Stories

Planetarium Closes

Planetarium Closes

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1990s

The Planetarium closes with layoffs. There is a public outcry, but attendance has been falling and the equipment is 25 years old. The Director speaks about it as a "low point".

Gayle's Story

Gayle's Story

by Gayle Gibson

1950s

When I was a girl in Grade School, my parents allowed me to take the bus and streetcar, by myself, down to the Museum every Sunday afternoon. I guess the world seemed a safer place in those days.  My first visit had been with my Brownie troop, little girls marching up and down the grand stairway,...

Institute for Contemporary Culture Established

Institute for Contemporary Culture Established

by Julia Matthews

1980s

The founders of this new initiative had in mind exhibits of photography, but the mandate evolved. Shows were mounted once a year. One early show depicted and analysed teenage tribes. Over the years, the mission has grown to encompass innovative exhibits and public events tackling living societies...

Worlds to Explore

Worlds to Explore

by Julia Matthews

1990s

This assorted group came from many departments but the at the core were fast-learning librarians and library technicians. No one's job description mentioned the web: it was a volunteer effort. The ROM was a very early adaptor among museums. From the vantage point of twenty years later, it...

ROM's Champion

ROM's Champion

by ROM ReCollects Editor

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...

Volunteer Fun

Volunteer Fun

by Elizabeth Novak

2000s

I used to work as a volunteer in the ROM's Hands On Biodiversity Gallery in the early 2000s. I always loved coming to the Gallery and seeing the honey bees busily working away in their hive. I also greatly enjoyed working with the artifacts in the Gallery and educating visitors about nature...

Hilary Weston Leads Campaign

Hilary Weston Leads Campaign

by ROM ReCollects Editor

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.

Free Rein

Free Rein

by Meg Beckel

1960s

My first experience with the ROM was in the mid 60’s when my brother and I participated in the Saturday Morning Club.  What is interesting is I have no recollection of adults being part of our experience.  I remember having free rein of the museum galleries and it being simply great.  Now .. I...

Winnifred Needler

Winnifred Needler

by Annette Boenke-Jarek

1950s

Winifred (Friedl) Needler joined the staff of the Royal Ontario Museum in 1935 as a draughtsman-cataloguer.  She took a year's leave to study Egyptian and Near Eastern archaeology, along with Middle Egyptian (hieroglyphics) at Yale, which study she continued upon return to the ROM under the...

Raising the Last Beam

Raising the Last Beam

by ROM ReCollects Editor

2000s

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