Stories

A Museum for the University

A Museum for the University

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1900s

A Royal Commission on the Future of the University recommends establishing a university museum. Sir Edmund Walker has had a concept in mind for at least 20 years. “Every year’s delay is a misfortune, not only to the education of the students.... but to the education and material welfare of the...

Family tradition

Family tradition

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1960s

My parents had a defined set of family activities that we would do together. One of these was visiting the Royal Ontario Museum. We used to go at least annually by subway-- taking the subway was a novel experience in itself for kids who seldom left suburbia. In those days many exhibits were kept in...

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...

Campaign for Gallery Development

Campaign for Gallery Development

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1980s

Serious fundraising for galleries begins with a target of $40 million. The Royal Terrace Club is established for donors. (It became the Royal Patrons' Circle in 1999)

Run for the ROM

Run for the ROM

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1980s

Staff initiated 24 hour relay run to raise $83,000 for the ROM's 70th birthday.  A favourite stop for the athletes was the ROM BBQ which kept them fueled throughout the day (and night). The Run was reinstated in 2012.

First ROM Employee

First ROM Employee

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1900s

Charles Trick Currelly is appointed a collector for the University of Toronto at $500/year salary. He is working on excavations in Egypt and when back in Toronto, he arranges to display some of the material collected so that the people he is cultivating will be infected with enthusiasm and write...

11 millionth visitor

11 millionth visitor

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1950s

In just 13 years the ROM more than doubles its total attendance. Since opening its doors on March 19, 1914,  the ROM has welcomed 11 million visitors.

William Swinton, Director, 1962- 1965

William Swinton, Director, 1962- 1965

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1960s

William Elgin Swinton is appointed Director.  Having retired from the British Museum of Natural History and come to Toronto to be head of the ROM ‘s Life Sciences Division, he is both a scholar and a populariser, especially of dinosaurs. He uses television broadcasts to call attention to the...

The Beardmore Relics

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1930s

The ROM purchases several artifacts that had been found in what is now Thunder Bay. They were "found" again in Beardmore and caused much speculation about Norse penetration into North America. Today, you can see the sword with other armour on display. The story is well told at...

New Galleries

New Galleries

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2000s

11 new galleries open over three years. The first two are the James and Louise Temerty Galleries of the Age of Dinosaurs and the Reed Gallery of the Age of Mammals. From Bloor Street there are tantalizing glimpses of bones.