The Royal Ontario Museum is the largest world culture and natural history museum in the country, and is the fifth largest in all of North America receiving over a million visitors annually and containing over six million items. The ROM is located in Queen’s Park and also has three restaurants along with two gift shops.
Originally established as the Museum of Natural History and Fine Arts in 1857, the ROM was operated by the University of Toronto until 1968. The museum now operates independently and has undergone several expansions, the most recent being 2009 with the opening of the Schad Gallery of Biodiversity.
The original museum contained five large galleries, one each for archaeology, geology, mineralology, paleontology and zoology. Different galleries have been added in subsequent years, such as the Gallery of Birds and the Bat Cave, a live bat display that is a mock-up of the St. Clair cave in Jamaica which houses several other species of spiders and snakes that are found naturally in the caves. The Gallery of Reptiles represents a collection of snakes, turtles and crocodiles. The museum also houses the Keenan Family Gallery of Hands-On Biodiversity, which lets visitors experience a fully-functioning and glassed-in beehive, snake skins and other specimens.
The ROM is home to Gordo, the largest dinosaur on display in all of Canada. Gordo is a Barosaurus, a species that was recently rediscovered. The ROM also has the largest collection of fossils from the Burgess Shale, which is a very fruitful fossil field in British Columbia.
Also featured at the ROM as of late 2009 is the Life in Crisis exhibit, which is part of the Schad Gallery of Biodiversity. It displays endangered and extinct species, including a complete skeleton of the Dodo bird.
Various world culture galleries are also available to see, including the Gallery of the Bronze Age, the Gallery of Africa: Egypt, and the Gallery of Canada: First Peoples.
The Royal Ontario Museum will see even more growth in 2010 with the completion of the Gallery of Earth and Early Life, the Gallery of Africa: Nubia and the Gallery of 20th Century Design.
Royal Ontario Museum
100 Queen’s Park, Toronto, Ontario
Monday to Thursday, Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday: 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Adults: $22 Seniors and Students: $19 14 years and under: $15 3 years and under: Free