The Royal Ontario Museum was formally created by the signing of the ROM Act in the Ontario Legislature on April 16, 1912. When the Duke of Connaught, then Governor-General of Canada, opened the new building to the public at 3:00 pm on March 19, 1914, it instantly became an object of pride for Toronto.
Today, the graceful structure of buff-coloured brick and terracotta, designed by Toronto-based architects Darling and Pearson, is the west wing of the ROM’s ensemble of buildings. Flanking Philosophers’ Walk, with its main entrance on Bloor Street West, this historic building originally housed five separate museums: the Royal Ontario Museums of Archaeology, Palaeontology, Mineralogy, Zoology, and Geology.
The intervening years brought several expansions. By the late 1920s, collections and staff were competing for space and the crowding had become intolerable. The first addition took place during the Great Depression and an effort was made to use mostly local building materials. Excavation was done by hand, using picks, shovels, and horse-drawn wagons. On October 12, 1933, Toronto newspapers reported that a newly opened wing facing Queen’s Park was a “masterpiece of architecture”.
In 1955, the five museums were reorganized as a single body and in 1968, the ROM was formally divided from the University of Toronto and became a separate entity under the provincial government.
A $55 million renovation was begun in 1978, intended to provide for the greatly extended research and collection activities and included a new curatorial centre, a new library and other facilities. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth officially opened the new exhibition and gallery space, the Terrace Galleries, in a 1984 ceremony.
On June 3, 2007, the ROM opened the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, a distinctive new symbol of Toronto for the 21st century. The Lee-Chin Crystal marks the beginning of a new age for the ROM, announcing the Museum as the country’s premier cultural and social destination.
Patricia Harris Gallery of Textiles & Costume ► Explore the rich heritage of textiles and fashion from around the world throughout the past 3,000 years.
Teck Suite of Galleries: Earth's Treasures ► To the ends of the earth…and beyond.
Gallery of Chinese Architecture ► The largest collection of Chinese architectural artifacts outside of China.
Shreyas and Mina Ajmera Gallery of Africa, The Americas, and Asia-Pacific ► Celebrating the diversity of humankind.
Eaton Gallery of Rome ► Emperors and Gladiators are just the beginning…
James and Louise Temerty Galleries of the Age of Dinosaurs ► When dinosaurs roamed the Earth.
Galleries of Africa: Nubia ► The Kingdom of Kush: The lost civilization of ancient Nubia.
Patrick and Barbara Keenan Family Gallery of Hands-on Biodiversity ► Hands-on discovery for the young... and young at heart.
Galleries of Africa: Egypt ► An epic civilization with timeless appeal.
Matthews Family Court of Chinese Sculpture ► One of the ROM’s most inspiring spaces.
Samuel European Galleries ► The legacy of European style through the ages.
Wirth Gallery of the Middle East ► The cradle of civilization.
CIBC Discovery Gallery ► A dedicated kids' zone for learning fun.
Sigmund Samuel Gallery of Canada ► From colonies to country… Canada revealed.
Daphne Cockwell Gallery of Canada: First Peoples ► Providing cultural context for Canada's First Peoples.
Life in Crisis: Schad Gallery of Biodiversity ► Life is Diverse. Life is Interconnected. Life is at Risk.
Reed Gallery of the Age of Mammals ► The rise of mammals following the great extinction of dinosaurs.
Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Gallery of China ► One of the world's great civilizations.
Sir Christopher Ondaatje South Asian Gallery ► Where tradition and modernity meet.
Prince Takamado Gallery of Japan ► From Samurai to the Tea Ceremony.
Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Gallery of Rome and the Near East ► A growing empire.
Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Gallery of Byzantium ► When Istanbul was Constantinople.
Gallery of Korea ► Where artistry meets technology.
Gallery of Greece ► Where Western culture begins.
Gallery of the Bronze Age Aegean ► The rise and fall of three mighty civilizations.
Gallery of Birds ► A great flock.
A.G. Leventis Foundation Gallery of Ancient Cyprus ► The crossroads of the Eastern Mediterranean.
Bishop White Gallery of Chinese Temple Art ► Religious murals survive the march of time.
The Bat Cave ► Dare to brave the cave?
Tickets & Hours
Open 10:00 am to 5:30 pm The ROM is open everyday except December 25.
Save 43% off admission to the Royal Ontario Museum plus 4 more of Toronto's attractions for one low price. With CityPASS, you'll skip most ticket lines and have nine days to use all the tickets beginning the day of your first attraction visit.
Royal Ontario Museum*
Ripley's Acqaruium of Canada (NEW! Available starting March 1)
Toronto Zoo or Ontario Science Centre
Toronto CityPASS is available for sale at the ROM, or purchase your booklet or e-ticket now for the same low price at citypass.com.