Science museum deals to sell $7.5M in science collection
Posted On July 16, 2021
TORONTO — The Science Museum of Toronto is closing its doors after five decades in operation, marking a stunning end to a once-vibrant community.
The Science Museums of Ontario, a joint venture between Toronto Public Library and the Toronto Public Museum, announced the news Monday afternoon.
The announcement came less than two months after the Toronto Star reported that the museum had decided to close the doors of its Science Museum at the end of the year, citing the decline in the Toronto-area’s tax base and the economic pressures the museum faced.
In a statement, the museum said the move was made to better focus on the long-term sustainability of the museum, which includes its collections of the world’s greatest scientific discoveries, including the Hubble Space Telescope and the Large Hadron Collider.
The museum’s archives, including thousands of articles and manuscripts, were not to be sold.
Toronto Public Library’s parent company, the Toronto Art Gallery, which operates the Science Museum, said it was working to find a new home for the museum.
In a statement issued Tuesday, the gallery said it planned to sell a “significant amount” of its holdings at a later date.
It said it would also seek to “continue the work to create a new museum dedicated to science and education.”
The Science Museum opened in 1979 and has been a beloved attraction in the city since then.
Its collections include many of the most important scientific discoveries in history, including Hubble Space Probe, which launched in 1978, the first time a spacecraft had ever been launched.
The telescope has since been used to study the Universe.
The Toronto Public Collection also includes more than 500 rare books, manuscripts, and other works from a number of countries, including England, France, Germany, and Italy.
The Science museum was built on the site of the former Toronto Zoo.
It was the only science museum in the world to have its namesake, an 18th century Englishman, on its grounds.
Its main building has been closed since the 1960s, when it was demolished.
The building was also used as a storage and processing facility for the zoo’s wildlife collection.