Opened in 1914, the Royal Ontario Museum showcases art, culture and nature from around the world and across the ages. Among the top 10 cultural institutions in North America, Canada’s largest and most comprehensive museum is home to a world-class collection of 13 million artworks, cultural objects and natural history specimens, featured in 40 gallery and exhibition spaces. As the country’s preeminent field research institute and an international leader in new discoveries, ROM plays a vital role in advancing our understanding of the artistic, cultural and natural world. Combining its original heritage architecture with the contemporary Daniel Libeskind-designed Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, ROM serves as a national landmark, and a dynamic cultural destination in the heart of Toronto for all to enjoy.
The Welcome Project
On August 21, 2019 ROM opened the Helga and Mike Schmidt Performance Terrace and the Reed Family Plaza to the public, providing visitors with a new way to enjoy ROM. The new terrace and plaza on Bloor Street offers a welcoming outdoor place to gather and relax with garden-side seating and an open-air space for music, theatre, discussion, and performances.
The opening of the Helga and Mike Schmidt Performance Terrace and the Reed Family Plaza marks the third and final phase of the ROM’s Welcome Project. In December 2017, ROM completed the first stage of the project with the restoration of the Museum’s landmark Queen’s Park façade and the reopening of the Weston Entrance on Queen’s Park. The next phase was completed in April 2018, providing visitors with free public access to the ROM’s Daphne Cockwell Gallery dedicated to First Peoples art & culture.
With this new project, designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects, the Bloor Street exterior has been reimagined and transformed into 13,595 square feet of outdoor public space, anchored by Philosopher's Walk, the Crystal, and the ROM's heritage stone façade. The green space, featuring a seasonal palate of native, perennial plant species that reflect the ROM’s biodiversity mandate, offers an oasis from the hustle and bustle of Bloor Street. The Welcome Project builds on the Museum’s vision to open the doors of the Museum wider while providing new ways for the ROM to participate in the urban life of the City and deepen the connection with our community.
This initiative is generously supported by Helga Schmidt and her late husband Mike Schmidt, and Nita and Don Reed. Additional generous donations were made by Hatch, Murray Frum and Nancy Lockhart, Richard Wernham and Julia West, and Flavia Redelmeier.