Located on Main Street East between Edgemont and Park Row, the Hamilton Toy Museum might be small; however, its collection is mighty, boasting more than a century’s worth of treasures. Incorporated in 2010 and opened to the public a few years later, it’s the only museum of its kind in Canada, and it’s right here in our own Hamilton backyard.
A Walk Down Memory Lane
When you enter the Hamilton Toy Museum, you’re greeted by hundreds — make that thousands — of toys, including dolls, board games, video game consoles, puzzles, Star Wars memorabilia, and Pez dispensers, to name only a few. Lured by nostalgia, everyone visiting gravitates toward something different. For me, it was a collection of Easy-Bake Ovens from many eras displayed high on a shelf.
Open to the public on Saturdays, the Hamilton Toy Museum is a labour of love for co-owner Chris Weston, who excitedly points out some of his favourite items among the collection, including a terracotta toy cart and horse circa 1000-800 B.C. and an incredible Lego cruise ship with 60,000 pieces.
The museum has a particular interest in Canadian toys; however, you’ll find gems from around the world within its walls.
While many of the rare and vintage toys are stored safely behind glass, Weston says he wants children to be able to enjoy their time at the museum through play and a tactile experience. There are many hands-on activities, including building toys, buckets of figurines, a doll house, and a Barbie dressing station. The Hamilton Toy Museum hosts school trips and birthday parties.
A registered not-for-profit organization, the Hamilton Toy Museum relies heavily on toy donations, as well as the support of curious families who visit on Saturdays. This charming space bridges the gap between generations, creating an environment where everyone can reminisce, whether they’re a child of the 1930s or a child of today.
The Hamilton Toy Museum
1231 Main Street East
Saturday 10:00 – 3:00