Stories

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.

Admission Fees Reduced!

Admission Fees Reduced!

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2010s

In a dramatic move to increase attendance, admission fees are slashed by one third- to much acclaim!

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...

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...

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...

The Bishop White Committee

The Bishop White Committee

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1960s

Louise Hawley Stone founds the Bishop White Committee, which still exists. It was the prototype for "Friends of...." various departments. Every year there is a festive banquet (a few teacups are on view here) and an inspiring speaker. This is just one of Mrs. Stone's many...

Doors Open

Doors Open

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1900s

March 19, 1914 is ROM's official opening day. There were 20 staff members. Hours were 10 am to 5:00 pm. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays were free admission; Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays cost 15c. The day’s events included both a luncheon and a dinner at the York Club nearby, with the...

McLuhan and the ROM

McLuhan and the ROM

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1960s

Lindsay Sharp tells a Marshall McLuhan story. See also the story "New Technology". He doesn't mention by name Harley Parker, head of design and a great collaborator with McLuhan, but they scandalised a museum convention with their ideas.

The Consummate Collector from Guyana

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1970s

About 15 years ago, I got a phone call from the public entrance of the ROM. “Mr. Courtman from Guyana would like to meet somebody from mammalogy,” said the admissions staff at the front desk. I was immediately intrigued by this surprise visitor, if he was who I thought he was. David Courtman...

"Largest Bequest to a Museum"

"Largest Bequest to a Museum"

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1990s

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