With six million objects in its impressive collection, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is Canada's biggest natural history museum. With its new eye-catching, über-modern Daniel Libeskind design, the main building is now a magnificent explosion of architectural crystals, housing six galleries, including the new “Renaissance ROM” building.
ROM's collections bounce between natural science, ancient civilization, and art exhibits. The Chinese temple sculptures, Gallery of Korean Art, and costumery and textile collections are some of the best in the world. Kids file out of yellow school buses chugging by the sidewalk and rush to the dinosaur rooms, Egyptian mummies, and Jamaican bat cave replica. The cedar crest poles carved by First Nations tribes in British Columbia are not to be missed; the largest pole (278 feet/85 meters) was shipped from the West Coast by train, then lowered through the museum roof.
The on-site Institute of Contemporary Culture explores current issues through art, architecture, lectures and moving image.
The Royal Ontario Museum is located on Bloor Street West, just above Queen’s Park in midtown Toronto. Streetcars, subways, and buses all have stops nearby. The museum’s restaurant, lunch room, and cafe all serve organic food. Both of the gift shops are worth browsing, as they sell a treasure trove of unique gifts and exciting, interactive toys for kids.