Stories

Construction Begins

Construction Begins

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1970s

Admission is $1.50. The renovation begins with the demolition of exhibition hall (and obliteration of any parking spaces). In its place is to be a 9 floor curatorial centre with offices, labs, collections storage, and a purpose built library. It is decided to close the museum for 13 months.

"He's looking at rocks"

"He's looking at rocks"

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1960s

So my parents took their young son to the ROM for some education and entertainment. Being as I was about 5 at the time, I quickly wore Mom out. She sat on a bench in the rotunda waiting for Dad and me to finish in the gemmology exhibit. Dad comes out- alone- and slumps next to her in exhaustion....

Chasing Centipedes

Chasing Centipedes

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1980s

The Curatorial Centre was built with a high level of security in mind. The stairways to each floor were locked off daily at 6 pm and subsequent access was only available by pass keys for the elevator. This meant that each week day a security officer would unlock the stairway doors from top to...

Bookends

Bookends

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1990s

A quarter of a century after leaving the ROM, I realised a dream that began soon after I arrived there. It was to publish at last the beautiful and informative book the Museum's stupendous Chinese collection deserves. In 1990 or thereabouts, I approached the staff of the Far Eastern Department...

Accessibility

Accessibility

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1980s

These visitors are learning about the ROM's initiatives in making the collections accessible. There is a long history of programs with that aim, which continues today.

Ruth Home

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1930s

Ruth M. Home developed the education department at the Royal Ontario Museum from 1928-1945. She was an important figure in the history of the museum, and more broadly, in the history of museum-based education in the province. She developed programming that was geared towards what were then...

Connecting with the Past

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1970s

I was 11 when my family moved to Toronto from a small Eastern Townships community an hour from Montreal. A school field trip into the city was a big deal! Actually moving and living in a big city was a really huge deal! Changing schools and moving so far from friends was not easy for me in my early...

MUSEUM (poem)

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2010s

I believe museums should be about affectivity-- that one should be able to simultaneously 'lose' oneself and connect to something larger. Here's a poem I wrote on the subject that I am pleased to share in honour of ROM ReCollects: MUSEUM Matinée monuments stories in surround...

The Toronto Junior Field Naturalist Club

The Toronto Junior Field Naturalist Club

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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...

My First Visit

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1990s

My first visit to the ROM was in 1996. I came here as a grad student and the ROM was the first on my "must visit" list. I kept hearing, "They have a great Chinese collection!" I went, and I was wowed! I have never seen such a such a rich, exquisite, collection of porcelain,...