Stories

17th millionth visitor

17th millionth visitor

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1960s

Following the opening of ROM's doors on March 19, 1914, 17 million visitors have walked through the galleries. In a decade, attendance has grown by 6 million visitors.

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...

Life in the Biodiversity Gallery

Life in the Biodiversity Gallery

by Barbara Houghton

1980s

ROM changed my life by giving me the opportunity to volunteer at the Biodiversity Gallery. A dream come true. I got to work and meet some very talented and dedicated people and my life was made better for it. I was able to write articles for the Gallery's newsletter sharing adventures and...

"Largest Bequest to a Museum"

"Largest Bequest to a Museum"

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1990s

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

Peter Swann, Director, 1966-72

Peter Swann, Director, 1966-72

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1960s

Peter Swann is announced as the next Director. In 1966, he tackles the space issue first. The ROM must expand or choke to death.

Lions on the Move

Lions on the Move

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1980s

After arriving in Toronto and presiding over a special gallery, for a few years, the lions watched over Bloor Street. Then they went indoors again and within a few years found a place outdoors, where they wear special coats in winter.

A New Wing

A New Wing

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1930s

Argyle House is demolished. Construction begins. The new wing had been in the original plan, and it was hoped that a later phase would fill in the additional spaces between old and new buildings. This hope remains unfulfilled for a further 50 years.

The Museum Cat

The Museum Cat

by ROM ReCollects Editor

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...

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...

A Tale/Tail

A Tale/Tail

by Graham Bowden

1970s

I used to kill time before U of T evening midterms by visiting the ROM. One evening while in the Natural History exhibit (the stuffed animals) I overheard a young boy ask his mom why the beaver had a flat tail. Mom replied, "That isn't his real tail, it is just the museum's...