Established in 1914, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is Canada’s largest museum. Housed inside a heritage-meets-modern building, it boasts a 6-million-strong collection, which focuses on objects relating to world culture and natural history. It includes everything from First Nations’ crest poles to Egyptian mummies to T-rex skeletons.
The museum building, which comprises a heritage structure with a modern add-on, is an architectural landmark. See it from the outside during select sightseeing tours and helicopter tours.
Of course, to get a look at the museum’s rich and fascinating collection, it’s necessary to go inside. General admission entrance tickets can be purchased in advance. They provide visitors with access to more than 30 galleries displaying objects from the ROM’s permanent collection. Admission includes free museum tours that focus on highlights of the collection and specific galleries. Tour places are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Upgrade to include access to temporary exhibitions taking place in the museum. In the past, temporary exhibitions have focused on the works of glass artist Dale Chihuly and Star Wars-inspired fashions.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The ROM is a must-visit for culture vultures and architecture enthusiasts.
- Free Wi-Fi is available.
- Eat at the on-site café or bring a packed lunch which can be eaten at the Brown Bag lunch room.
- Turn your phone to silent or vibrate mode to avoid disturbing other museumgoers.
- The ROM is entirely wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
The museum is situated in Downtown Toronto, just north of Queen’s Park. The nearest subway stops are St. George station (Line 2 Bloor–Danforth), and Museum Station (Line 1 Yonge–University line). Local buses (numbers 5 and 142) also stop nearby, as do hop-on hop-off tour buses.
When to Get There
The Royal Ontario Museum is busiest during July and August, with weekends being particularly popular. Go early on a Sunday to get in before the crowds.
The Michael Lee-Chin Crystal
The ROM is almost as renowned for being an architectural showstopper as it is for its cultural holdings. As part of a major project in 2007, the museum enlisted architect Daniel Libeskind to add a bold new wing—an aluminum-and-glass structure that juts out from the older century-old facade. The new wing was well-received, quickly cementing the museum as an architectural icon of Toronto.