100 Queen's Park
CA M5S 2C6
Royal Ontario Museum
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.
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 primary function of the Royal Ontario Museum’s Archives is to acquire and preserve ROM institutional records of enduring historical value and the private records of individuals and organizations associated with the ROM. .New acquisitions of primary research materials enhance the mission of the ROM’s archives. Research materials must relate directly to the ROM’s overall collection mandate or be related directly to the history of the ROM as an institution.
The Royal Ontario Museum is an agency of the Government of Ontario. The Board of Trustees is the governing authority for the Museum, responsible for its policies, its operational continuity and the collections and other assets which the Museum holds in trust for the people of Ontario.
The board consists of 21 Trustees - 15 are appointed, three are ex-officio members and three are elected by ROM members. The provincial government makes appointments through the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
ROM Senior Administration oversee all aspects of Museum work, from collections management to finances to visitor services. They ensure that the ROM is managed according to the Museum's mission and objectives, Board policy and the accepted standards of the larger museum community.
While the Royal Ontario Museum has reopened to the public, the Library and Archives remains closed. We look forward to welcoming researchers in the near future.
There is no admission charge to visit the Archives.
The Archives is located in the Richard Wernham and Julia West Library & Archives, on the main floor of the ROM. Access is via the ROM main entrance on Bloor Street or Queen's Park. Ask at the Admissions Desk for a library pass and directions to the Library.
The Bloor street entrance features automatic sliding doors entering the Michael Lee Chin Crystal. The ROM’s entrance is stair-free and the main foyer is gradually sloped for smooth entry. All Museum levels are accessible by elevators and chair lifts. The Museum’s Visitor Guide & Floor Plan is available at the admission desk.
Taxis and other vehicles may use the offloading layby on either Bloor Street West or Queen’s Park to drop off and pick-up visitors with disabilities. A single, gently-sloped surface in textured granite and concrete leads from the Bloor Street layby to all three new entrances. Parking is not permitted in these lanes.