We like museums alot in our family, so a stop at The Royal Ontario Museum was high on our list of things to do.
The museum had so many fascinating bits of information in their dinosaur exhibit. There were videos logging the newest discoveries on dinosaur habitats, models of prehistoric reptiles and photos of other archaeological findings. We saw a Maiasaur skeleton--considered the world's best of this type.
Our grandson found a hands-on site that fueled his curiosity about fossils. A section devoted to the natural world was fun, too--featuring insects, birds,mammals and some slithery snakes!
Hours are Mon.-Thurs. 10 am-6 pm; Fri. 10 am-9:30 pm; Sat.& Sun. 10 am-6 pm. On Dec. 24 and 31 the museum closes at 4 pm. ROM is closed on Christmas and New Year's Days. Fridays are FREE from 4:30 pm-9:30 p.m.!!!! Admission is $8 for adults; $6 for seniors; $6 for students; and $5 for children age 5-14.
The Royal Ontario Museum is such an interesting place to spend part of the afternoon. It has displays on ancient cultures, hands-on fun for children and exhibits about the world of nature.
We liked the Egyptian exhibit with its mummy cases, scarab seals and artifacts. There was also art from Greek and Etruscan cultures. Our grandson got caught up in the medieval history section where kids could don armor and imagine employing the weaponry of that time. A large collection of Arms and Armour caught our attention!
Hours are Mon.-Thurs. 10 am-6 pm; Fri. 10 am-9:30 pm; Sat. 7 Sun. 10 am-6 pm. On December 24 and 31 the museum closes at 4 pm. The museum is not open on Christmas and New Year's Day. Admission is $8 for adults; $6 for seniors; $6 for students and $5 for children 5-14
Hours are from 10-6 p.m. except for Friday when it is opened until 9:30 p.m. There is no charge on Friday between 4:30 pm-9:30 pm. The museum is closed on Dec. 25 and Jan.1
I would like to invite you to visit ROM or the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. It houses a wide collection of world culture and natural history in Canada.
The museum is close to other amenities: restaurants, theatres, bars & clubs, and accommodations and accessible to public transportation.
Admission Prices are as follows (Effective October 28, 2006)*
Students with ID & Seniors: C$15
Children Under 4: FREE
HOURS OF OPERATION:
Daily: 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Friday: 10:00 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.
ADMISSION is FREE to all ROM's permanent galleries ONE HOUR before closing from Saturday to Thursday night. So, come and enjoy!
We started our exploration of the Museum from Bat Cave on Level 2 (Philosophers’ Walk Wing). We entered the cave(s) (picture # 1). With bats, animatronics and atmospheric sights and sounds, the whole experience turned out to be a real-life horror movie scene. Highlights included looking at millions of roaches feeding on bat poop (picture # 3) and an audio-visual show that explores cave formation, how bats use echolocation and more, and a spectacular dramatization of bats in flight during a nightly exodus for food.
Before we entered the cave(s) however, we got introduced to various species of bats, including the Vampire Bat (picture # 2).
The ROM’s Bat Cave is a realistic portrayal of the St. Clair Cave in Jamaica, based on ROM fieldwork at the site. The new Bat Cave draws on this original ROM research as well as recent findings from a return trip to Jamaica in February 2010. It was originally opened in 1988.
Admittedly, these galleries were a little less visited during the March Break day, because one has to agree that children are normally focused on other attractions within the museum.
There are over 17 galleries on cultures of the world. However, we visited only 4 of them and left the remaining ones to another day.
Samuel European Galleries on Level 3 feature decorative arts of western and central Europe from the Middle Ages to the present day. We liked the articles of interior decoration (picture # 1), the arrangement of drawing room, and arms and armour.
Shreyas and Mina Ajmera Gallery of Africa, the Americas and Asia-Pacific on Level 3 showcases unique arts and culture of indigenous peoples from Africa, the American continents, the Asia-Pacific region and Oceania. We found the artwork of native American cultures to be very colourful (picture # 2).
Sir Christopher Ondaatje South Asian Gallery on Level 3 lets you experience the beauty and diversity of the South Asian sub-continent. Over 5,000 years of history is revealed through beautiful collection of religious objects and sculptures, decorative arts, arms and armour, miniature paintings and textiles (Pictures # 3 and 4)
Galleries of Africa (Egypt) on Level 3 showcases agricultural tools, everyday eating utensils, magnificent jewellery, funerary furnishings, mummies, and tomb (picture # 5). This gallery explores nearly 5,000 years (4000 BC - AD 400) of Egyptian cultural history.
Life in Crisis (Schad Gallery of Biodiversity) on Level 2 shows species, such as Snow Leopards of Pakistan (picture # 1) in crisis due encroachment and environmental degradation. Located at the centre of this gallery is the Earth Rangers Studio, a state-of-the-art space for digital and live programming on latest scientific research and relevant issues.
Gallery of Birds on Level 2 displays hundreds of species of birds in flight (picture # 2). Children were constantly pulling drawers out that contained eggs, feathers, footprints and nests. Mini-dioramas focus on extinct birds and how environmental changes and habitat destruction have put other species in danger.
Patrick and Barbara Keenan Family Gallery of Hands-on Biodiversity on Level 2 is a hands-on learning centre exploring the vast diversity of life on earth. The gallery is based on the Museum's collections and research, and offers visitors a venue to examine and handle hundreds of objects, such as the "living" displays—mossy frogs from the jungles of Vietnam, fish found in a typical southern Ontario stream (pictures # 3, 4 and 5), and bees flying in from outdoors in the gallery’s active beehive.
Currently undergoing a restoration designed by world renowned architect David Libeskind, the ROM is following an ambitious plan to rejuvenate energy into Canada's largest museum. Looking like a "burst of crystals", Libeskind's design will serve as a landmark in Toronto & give the ROM a dynamic entrance.
The ROM, formerly a part of the University of Toronto, holds over five million artifacts. Though it may not be able to compare to world class museums like the MET or the Louvre, the ROM does offer an interesting collection to enjoy. From galleries of art, to archaeology and science, the ROM should have an area or areas of interest for everyone to enjoy. My favourites are the ancient Eygptian & Chinese collections.
On Friday nights, from 4:30 - 9:30 pm, the ROM offers free admission into the museum's exhibits except the specially ticketed ones.
For latest admission information & museum hours, please click here.
We visited seemingly popular Reed Gallery of the Age of Mammals on Level 2 for viewing an impressive array of large fossil skeletons and unusual North and South American specimens (pictures 1 and 2) in a gallery that explores the rise of mammals through the Ice Ages that followed the great extinction of dinosaurs.
The immensely popular James and Louise Temerty Galleries of the Age of Dinosaurs on Level 2 feature collection of dinosaur skeletons (picture # 3), along with fascinating fossil birds like the biggest pterasaur viz. Coatzlcoatlus (picture # 4), mammals, insects and plants of the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.
Teck Suite of Galleries (Earth's Treasures) on Level 2 again turned out to be a popular location. This is divided into the Vale Inco Limited Gallery of Minerals, the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame Gallery and the Gallery of Gems and Gold.
This is probably my favourite musuem I visited in Toronto. There are four levels of permanant and temporary galleries where on my visit I looked at the Korea, China, Japan new galleries that were recently added to the museum. My ticket included a visit to a the 'Italian Arts & Design The 20th Century Exhibition', which was on whilst I was in Toronto.
I used my city pass for my admittance and please check out the ROM for further information and updates.
Since my outside plans were foiled by the bad weather, we decided to check out the ROM. We only had a couple of hours which turned out to be the perfect amount of time since much of the ROM's collection is off display in 2005 due to major renovations. A visit to their website will show you what is currently open, I'd highly recommend checking it out before you go.
I wouldn't say this was a highlight of my visit to Toronto, natural history museums don't rank at the top of my must see list anywhere, and so much of the collection was off display. If you are traveling with children, it looked like there was a lot of interactive things for them to do and I think they would enjoy the bat cave and the displays devoted to mammals, insects, birds and reptiles.
The Royal Ontario museum is great for those who love history and learning about the culture.
The ROM offers many different displays. When I was there they had an exibit of the Egypt. It was nice to see unfortunately it was last minute and forgot my camera=(=(
I have to confess that it's not very often that I find myself in wholehearted agreement with Prince Charles, but when I look at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), I am reminded strongly of his comment that a proposed extension to the National Gallery in London would be a "like monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much loved and elegant friend". I simply don't know why society allows deranged architects to inflict modernistic extensions on venerable old buildings, and seldom have I felt that more strongly than in the case of the ROM, which reminds me of a discarded set from The Flintstones and makes me suspect that it is the architectural sibling of Federation Square in Melbourne (which regularly makes Top 10 lists of ugliest buildings in the world). In fact, if I were of a cynical inclination (perish the thought!), I would be tempted to claim that one of the advantages of visiting the ROM is that once you're inside, you don't have to look at the exterior!
The ROM is a world class museum, and is undoubtedly one of Toronto's touristic highlights. It is dedicated to natural history and culture, and boasts an excellent collection. I particularly enjoyed the dinosaur exhibit, especially as many of the fossils on display originate from Canada's Alberta province, which adds a welcome local 'flavour' that is often lacking in such collections elsewhere. As well as the usual stalwarts of dinosaur exhibits, there are some excellent and unusual additions, such as gigantic fossil turtles and fish suspended from the ceiling (see photo), as well as the largest fossil sea scorpion ever discovered - a whopping 2.5m of invertebrate attitude that made me quite grateful for the fact that I had only evolved in a later epoch!
Another highlight of the fossil galleries are the wonderful flying reptiles, including Quetzalcoatlus northropi, the most enormous pterosaur of all and the largest animal ever to take flight. The proportions of this amazing beast are quite extraordinary, with a colossal 12m wingspan supported by spindly little 'fingers' of bone, and the overall impression is one of extreme fragility despite its enormous size ... not a great surprise that God drew a line under this evolutionary cul de sac and reverted to the drawing board to come up with condors!
In a more contemporary vein, the reconstruction of a bat cave is a guaranteed crowd pleaser, particularly if you have kids in tow.
There are also good collections of Native American artifacts, including some totem poles. I understand that the Asian exhibits are also outstanding, but by then I was all 'museumed out' and in need of a breath of fresh air, so I didn't get that far.
The downside of the ROM is that even the small proportion of the collection that is on display is huge, so in order to avoid sensory overload, I would recommend visiting more than once for shorter periods, rather than trying to take in the whole lot at once. However, the admission price is steep (C$24 at the time of writing in September 2011), even if it's justified by the quality of the collections, so in order to determine how to do this affordably, check the website below for ticketing options and consider whether it's worth buying a Toronto City Pass, which offers substantial discounts on the entrance price. At the time of writing, ROM offered half price admission after 16:30 until closing time at 21:30 on Fridays and free admission from 16:30 until closing time at 17:30 on Wednesday, which would be well worth planning your visit around if you're on a limited budget (or just sensibly frugal).
Update (November 2011): I understand that the cheap/free admission arrangement on Wednesday has been halted, and instead a scheme to make the museum more affordable for the disadvantaged has been implemented. As ever, check the website for up-to-date information.
**Also featured in travelouges**
The Royal Ontario Museum opened in 1914 and is now the largest collection of natural history and world cultures in the country, with a focus on Canada.
The Micheal Lee-Chin Crystal has finally been unveiled to the public, although some of the new galleries are still under construction the extra space is welcomed. I find most of us here in the city "hate" the new addition, I have one friend who refers to it as "the tumour!" Then again most of Paris still hates the pyrmid at the Louve, so whatever.
What I do find strange is the lack of colour used inside. The ENTIRE new wing is going to be stark white, with black and metal grates on the floor? Maybe when eveything is open it won't feel so devoid and cold, we shall see.
On a positve note though, the Gallery of Canada: First Peoples is a must see. Filled with clothing, canoes, sculpture and incredible paintings. A new wing dedicated to Canada will open Fall 07 as well as the Dinosaurs in the Winter 07.
The two new cafes are finally worthy of the ROM-- C5 the restaurant/lounge is beautiflly done, albeit black and white and is on the fifth floor at the peak of the new Crystal. C5 can be accessed from the street as well as from inside the museum.
There is also the option of Food Studio, the new healthy and "earth friendy, market style eatery." The prices seemed reasonable, everything looked very fresh and you can see from the photo's it is a bright airy space that is good for the whole family.
Currently showing Ancient Peru Unearthed until Sept. 3, there are more than 120 artifacts from the Pre-Incan, Sican culture on display. Loved the bat headdress with the eyes that move!
Archelon ischyodus scares the pants off me. It's a cast skeleton of a 15-foot prehistoric sea turtle that's suspended from the ceiling in a diving position. It gives me chills imagining that thing, the size of a small car, swimming around underwater ready to bite my leg off. I can't keep my eyes off of it just in case it comes to life.
This is the new "Age of Dinosaurs and Age of Mammals" exhibit at the ROM. It has loads and loads of skeletons. The most impressive are the photogenic Tyrannosaurus rex with its 60 razor-sharp teeth, the 90-foot long Barosaurus (the only mounted one in the world), a mastodon, and a gigantic ground sloth that's twice the size of a bear. Gone are the ROM's recreations of dinosaurs that were part of my childhood--painted plaster replicas with glass eyes posed against plastic jungle backdrops. My sister-in-law, who works at the museum, shakes her head sadly and explains, "Those aren't 'cool' anymore. ...I miss them too. Pure skeletons are the in-thing now."
More details to come...
Explore the world in one day at the Royal Ontario Museum. With almost six million objects in its collections, the ROM is Canada’s leading international museum. Located in the heart of Toronto, the ROM’s collections span both world cultures and natural history.
From my hotel the Four Seasons during this visit the museum was just down the street a short distance so it made for a refreshing and short walk. I was thinking paintings at first but this is mainly artifacts and interpretation.
I provide some pictures of the location and a web site that has a tonne of information that will give you all the details. It's fair to say if you are going to really explore this place you need a few hours if you are going to start reading all the stuff.
It can be busy there. I visited on a Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. the opening time and the school buses were all lined up and there were hundreds of kids but the place is big enough you can loose them. Enjoy your education at the Royal Ontario Museum!