Hot Potato Dance

Victoria University at the University of Toronto is just across the street from the ROM on Charles. My university days were spent there in first year Art and Archeology.

The Cost of Steel and Other Challenges

William Thorsell talks about some surprises that contributed to the costs of Renaissance ROM.

Renaissance ROM

William Thorsell muses on the aims of the new project for renewal.

Timelapse of the Renaissance ROM Project

This timelapse takes the project from demolition to opening. 

illuminated scene of Crystal on opening night

Opening Ceremony

The crystal opens. 40, 000 people walk through empty space, which is then closed for the installation of galleries.

steel beam against white sky

Raising the Last Beam

Staff, volunteers, workers, and the architect sign the last steel beam to be put in place.

statues on truck on street

Lions on the Move (Again!)

Demolition of the Terrace Galleries requires that the lions move to the Queen's Park frontage, where they may be seen today.

Sketch of building on napkin.

Architect Chosen

Daniel Libeskind is announced as the architect for the project, following an international search. He sketches (and submits)  his idea on napkins from the ROM's restaurant. William Thorsell talks about the process.

President William Thorsell's official portrait dark background

William Thorsell, President and CEO 2000 - 2010

William Thorsell is appointed President and CEO. Soon follows the announcement of the most ambitious renovation yet. The Master Plan costing $200 million is called Renaissance ROM. Here he talks about his arrival at the ROM.

Terrace Galleries facing Bloor St

Another Reopening

At a cost of $56 million, the ROM is ready to reopen. The public are displeased to find that much of the increased gallery space is empty.

building under construction

Moving In

Currelly moves into basement even before the roof is completed and begins to unpack material he has collected in Europe and Egypt.

planetarium under construction

Colonel McLaughlin funds a planetarium

The space exhibition may have influenced Col R S McLaughlin to donate $2m for  a planetarium and a further million as an endowment fund. (Dr Meen, Chief Mineralogist, had been trying to raise interest for a decade).

image of house with building in background

A New Wing

Argyle House is demolished. Construction begins. The new wing had been in the original plan, and it was hoped that a later phase would fill in the additional spaces between old and new buildings.

interior showing glass doors

Updating Visitors' First Impresssions

During the 70s, there were no big changes to the buildings,  but small touches such as new glass doors, removal of turnstiles, and an information kiosk in the Rotunda were instituted.

architectural drawing of facade

A New Presence on Queen's Park Crescent

New wing opens at a cost of $1.8m. Staff have their own keys to the new front door and many have a numbered parking space in the courtyard.

facade of building

Canadiana Building

Sigmund Samuel, who has been an important donor as well as a collector in his own right, pays for a building to house the fine and decorative art and rare books that he has donated, as well as the provincial archives.