Stories

School Outreach

School Outreach

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1950s

Classes for school children begin in 1933 and continue today.  Lillian Payne, the first teacher, paid for by the Toronto School Board, worked at the ROM for 21 years. Not only did the children come to the ROM- in the 20s, groups from northern Ontario came by train to visit- but also the ROM...

James Cruise, Director 1975- 85

James Cruise, Director 1975- 85

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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...

Admission fees rise

Admission fees rise

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1990s

Admission fees jump to $8

Friday Nights

Friday Nights

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1990s

Free admission (after 4:30) on Friday nights launches and is a huge success from the start...

Walter Tovell, Director, 1973-1975

Walter Tovell, Director, 1973-1975

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1970s

Walter Tovell is appointed Director. He had been a curator in the Department of Geology who developed new galleries and was an enthusiastic leader of fieldtrips for kids and grownups. He published books and guides on the geology of Niagara Falls, the Niagara escarpment, and the Great Lakes. He...

Strikes

Strikes

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1980s

Two of the ROM's unions were on strike for 6 weeks.

William Thorsell, President and CEO 2000- 2010

William Thorsell, President and CEO 2000- 2010

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2000s

William Thorsell is appointed President and CEO. Soon follows the announcement of the most ambitious renovation yet. The Master Plan costing $200 million is called Renaissance ROM. Here he talks about his arrival at the ROM.

Lindsay Sharp, President and CEO, 1997- 2000

Lindsay Sharp, President and CEO, 1997- 2000

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1990s

Lindsay Sharp is appointed. He comes to the ROM from museum experiences in England and in Australia. His title (a first) is President and CEO. Here he talks about how he was hired.

J. H. Fleming, Ornithologist Extraordinaire

J. H. Fleming, Ornithologist Extraordinaire

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1940s

J. H. Fleming dies. He has had office space at the ROM since the 20s, when he willed his ornithological collection to the Museum. It was then the largest and most comprehensive private collection of skins, mounts, eggs in North America, with a special focus on birds of paradise. With it came his...

Canadiana Building

Canadiana Building

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1950s

Sigmund Samuel, who has been an important donor as well as a collector in his own right, pays for a building to house the fine and decorative art and rare books that he has donated, as well as the provincial archives. This building remains as a second ROM location until very recently and shows up...