Stories

Museum and University Prepare to Divorce

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1950s

The University of Toronto requests “a survey of the ROM in its relation to the University of Toronto, the schools of Ontario, and the public”. When the report is made, it recommends that there should be a separation from the University with a full time academic head.

My Father's Home

My Father's Home

by Mary Hofstetter

1950s

My father, C. H. Douglas Clarke, was a naturalist who studied forestry and wildlife biology at U of T in the 30s and went on to a distinguished career as a researcher, administrator and writer in the field of wildlife management. He always told me that when he first came to U of T as an...

Theodore A. Heinrich, Director, 1955-1962

Theodore A. Heinrich, Director, 1955-1962

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1950s

Theodore Heinrich is appointed Director, the first for a single ROM. He has come from New York and is a novelty in Toronto the Good.  A new era begins with a flurry of restructuring. Salaries are studied. When the subway is being built (in ’59), there is restricted access but the stop gets a...

The Night the Bells Were Silent

The Night the Bells Were Silent

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1930s

This story comes from Elvira Hamilton, who joined the ROM in 1913 and was a staff member for 48 years. " I well remember the night the bells didn't ring throughout the Museum. This was the responsibility of the guard on duty. I don't recall his name but he had a physique that would...

Visiting the ROM as a solo kid in the early 1960s

by Carl Benn

1960s

  I was born in Toronto in the early 1950s and grew up just east of High Park and south of Bloor Street. I don’t remember my first visit to the Royal Ontario Museum, but recall that somewhere around the ages of eight or ten I very much wanted to go to the ROM and explore its galleries,...

My Brilliant Career

by Robert Taylor

1950s

Robert Taylor and  the ROM My first contact with the ROM was in 1948 when our grade 4 class from Coleman Avenue School took the Bloor streetcar along the Danforth to Avenue Road and across to the museum.  We were in awe of the magnitude of the building itself as we trundled up the concrete...

The Beardmore Relics

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1930s

The ROM purchases several artifacts that had been found in what is now Thunder Bay. They were "found" again in Beardmore and caused much speculation about Norse penetration into North America. Today, you can see the sword with other armour on display. The story is well told at...

Family tradition

Family tradition

by James Hinnecke

1960s

My parents had a defined set of family activities that we would do together. One of these was visiting the Royal Ontario Museum. We used to go at least annually by subway -- taking the subway was a novel experience in itself for kids who seldom left suburbia. In those days many exhibits were kept...

The Toronto Junior Field Naturalist Club

The Toronto Junior Field Naturalist Club

by Paul McElcheran

1960s

I was a member of the TJFNC through the '60s. Our meetings took place in the theatre and spread out from there to the unexplored back rooms that contained the really good stuff. I was in the herpetology and ichthyology group so we saw a lot of specimens in formaldehyde, but nothing was more...

Just a speck of dust?

Just a speck of dust?

by Mark McAlister

1960s

A subtle feeling of anxiety crept over me every time I passed by that large globe in the Geology gallery. The Earth was described as a mere speck of dust, and I felt cold and alone. Somehow, this experience was a seed for new feelings of veneration that developed as I grew older. These feelings...