Stories

Museum and University Prepare to Divorce

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1950s

The University of Toronto requests “a survey of the ROM in its relation to the University of Toronto, the schools of Ontario, and the public”. When the report is made, it recommends that there should be a separation from the University with a full time academic head.

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...

Things That Cough in the Night

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1990s

After the Planetarium layoffs, some staff found other positions in the ROM. One woman who had been a greeter became a Security Officer. She had to do the lonely midnight shift, making the rounds in a dark and empty museum. One night I got a terrified call: “I think there’s someone in the...

A Different Light during the Toronto Blackout

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2000s

During the Summer of 2003, those of us in the Asian section of the Royal Ontario Museum hosted a special visitor from India: the leader of a school of Tibetan Buddhism, one of several schools from the mountainous region of the Himalayas. He was equal in status, if not celebrity, to the Dalai Lama,...

Full Circle

Full Circle

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1980s

Growing up without a lot of money in a small town outside of Toronto, trips to the museum were reserved for very special occasions, and I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I actually made it through the doors. But I remember every single one of those trips with vivid clarity....

Ruth Home

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1930s

Ruth M. Home developed the education department at the Royal Ontario Museum from 1928-1945. She was an important figure in the history of the museum, and more broadly, in the history of museum-based education in the province. She developed programming that was geared towards what were then...

Planetarium Closes

Planetarium Closes

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1990s

The Planetarium closes with layoffs. There is a public outcry, but attendance has been falling and the equipment is 25 years old. The Director speaks about it as a "low point".

"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.

Centennial Focus

Centennial Focus

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2010s

Janet Carding describes what next year can mean to the role of the ROM in Toronto.

Formative Moments

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1950s

It was on a solo visit to the Royal Ontario Museum as a high school student. I had been there on a class visit in public school, but by now I had become fascinated by the world of insects, their diversity, their evolution. So I had a specific interest. I was standing in the vast old,...