Just a little warning disclaimer, if you don’t like bones/taxidermy/anything in that category, this post is not for you. I won’t be offended if you go ahead and skip this one, next week will be my visit to the Comfort Maple Tree and the Shoe Tree – much less spooky!
Also, all items were collected ethically and legally, if they weren’t I would not have visited.
Nestled amongst the bustling streets of Toronto, you could be mistaken by thinking this building is just like any other. However, hidden inside this ordinary looking building, is the Prehistoria Museum & SkullStore Oddity shop. A treasure trove for the dark tourist or those looking to have their morbid curiosity peaked.
When I first walked up the stairs towards the museum, other than some distant chatting, it was eerily quiet. Then suddenly a very loud SQUAWK!
We had unintentionally awoken a sleeping parrot. The bird squawked at us a few more times as we wandered into the museum until someone came over and told him to stop making a fuss.
When entering a place like this my first reaction was to question where the animals originally came from. This is actually encouraged by the team at Prehistoria because if you don’t question, it will make it a lot easier for those illegally poaching animals get their pay cheques. All animals you see here were already passed before collection or antiques.
My other immediate concern was knocking into something. I am a very clumsy person so being around such delicate, precious objects was quite nerve racking. With my breath held, I gripped my backpack close to my chest and wandered around the museum, thankfully with no accidents.
The museum was absolutely fascinating and it contained so many interesting things. I’m not particularly into taxidermy, as you will of heard (or read) me say in my previous post when I visited the Littledean Jail, but it was still very interesting to see.
Founded by Ben Lovatt, Prehistoria is an independently owned and operated nature and archaeological museum in Toronto. The museum is focused on conservation and natural history and is also Canada’s largest oddity store. There I go again with the record breaking theme!
The business runs as a “donate what you can”, which is incredibly generous as they solely rely on donations and funding from the shop to grow and run the museum. (Of course we donated!)
Whilst researching about the history of the museum and shop, I found that the heads for sale are not the only heads with a price tag. Ben Lovatt was sent animals by a poacher with the assumption he would pay for them. Of course he immediately went to the authorities and wild life control removed and traced where the animals had come from. He has now been advised against travelling to Cameroon as there is someone very keen to collect his own head.
Those that know me, will know I have a little obsession with fossils. It just amazes me that you can find something so old, yet so well preserved just waiting for you to find. So when I saw such perfectly preserved specimens, you know I was really geeking out!
Funnily enough I still have one of my molars that was pulled out when I was 16 in preparation for my braces. I should of brought it with me and made a bit of cash!
For those interested in finding out more, purchasing your own oddity or perhaps you have something to sell, you can find their website here.
Thanks for reading!