Stories

Ontario Lottery to Fund Expansion

Ontario Lottery to Fund Expansion

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1970s

One of the first new Ontario Lottery draws is held in the ROM to assist with the funds needed for expansion. $10m is to be matched by private fundraising. Some Board Members oppose the use of funds gained by a lottery. (We don't have pictures of the ROM draw, but here's a nostalgia trip.)...

Mr. Snuffleupagus

by Christine Caroppo

1970s

My friend, artist, and teacher, Margaret Ann [Clark] Fecteau told me this story. It is both funny and tragic, and took place, I think, in the late 1970s. The ROM had at that time a gallery on the archaeological periods of Ontario before European contact. Among the dioramas was one depicting the...

Accessible Galleries: The Discovery Room/Gallery

by Kate Zankowicz

1970s

In July 1977, the ROM’s Discovery Room opened and was billed as a “mini-museum for the blind.” It was called the first gallery of its kind in Canada, a learning environment that emphasized hands-on engagement with original objects and specimens. Visitors crossing the threshold of the gallery...

Construction Begins

Construction Begins

by ROM ReCollects Editor

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.

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...

Best. School trip. Ever

Best. School trip. Ever

by Susan Kilpatrick

1970s

School trip circa late 60's. early 70's. School bus pulls up to the front steps full of rambunctious, noisy pre-adolescent kids. I heard nothing as I observed the building in front of me innately knowing it was full of wonder. The entrance, the steps inside & out, the floors and of...

An Old Friend

An Old Friend

by Rita Cacciotti Attard

1980s

I have always loved the Museum. I would spend every minute that I could there, sometimes doing my homework in the company of ancient Egyptian Pharaohs or dinosaurs. I loved everything about the museum. When I started working, one of the first things I did was purchase a lifetime membership to the...

What Curators Do

What Curators Do

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1960s

Brian Musslewhite joined the ROM as a young man. One of his first tasks was to keep the period rooms clean. They were not glassed in as they are today and there was always debris. The Victorian Room featured a beagle - one of our collection of pets donated by Toronto families - and people...

A Place of Awe and Reverence

by Alex Hillar

1970s

My childhood recollections of the ROM include entering the magnificent rotunda from the steps on University Ave. As my father paid the admission, my brother and I simply gazed upward at the mosaic on the ceiling in awe. directly behind the admission cashier were the steps leading toward the old...

James Cruise, Director 1975 - 85

James Cruise, Director 1975 - 85

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1970s

James Cruise is appointed Director.  A botanist, he has been recruited from the University of Toronto. For the next decade, he oversees physical expansion and a new mission that is captioned “Meaningful Survival”. Almost immediately, the dream must be revised, as the provincial government...