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The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), established in 1912, is Canada’s largest museum and one of the city’s biggest draws with over 1 million visitors a year. 

The original entrance was on University Avenue but since the completion of Studio Daniel Libeskind’s extension (2007), visitors enter from Bloor Street through the now named Michael Lee-Chin “Crystal”. The extension added 100,000 square feet of exhibit space, a street-level retail shop, cafe, and a new entrance.

Royal Ontario Museum Crystal Entrance
photo credit Wikipedia

The ‘Crystal’ itself is a massive structure of randomly patterned strip windows rising at unbelievable angles creating a very bold statement. Regardless of whether Torontonians love it or hate it – it definitely makes a statement.

Royal Ontario Museum Original Entrance
The original entrance to ROM

Royal Ontario Museum – Permanent Collection

Galleries of Africa: Egypt  

See the fascination civilization of ancient Egypt – a granite bust of Cleopatra, examples of hieroglyphs and the images of Egyptian gods. Learn about mummification and walk into a full-scale reconstruction of the inner chapel of the Tomb of Kitines. 

Bishop White Gallery of Chinese Temple Art 

This is one of the world’s most important collections of Chinese temple art with three of the world’s best-preserved murals and fourteen breathtaking Buddhist and Daoist sculptures. The gallery is dominated by the magnificent ‘Paradise of Maitreya’ a mural that once adorned the wall of a Chinese Buddhist monastery, back in the days of Khubilai Khan and Marco Polo.

Royal Ontario Museum

The Bat Cave  

Explore a bat cave formation and learn how bats use echolocation to navigate at night. This cave presents bats in a simulated natural habitat, it’s a realistic portrayal of a cave in Jamaica featuring over 800 models.

James and Louise Temerty Galleries – the Age of Dinosaurs  

What a wonderful opportunity for kids into dinosaurs; in this gallery they can stand below Gordo, the enormous Barosaurus or the monster T.Rex. This is one of the world’s best collections.

Royal Ontario Museum

Reed Gallery – the Age of Mammals 

Did you know Rhinos once lived in North America; check out a 5-million-year-old Rhino skull discovered in Kansas. The rise of the mammals followed the extinction of the dinosaurs – come meet a mastodon and saber-toothed cat who once shared the earth with our ancestors.

The Special Exhibits – Must See  

These exhibits are curated at the Royal Ontario Museum for specific run dates.  They usually require an additional fee on top of the entrance fee. 

Treasures of a Desert Kingdom – The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India  

One of India’s greatest former kingdoms – Jodhpur, Rajasthan – is realized through a display of its spectacular royal arts. This collection of masterpieces from the Mehrangarh Museum Trust and the private collections of the royal family of Jodhpur are seen for the first time, beyond the palace walls.

Lavish tents and canopies, vibrant paintings and alluring jewelry; treasures amassed over four centuries. On until September 2nd, 2019.

Royal Ontario Museum Royal Exhibit

ZUUL – Life of an Armoured Dinosaur

Zuul is a remarkably well-preserved ankylosaur, identified as a new species by ROM paleontologists. It was a 6-meter-long, gnarly-faced, horned armoured dinosaur with a sledgehammer-like tail. This plant-eater weighed 2.5 tons and lived seventy-six million years ago. On until May 20th, 2019.

Royal Ontario Museum Zuul Dinosaur

Being Japanese Canadian: Reflections on a Broken World 

The personal perspectives on prejudice, racism, exile, and life in internment camps seen through the eyes of 8 talented Japanese Canadian artists. These artists, through sculptures, woodcarvings, textiles, etchings, and digital imaging, depict their first-hand experiences; prompting us to reflect on the long-lasting ramifications of this historical Canadian injustice.  On until August 5th, 2019

Royal Ontario Museum Being Japanese

Gods in My Home: Chinese New Year with Ancestor Portraits and Deity Prints 

Gods in My Home examines the unexplored connection between ancestral paintings and traditional popular prints in the context of Chinese Lunar New Year. Discover family values and the ritual concepts that bind them through beautiful New Year prints, paintings, ancestral portraits, ceramics, and paper gods. On until September 29th, 2019

Royal Ontario Museum Gods in the house


In the Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Paintings from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston  – June 1st through September 15th, 2019

It’s Alive! Classic Horror and Sci-Fi Art from the Kirk Hammett Collection (Level 4, Roloff Beny Gallery) July 13th, 2019, through January 5th, 2020

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For More Information: 

Royal Ontario Museum
100 Queen’s Park
(southwest corner of Bloor Street West and Queen’s Park Avenue)
Toronto, ON M5S 2C6
General Information / Ticketing: 416-586-8000

Hours of Operation –Open Daily 10:00 am to 5:30 pm, except for December 25th.

Ticket Prices:
Adult                                $20.00
Child (4 – 14)                  $14.00
Senior (65+)                    $17.00
Student (valid ID card) $16.50
Youth (15 – 19)              $16.50
Infant (0 – 3)                   Free

Tips For Visiting
· Plan at least ½ a day for your visit
· Large backpacks, full-sized umbrellas, electronics (laptops) Musical instruments – must be left at home or checked at the Coat Check
· Average sized strollers are allowed – or available for $2.
· A few manual wheelchairs are available at Coat Check
· Individuals needing assistance can be picked up and dropped off at the layby on Bloor Street West or Queen’s Park.
· Closest accessible subway station is St George, Museum subway station has stair-only access. For transit information check the Toronto Transit Commission website or call 416 393-4636.
· Parking available on Bedford Road (N. of Bloor, W. of Avenue Rd.) $6 – $14.

Shop & Dine: ROM Boutique is just the stop for that unique gift.Druxy’s ROM Café, perfect for lunch or coffee.

Read more on the blog about Toronto and beyond from our most recent stories:

Note: I was a guest of the Royal Ontario Museum and Tourism Toronto, but all opinions expressed in this post are my own.