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6 Strange Museums in Canada

Many early museums were called “cabinets of curiosities” – the private collections of the wealthy, filled with all sorts of oddities. Today’s museums include plenty of high culture, but you can still find shrines to the offbeat. Here’s a look at six curious museum stops across Canada.

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1. Vancouver Police Museum, Vancouver B.C.

The setting of Vancouver’s Police Museum, eerily enough, is the old Coroner’s Court and forensics lab, including the morgue.  Artifacts, from the 1870s on, include badges, uniforms, police equipment, items confiscated from criminals, and even preserved organs from autopsies – all in all an arresting experience.

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2. Vulcan Tourism & Trek Station, Vulcan, Alberta

Designed to resemble a spacecraft, the Trek Station celebrates Vulcan’s coincidental relationship to Mr. Spock’s planet. Boldly go to a building that features an 800-piece collection of Star Trek memorabilia – including Spock’s ears, donated personally by Leonard Nimoy – and floor-to-ceiling space murals.

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3. Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto, Ontario

Call it a “shoe-seum.” From ancient Egyptian sandals, to haute couture pumps, to intricately crafted beaded moccasins (and what they indicate about trade patterns in Native North America), Toronto’s Bata Shoe Museum exhibits are devoted to the style, function and meaning of footwear.

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4. Accordion Museum, Montmagny, Quebec

Through instruments, photos and recordings, the museum traces the history of the accordion and its influence on Quebec culture. They’ve even acquired Asian instruments that show the use of the free reed – call them ancient ancestors of the accordion – that date back 4,000 years!

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5. Chocolate Museum, St. Stephen, New Brunswick

It’s chocoholic heaven – a whole museum featuring displays on how chocolate is made, hands-on exhibits, collections of historic chocolate boxes, and antique candy-making equipment – and, of course, lots of chocolate treats. Located in an old candy factory building.

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6. Potato Museum, O’Leary, P.E.I.

A 14-foot high potato greets you at what’s billed as the world’s largest exhibit of potato artifacts. Explore the humble potato’s role in the economy, a collection of farm implements related to growing and harvesting potatoes, and the Potato Hall of Fame.