Stories

Evolving Governance

Evolving Governance

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1940s

A new Royal Ontario Museum Act increases the size of the Board of Trustees and moves the control and budget entirely to the University of Toronto as a department. There are four discipline museums (Zoology; Palaeontology; Mineralogy & Geology; Archaeology)  plus a Division of Extension, which...

Charlie and Fido

Charlie and Fido

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1960s

In the 1960s my father was seconded to the ROM from the Toronto Board of Education and the immediate effect of this career move for me was access to the Royal Ontario Museum after closing hours. I had a tremendous sense of privilege and insider knowledge when my mother and I picked my father up at...

Tactile Tours

Tactile Tours

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1960s

Two unnamed women are carefully running their fingers around the rim of a lion’s mouth. It’s a ceramic Wedgwood ornament from the nineteenth century. They are in a study room, presumably a behind-the-scenes curatorial space at the museum. A volunteer instructor stands behind them, watching...

The Night the Bells Were Silent

The Night the Bells Were Silent

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1930s

This story comes from Elvira Hamilton, who joined the ROM in 1913 and was a staff member for 48 years. " I well remember the night the bells didn't ring throughout the Museum. This was the responsibility of the guard on duty. I don't recall his name but he had a physique that would...

A ROM love story

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2000s

My fiancée, Raj, and I met through mutual friends and immediately began getting to know each other. We found that biggest thing we had in common was our love for history, so naturally we thought to go to the ROM for our first date. We met at the front doors and he was nice enough to be a gentleman...

Budget Cuts

Budget Cuts

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1970s

Admission rises to $1. Budget cuts mean that ROM closes evenings.

ROM's Champion

ROM's Champion

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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...

Architect Chosen

Architect Chosen

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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.

The ROM Grants a Young Boy's Wish

The ROM Grants a Young Boy's Wish

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2010s

On August 8, 2013, the ROM was able to participate in making a young boy’s dream come true. Damien was granted his wish of being a palaeontologist for a day! Damien who has been diagnosed with T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, was granted a tour of the Temerty Gallery of Dinosaurs and the...

Uncrating the Terracotta Warriors

Uncrating the Terracotta Warriors

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2010s

In the summer of 2010, I spent a summer in the communications department as an intern. It was a very interesting time to be at the ROM, as the last-minute preparations were in full-swing for the Terracotta Warriors exhibition. Of course, much of Toronto was starting to enter a sort of lockdown,...