Royal Ontario Museum

Royal Ontario Museum

Toronto, Ontario, Canada has a museum. The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM; French: Musée royal de l'Ontario) is a museum in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, dedicated to art, global culture, and natural history. It is the biggest museum in Canada and one of the largest in North America.

Royal Ontario Museum
French : Musée royal de l'Ontario
Royal Ontario Museum logo.svg
Royal Ontario Museum edit3.jpg
Royal Ontario Museum is located in Toronto

Royal Ontario Museum

Location of the gallery in Toronto

Established 16 April 1912 ; 109 years ago ( 1912-04-16 )
Location 100 Queen's Park
Toronto , Ontario
M5S 2C6
Coordinates 43°40′04″N 79°23′41″W  /  43.667679°N 79.394809°W  / 43.667679; -79.394809 Coordinates : 43°40′04″N 79°23′41″W  /  43.667679°N 79.394809°W  / 43.667679; -79.394809
Collection size over 6,000,000
Visitors 1,440,000 [1]
Director Josh Basseches
Owner Government of Ontario
Public transit access TTC - Line 1 - Yonge-University-Spadina line.svg Museum
TTC - Line 1 - Yonge-University-Spadina line.svg TTC - Line 2 - Bloor-Danforth line.svg St. George
Website www .rom .on .ca /en
Built 1910–14, addition: 1931–32
Original use Museum
Architect Darling & Pearson, addition: Chapman & Oxley
Sculptor Wm. Oosterhoff

Ontario Heritage Act

Designated 2003
Reference no. Heritage Easement Agreement AT347470

Royal Ontario Museum


Every year, more over one million people visit the ROM, making it Canada's most visited museum. The museum is located in the University of Toronto area, north of Queen's Park, with its main entrance on Bloor Street West. The Museum subway station is named after the ROM and has been designed to reflect the institution's collection since a 2008 restoration. The museum, which was founded on April 16, 1912 and first opened on March 19, 1914, has maintained strong ties with the University of Toronto throughout its existence, often exchanging expertise and resources. Until 1968, when it became an independent Crown agency of the Government of Ontario, the museum was under the direct administration and direction of the University of Toronto. The museum is now Canada's biggest field-research institution, with research and conservation projects taking place all over the globe. The museum's varied collections of global culture and natural history contribute to its worldwide renown, with over 6,000,000 objects and 40 galleries. Dinosaurs, minerals, and meteorites are among the museum's exhibits, as are Canadian and European historical relics, as well as African, Near Eastern, and East Asian art. It has the world's biggest collection of Burgess Shale fossils, with over 150,000 specimens.


The Royal Ontario Museum was founded on April 16, 1912, and it was co-governed by the Government of Ontario and the University of Toronto. The University of Toronto and the Ontario Ministry of Education transferred the museum's initial assets from its predecessor, the Museum of Natural History and Fine Arts at the Toronto Normal School. The Royal Ontario Museum was formally opened to the public on March 19, 1914, by the Duke of Connaught, who was also the Governor General of Canada. The museum's site on the outskirts of Toronto, distant from the city's core business sector, was chosen primarily because of its closeness to the University of Toronto. The original structure was built along the university's Philosopher's Walk on the western side of the site, with its main entrance looking out onto Bloor Street and containing five distinct museums in the disciplines of archaeology, palaeontology, mineralogy, zoology, and geology. It was built at a cost of $400,000 in Canada. This was the first of two phases of a two-part building proposal to extend the museum towards Queen's Park Crescent, eventually becoming an H-shaped edifice. 

Royal Ontario Museum

Original Building And Eastern Wing

Frank Darling and John A. Pearson, two Toronto architects, designed the building. The original building's architectural style (now the western wing) is a mix of Italianate and Neo-Romanesque. The building is massive, with rounded and segmented arched windows with heavy surrounds and hood mouldings punctuating it. Also included are ornate eave brackets, quoins, and cornices. Alfred H. Chapman and James Oxley designed the eastern wing, which faces Queen's Park. It featured the museum's magnificent art deco, Byzantine-inspired rotunda, and a new main entrance when it opened in 1933. The Queen's Park wing's connecting wing and back (west) façade were initially built in the same yellow brick as the 1914 structure, with modest Italianate decoration. The Queen's Park façade, on the other hand, deviated from the original structure's strong Italianate design. It was constructed in a neo-Byzantine style, with rusticated stone, triple windows set inside recessed arches, and a variety of coloured stones placed in various patterns. This transition from Roman-inspired Italianate to Byzantine-influenced design mirrored the historical evolution of Byzantine architecture. The façade, like many neo-Byzantine structures in North America, has Gothic Revival features such as relief carvings, gargoyles, and sculptures. The rotunda's beautiful ceiling is mostly made up of gold back painted glass mosaic tiles with colourful geometric patterns and pictures of actual and mythological creatures. The rotunda's mosaic ceiling is mostly made up of gold back-painted glass pieces. The inside of the building is a surprise and a pleasant one; the rather complex decoration of the façade is forgotten, and a magnificent design reveals itself, according to A.S. Mathers in 1933. It's straightforward, straightforward, and large in size. One am sure that the designer's early Beaux-Arts expertise was not in vain. The glass mosaic ceiling of the entry rotunda is a standout element of the interior. It's done in bright colours and gold, and it's a lovely touch in the one area of the structure that the architect could decorate without clashing with the displays. Since 1973, the original structure and its 1933 extension have been designated as Toronto historic structures. The galleries were made wider, windows were exposed, and the original early 20th-century architecture was made more prominent during a significant restoration of the historic wings in 2005. The historic buildings' exteriors were cleaned and repaired. The restoration of the structures between 1914 and 1933 was Canada's biggest historic project. 

Royal Ontario Museum

Curatorial Centre

The curatorial centre, designed by Toronto architect Gene Kinoshita in collaboration with Mathers & Haldenby, is located in the museum's southern portion. It was constructed during the same extension as the old Queen Elizabeth II Terrace Galleries on the museum's north side, and was completed in 1984. The building is constructed of poured concrete, glass, and pre-cast concrete and aggregate panels in a basic modernist design. The curatorial centre contains the museum's administrative and curatorial functions as well as storage for non-exhibit items. The curatorial centre was renamed the Louise Hawley Stone Curatorial Centre in 2006 to honour the late Louise Hawley Stone, who dedicated her life to the ROM, donating a number of objects and collections to the museum. She left C$49.7 million to the Louise Hawley Stone Charitable Trust in her bequest, which was established to assist with the maintenance of the structure and the purchase of new items.

The Crystal

In 2007, Daniel Libeskind's contentious Michael Lee-Chin "Crystal," a multimillion-dollar addition to the museum that included a new sliding door entry on Bloor Street, first unveiled.

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