Stories

Architect Chosen

Architect Chosen

by Array Array

2000s

Daniel Libeskind is announced as the architect for the project, following an international search. He sketches (and submits)  his idea on napkins from the ROM's restaurant. William Thorsell talks about the process.

Gayle's Story

Gayle's Story

by Array Array

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,...

Winnifred Needler

Winnifred Needler

by Array Array

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...

"Largest Bequest to a Museum"

"Largest Bequest to a Museum"

by Array Array

1990s

Louise Hawley Stone leaves a $45 million trust fund to support the purchase of artifacts and specimens and to support museum publications.

Institute for Contemporary Culture Established

Institute for Contemporary Culture Established

by Array Array

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...

Groundbreaking Ceremony

Groundbreaking Ceremony

by Array Array

2000s

At the groundbreaking for the crystal, Hilary Weston and Michael Lee Chin get to drive the shovel.

Worlds to Explore

Worlds to Explore

by Array Array

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...

Volunteer Fun

Volunteer Fun

by Array Array

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...

Planetarium Closes

Planetarium Closes

by Array Array

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".

ROM's Champion

ROM's Champion

by Array Array

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...