Stories

ROM's Champion

ROM's Champion

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1910s

The ROM is fortunate that Sir Edmund Walker believed in a museum for Toronto that would be both academic and public. He was able to gather all the stakeholders together so that the initial funding would be 50:50 government and university. As President of the Canadian Bank of Commerce, as well as...

Canadiana Building

Canadiana Building

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1950s

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. This building remains as a second ROM location until very recently and shows up...

Lions on the Move (Again!)

Lions on the Move (Again!)

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2000s

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

Approval to Begin is Secured

Approval to Begin is Secured

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1900s

Approval for cost-sharing between the University and the Government of Ontario means that construction can begin.   Edmund Osler who is Chairman of the Conservative caucus twists the Premier’s arm by offering to cover costs himself. He becomes an original Board member and is a faithful donor.

A Bear Story

A Bear Story

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1960s

  There is just one complete study skeleton of the huge Brown Bear (Ursus arctos  - also known as the Grizzly or Kodiak bear) in the ROM's mammalogy collection. And I remember vividly when it arrived in 1965.   I was a summer student in the ROM's Department of Entomology and...

Evolving Governance

Evolving Governance

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1940s

A new Royal Ontario Museum Act increases the size of the Board of Trustees and moves the control and budget entirely to the University of Toronto as a department. There are four discipline museums (Zoology; Palaeontology; Mineralogy & Geology; Archaeology)  plus a Division of Extension, which...

A Wonderful Gift

A Wonderful Gift

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1990s

Herman Hertzog Levy leaves $15 million for the purchase of Chinese bronzes, jades, ceramics, and sculpture. He has already donated many marvellous objects from his own collections. One interesting proviso is that the funds must be spent within 5 years, and so the curators he trusted are able to bid...

Lions on the Move

Lions on the Move

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1980s

After arriving in Toronto and presiding over a special gallery, for a few years, the lions watched over Bloor Street. Then they went indoors again and within a few years found a place outdoors, where they wear special coats in winter.

A New Wing

A New Wing

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1930s

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. This hope remains unfulfilled for a further 50 years.

Colonel McLaughlin funds a planetarium

Colonel McLaughlin funds a planetarium

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1960s

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). The University donated the land. At this point, there was again so much...