First-of-its-kind Holocaust Museum constructed in Toronto

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Naomi Azrieli, Chair & CEO, Azrieli Foundation, Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario, Nate Leipciger, Holocaust Survivor, Speaker & Educator, Dara Solomon, Executive Director, Toronto Holocaust Museum, Jennifer McKelvie, Deputy Mayor, City of Toronto, Adam Minsky, President & CEO, UJA Federation of Greater Toronto cut the ribbon at the official grand opening of the Toronto Holocaust Museum. Photo credit: Vito Amati (CNW Group/Toronto Holocaust Museum)

Ontario Construction News staff writer

The Toronto Holocaust Museum opened last week, the city’s only museum dedicated to Holocaust remembrance and education,  part of UJA Federation of Greater Toronto and located at the Prosserman Jewish Community Centre.

With about 10,000 square feet of-the-art gallery and learning spaces, the museum houses four themed galleries complimented by a learning lab to inspire continued dialogue and discussion. A 40-seat theatre also showcases three immersive film experiences that help visitors at different learning levels understand the context of the Holocaust.

“As we enter the post-survivor era, society is rapidly losing access to the firsthand testimony of those who bore witness to the horrors of the Holocaust as well as the stories of their vibrant lives before the rise of Nazism, their resistance, bravery, and resilience,” said Dara Solomon, executive director, Toronto Holocaust Museum. “To ensure history does not repeat itself and future generations continue to learn from their legacy, it’s essential to keep these stories alive.”

The $27-million project was designed by Reich & Petch International as a permanent link to the past with 220 minutes of survivor testimony in audio and video form – from more than 70 Holocaust Survivors. These moving first-person accounts are intertwined with historical exhibits using a best-in-class approach, featuring advanced technologies such as augmented reality (AR), and interactive, inquiry-based learning to preserve and share Survivor testimonies for future generations.

“Antisemitism, and hate of all kinds, is a growing threat in Canada and more specifically, in Toronto. It is urgent that we meet this threat head-on with increased education and awareness,” said Solomon.

Construction was funded by the Ministry of Canadian Heritage, FedDev Ontario’s Tourism Relief Fund, and the Government of Ontario, community donors and the Azrieli Foundation.

“The opening of the Toronto Holocaust Museum marks a significant milestone for our province’s Jewish community and all Ontarians,” said Premier Doug Ford. “This new, world-class facility will be an important resource to educate our youth and future generations about the atrocities of Holocaust and help to ensure that the lessons of the past will never be forgotten.”

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