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New Toronto augmented-reality Holocaust museum opens for post-survivor era

The museum is the region’s “most technologically advanced,” per a release.

A visitor to the Toronto Holocaust Museum. Credit: Courtesy.
A visitor to the Toronto Holocaust Museum. Credit: Courtesy.

The Toronto Holocaust Museum, which has been under development for five years, opened to the public on the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto campus on June 9.

The “revitalized,” 9,500-square-foot museum is an update—the museum calls itself a re-imagination—of the Holocaust Education and Memorial Centre that opened in 1985. The new space is almost twice as large as the prior one.

The new design, by Reich and Petch, responds to the need to preserve the testimony of an aging survivor community.

“Interactive media stations were created to document testimonies and provide visitors an opportunity to hear directly from survivors about their experiences and ask them questions,” the museum stated. “Powerful films, historical narratives, personal testimonies and artifacts, interactive augmented-reality experiences and a memorial space support each layered and unique visitor journey.”

“Designed to act as a permanent link to the past, the museum houses 220 minutes of survivor testimony—in audio and video form—from more than 70 Holocaust survivors,” added the museum.

Toronto Holocaust Museum
Partial views of the Toronto Holocaust Museum’s persecution and atrocity and devastation galleries. Credit: Courtesy.

A news release referred to the museum as the “most technologically advanced” in the region, noting that it “leverages augmented reality (AR) and an interactive, inquiry-based technology to preserve survivor testimonies long after they’re gone.”

The “revitalized museum” is “one of the first to be designed for the post-survivor era,” the museum stated.

Toronto Holocaust Museum
The Toronto Holocaust Museum. Credit: Courtesy.
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