The 3,000-square-foot Toronto Police Museum shines a spotlight on the history and stories of policing the city since 1834. Alongside the uniforms, badges, handcuffs, batons, and other standard equipment there are some more unusual items—all guarded by a large moose sculpture.
You’ll pass under the stone entrance arch from the Court Street Station—one of the city’s first, built in 1834—and the life-size recreation of a 1920s-era station (Police Station No. 7) features a flash-light call box outside and an unhappy-looking prisoner in the green-doored cell alongside.
The police moose, located in the museum’s lobby, wears a full uniform including a “Moose Patrol” hat around his huge antlers. This sculpture was one of more than 300 decorated moose sculptures placed around the city in 2000 as part of a “Moose in the City” program. For a while, moose vandalism was a problem, but Torontonians eventually seemed to view them affectionately. In 2001, nearly half of them were auctioned off to raise money for charity.
Alongside the moose is what appears to be a small brown donkey wearing a poncho with the initials IACP 2001 on it, which corresponds to the International Association of Police Chiefs conference, an event held at the Police Museum that year.
Several other statues can be found outside the building. They were created by Eldon Garnett in 1988 to celebrate the opening of this headquarters and the work of the police service. Items on display at the museum include a 1980s police car, a badly-damaged mannequin head that was used for practice by the Boyd Gang, and a ring that was used to convict a drug-dealing double murderer—who in 1962 became the last man to be hanged in Canada. There are also a number of exhibits and displays from notable local crimes.
Know Before You Go
The public entrance to the building and the museum is far back off the street on the College Road side. The moose is located in the museum lobby.