Stories

James Cruise, Director 1975- 85

James Cruise, Director 1975- 85

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1970s

James Cruise is appointed Director.  A botanist, he has been recruited from the University of Toronto. For the next decade, he oversees physical expansion and a new mission that is captioned “Meaningful Survival”. Almost immediately, the dream must be revised, as the provincial government...

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.

Peter Swann, Director, 1966-72

Peter Swann, Director, 1966-72

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1960s

Peter Swann is announced as the next Director. In 1966, he tackles the space issue first. The ROM must expand or choke to death.

New Galleries in Oldest Wing

New Galleries in Oldest Wing

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2000s

Ten new galleries open in the heritage buildings.

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...

School Outreach

School Outreach

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1950s

Classes for school children begin in 1933 and continue today.  Lillian Payne, the first teacher, paid for by the Toronto School Board, worked at the ROM for 21 years. Not only did the children come to the ROM- in the 20s, groups from northern Ontario came by train to visit- but also the ROM...

Life in the Biodiversity Gallery

Life in the Biodiversity Gallery

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1980s

ROM changed my life by giving me the opportunity to volunteer at the Biodiversity Gallery. A dream come true. I got to work and meet some very talented and dedicated people and my life was made better for it. I was able to write articles for the Gallery's newsletter sharing adventures and...

An Important Benefactor

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1990s

Louise Hawley Stone donates $2 million to endow a permanent curatorial position, a chair in Far Eastern Art named for her. (In 2013 there are 8 endowed curatorships)

Saturday Morning Club

Saturday Morning Club

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1920s

Saturday Morning Club is started by Ruth Home, a successor to Margaret MacLean. For 26 years, it was guided by artist and sculptor, Eugenia Berlin.  We hope that many people will share their stories about the effect that their experiences had on later lives.

William Swinton, Director, 1962- 1965

William Swinton, Director, 1962- 1965

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1960s

William Elgin Swinton is appointed Director.  Having retired from the British Museum of Natural History and come to Toronto to be head of the ROM ‘s Life Sciences Division, he is both a scholar and a populariser, especially of dinosaurs. He uses television broadcasts to call attention to the...