of natural but slightly gross substances are often used to make textiles. These can remain on the surface and touching them means they will get on your hands and clothing.

In short, we ask you not to touch because it keeps you and the textiles safe. The longer we keep an object in good condition, the more people will get to see it. Please help us preserve our collection for generations to come.

The Museum is grateful for the donation of objects to the collection. However, please note that we have currently placed a moratorium on new acquisitions as we undergo an in-depth review of our policies.

At this time, we are unable to accommodate donations of textiles, fabrics and notions. Our popular fabric fundraising and textile sales are now available year-round through our Textile Reuse Program. We look forward to announcing new procedures for the intake of donations to the Reuse Program in the coming months. Please stay tuned.

We have put together a list of resources for textile enthusiasts and owners including local independent appraisers and conservators. Due to the overwhelming number of requests we receive, we are not able to respond to inquiries relating to artifacts which are not in our collection.

Yes! Check out our Get Involved page to learn more about volunteering at the Museum and find out if there are currently any job openings.