Great Whales: Up Close and Personal

  • Closed
July 16, 2021 to July 3, 2022
  • Level B2, Garfield Weston Exhibition Hall
FREE for Members
Dive back in.


In 2017, we shared the incredible journey of Blue, ROM’s beloved blue whale, in Out of the Depths: The Blue Whale Story. The highly successful ROM-original exhibition told the story of nine blue whales that died tragically in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in 2014, and the unprecedented opportunity for research and conservation it presented.

Fast forward four years and we’re going back to the depths. Showcasing ROM’s commitment to Canada’s iconic North Atlantic whales, this exhibition takes the story further and features Blue alongside two new skeletons: the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale and the deep diving sperm whale. With multi-sensory interactives and immersive experiences, Great Whales compares these three unique giants, from their size and diet to their intelligence and evolution, while highlighting the extensive ongoing research and conservation efforts being undertaken to save these mammals from extinction. ROM invites you to dive back in and discover these incredible great whales of Canada's east coast, their complex relationships with humans, and what we can do to save them. 

Descriptive Audio Tour

Summon a Whale 

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Two people measuring a whale on a beach.

Tonya Wimmer of the Marine Animal Response Society discusses the role this organization plays in engaging Canadians in the conservation and welfare of some of Canada’s most iconic marine animals

Three people in the stern of a boat.

Join researcher Asha de Vos in conversation with ROM’s Burton Lim on new research into the blue whale populations in the Indian Ocean

Zodiac boat on the ocean with researchers looking toward the photographer.

Join the Canadian Whale Institute’s Mackie Greene in conversation with Mark Engstrom and Mark Peck to discuss whale rescue and conservation centred on the Canadian East Coast.

Blue whale.

Great whales are the largest animals living on Earth today—learn more about all 12 species and the 3 on display in the exhibition

North Atlantic right whale anatomy illustration.

From bulbous foreheads to giant compressible ribcages, we look at how whale skeletons are uniquely adapted for their size

Three healthy southern right whales next to a North Atlantic right whale in visibly poorer body condition.

Named literally as the “right” type of whale to hunt, the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale is at risk of extinction

Oliver Haddrath.

Dive into the fascinating world of whales with ROM’s Oliver Haddrath as he examines a piece of baleen from a blue whale and sheds light on the latest DNA research and genome sequencing being done on the Earth’s largest animal…ever