Canada’s Leading Museum, Reimagined.

Introducing OpenROM: a landmark initiative that will dramatically open the Museum even more to the public, creating greater access, and a thriving cultural and civic hub in the heart of the city. OpenROM includes a sweeping architectural transformation of the core of the Museum and a newly designed Bloor Street entrance that links to the neighbourhood. Once complete, the reimagined main floor will feature a soaring atrium, more gallery space, and year-round programming and live performances — free for everyone to enjoy.

Work is set to begin in February 2024, and the Museum will remain open to visitors throughout the three-year construction period. During construction, the Bloor Street entrance to the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal will be closed; however, the Weston Entrance on Queen's Park remains open to welcome all visitors to the Museum.

Renowned Canadian firm Hariri Pontarini Architects leads the design of this visionary revitalization project, which includes:

  • A newly designed Bloor Street entrance, sheltered by an expansive canopy and featuring a floor-to-ceiling glass entryway with direct sightlines into and out of the building
  • A showcase water feature that will wrap around the heritage façade and evolve with the seasons, transforming from burbling water in the summer to cracked ice in the winter
  • Inside, a bright and spacious foyer, filled with artworks, objects, and specimens 
  • The Hennick Commons, a new four-storey sunlit atrium topped with a high-performance diagrid glass ceiling and featuring a 2,400 square foot forum, where visitors can gather and enjoy performances and programming ranging from live music to hands-on learning
  • A stunning multi-level lily pad staircase adjacent to the forum, which will offer three accessible overlook platforms, knitting together old and new wings to improve movement throughout the building
  • 6,000 additional feet of new gallery space on the second and third levels, allowing visitors to experience more of ROM’s world-class collections
Exterior of ROM
Exterior of ROM
Interior of ROM
Interior of ROM

OpenROM has been catalyzed by a visionary $50-million donation from the Hennick Family Foundation—the largest cash gift in ROM’s history.

Why is ROM changing?

From sweeping architectural changes to year-long free access to the main floor, OpenROM is an extension of the Museum’s broader ambition to become an even more open, outward-facing, and dynamic 21st-century museum.

When will construction start?

Construction is set to begin in February 2024, and will be completed in 2027.

Will ROM remain open during construction?

Yes, ROM will stay open to the public throughout construction, offering a wide range of new exhibitions and programs for Adults and Kids to experience

How is this project being funded?

OpenROM is funded by private philanthropy.

The project started with a $50 million-donation from the Hennick Family Foundation—the largest cash gift in ROM’s history. Additional donations will be announced in the future.

What is the government’s involvement?

The Government of Ontario is a key OpenROM partner. While the project costs will be entirely funded by philanthropy, the government provides ongoing operational support to help deliver on ROM’s mission.

Once construction is completed, will the main floor of the Museum be free to everyone all year round?

Once the project is completed, OpenROM will introduce ongoing free access to the Museum’s main floor. This builds on the success of ROM’s summer-long Free Main Floor pilot program, which was introduced in 2022 and repeated in 2023, both with the generous support of the Temerty Foundation.

How was the community consulted?

Robust information on access, programs, facilities, visitor needs, and more is gathered via community meetings, consultations, emails, exit surveys, and comment cards and reviewed regularly. The feedback from thousands of people—including those who attended our Free Main Floor program—was fundamental to the OpenROM planning process.

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