Stories

Hilary Weston Leads Campaign

Hilary Weston Leads Campaign

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2000s

Hilary Weston leads the fundraising campaign, which will restore the heritage architecture and build "the crystal". She announces a gift of $30 million from Michael Lee Chin, the largest gift to a museum in Canadian history.

Raising the Last Beam

Raising the Last Beam

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2000s

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

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...

The Museum Cat

The Museum Cat

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1960s

This is ROMA, one of two rescue cats who were responsible for rodent control during the 60s. The Museum photographer posed her in the studio. Gladys Wong, a cleaner, brought them from Woodbine Racetrack and fed them as part of her job. They hung out next to the security officers' room in the...

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...

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 Museum for the University

A Museum for the University

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1900s

A Royal Commission on the Future of the University recommends establishing a university museum. Sir Edmund Walker has had a concept in mind for at least 20 years. “Every year’s delay is a misfortune, not only to the education of the students.... but to the education and material welfare of the...

Bill 138: A home for culture and science

Bill 138: A home for culture and science

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1900s

On April 16, 1912, Bill 138 formally establishing the ROM received Royal Assent to “provide a home for culture and science under the same academical roof”. Press coverage was slight owing to the sinking of the Titanic. There were to be five ROMs, each with a director. The Board of Trustees was...