ROM Announces Record-Breaking 1.35 Million Visitors Annual Attendance

TORONTO, May 1, 2017 — The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) announced today that a record 1.35 million people visited the Museum in the last fiscal year, ending March 31, 2017. This is a historic high mark for the ROM, which ranks #1 in attendance among the country’s cultural institutions, and is among the top 50 museums worldwide[1].

"These are the highest attendance figures in the Museum's history and represent a 23% increase in visitors over last year," said Josh Basseches, ROM Director & CEO. "Our record-breaking attendance clearly reflects the public’s enthusiasm for our exhibitions, programs, and collections. It also underscores the Museum’s vital role as a place of discovery and learning. With an exciting ROM-original exhibition program in place for 2017, including our popular Out of the Depths: The Blue Whale Story, we are on our way to another robust year."

Among the Museum's biggest draws in 2016 were CHIHULY, featuring the glass masterworks of renowned-artist Dale Chihuly. This popular exhibition not only drew 313,721 visitors, but was extended by an additional week in response to strong public demand. Another well-received exhibition, Tattoos: Ritual. Identify. Obsession. Art attracted 116,754 visitors. The acclaimed Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, displayed at the ROM for the fourth consecutive year, experienced a 27% increase in visitors from the prior year. The ROM’s renowned collections, from mummies to minerals, and Indigenous art to biodiversity, continue to delight and draw families and visitors to the Museum’s galleries.

School visits to the ROM also experienced growth, with the Museum welcoming 19% more students than the year before. Additionally, the ROM made impressive strides forward extending its reach and digital footprint, generating over 146 million social media impressions, up 80% from the prior year, and 3.7 million web visitors, representing a 19% increase over the previous year, demonstrating that visitors are more engaged in ROM content than ever.



ROM Media Contact

Amanda Fruci, Manager, Communications




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Opened in 1914, the ROM showcases art, culture, and nature across time and around the globe. Among North America’s most renowned museums, the ROM is Canada’s largest with the dual mandate of natural history and world cultures. The Renaissance ROM expansion project (2007) preserved the best of the Museum’s beautiful historic architecture while merging its iconic heritage building with the Studio Daniel Libeskind-designed Michael Lee-Chin Crystal. The ROM is the country’s largest field research institution and an international leader in areas encompassing the visual arts, material culture and archaeology, biodiversity, palaeontology, and earth sciences — originating new information towards a global understanding of historical and modern change in the natural and cultural worlds. For tickets and 24-hour information in English and French, visit or call 416.586.8000. For Membership enquiries, please call 416.586.5700.


[1] Source: The Art Newspaper Review: Visitor Figures 2016, Number 289, April 2017