Nestled in Toronto, Ontario, Canada; the Royal Ontario museum is recognized as the largest museum of global culture and history in the nation. Situated at the corner of Bloor Street and Avenue Road and commonly known as the ROM, it is the fifth largest museum in North America offering six million items and 40 galleries. The Royal Ontario museum is also the home of the largest display of fossils and over 150,000 samples. The museum is really famous for its displays of dinosaurs, African art, and European and Canadian histories.
Set as the Museum of Natural History and Fine Arts, the museum that you see today was conceived in 1912. Formerly ran by the University of Toronto, the museum is now a self-governing edifice without losing its relations with the university via resources sharing.
Originally designed by Toronto architects Frank Darling and John A. Pearson, the museum’s style is Italianate Neo-Romanesque that was famous in North America in the 19th century. The entire edifice is heavily loaded and scattered by spherical and sliced arched windows. Some of the remarkable characteristics are adorned eave brackets, quoins, and cornices.
Formerly, five major galleries dedicated to the domains of archaeology, geology, mineralogy, paleontology, and zoology existed. This means that these galleries were identified as per their themes. However, today, each gallery is named as per its supporter who has given reasonable funds for it to survive. There are two main groups of galleries today in the Royal Ontario museum – the galleries based on Natural History and those dedicated to the different World Cultures.
Natural History Galleries
This group of galleries offers collections of a myriad of animals across the globe. The Gallery of Birds is where you will find hundreds of bird samples with their various habitats. The focus of attraction here is the huge exhibit of ‘Birds in flight’. The Bat Cave that is a replica of the Jamaica’s St. Clair grotto is the home of several animals along with the bats that survive in caverns. The Keenan Family Gallery of Hands-On Biodiversity is where you can study and feel the nature with the displays like active beehive and drawers packed with insects.
Galleries such as James and Louise Temerty Galleries of the Age of Dinosaurs and Gallery of the Age of Mammals offer glimpses of dinosaur skeletons, early birds, marine species, and other animals belonging to the Jurassic and Cretaceous eras. Here, the major attraction is the Gordo that is a largest carcass of Barosaurus not to be seen anywhere else in the nation.
Recently incorporated in 2009, the Life in Crisis: Schad Gallery of Biodiversity is dedicated to the extinct species offering the samples of a great giant panda, the stunning Burmese python, the beautiful Canadian coral, and much more. In addition, you can also come to know about the lately vanished species by glimpsing at the samples of Passenger Pigeon and the carcasses of a Dodo bird. The gallery focuses on the call for preserving the environment by informing the people regarding hunting.
World Culture Galleries
The A.G. Leventis Foundation Gallery of Ancient Cyprus is the home to over 250 artifacts belonging to the period between 2200 and 2230 BC. The Chinese Galleries are where you will find different sections related to the Chinese culture. Here, the Bishop White Gallery of Chinese Temple Art is adorned with three beautiful temple wall works of the Yuan reign of the 13th and 14th centuries and several wooden sculptures of bodhisattvas. Then, in the ROM Gallery of Chinese Architecture, the display of the Chinese architectural items is worth visiting, which offers a replica of the Forbidden City’s Royal Palace as well as the Ming-era zone.
The Gallery of Africa tells you about the ancient Egyptians via its diverse artifacts like tools of agriculture and beautiful ornaments. Further, there are several mummy caskets such as the gilded casket of Djedmaatesankh – a lady instrumentalist of Thebes and that of Antjau – a rich landlord. The Gallery of the Bronze Age Aegean houses over 150 items belonging to the prehistoric eras such as Cycladic and Mycenaean.
The Gallery of Canada is dedicated to the indigenous people: First Peoples housing many art pieces and artifacts of the native cultures such as of the Eastern Woodlands and Arctic areas. Check out for the spinning exhibit of the modern Native art and a theatre of traditional storytelling. The only fixed gallery devoted to the art of Korea in Canada is the Gallery of Korea where you can find items like tools belonging to the Stone Age and modern works. The Prince Takamado Gallery of Japan offers the largest display of the Japanese art in the country – turning exhibit of ukiyo-e prints as well as the items of tea master that are not to be found anywhere else in North America. It is named after the departed Prince of Japan named Takamado who was at the Kingston’s Queen’s University for several years.
The CIBC Discovery Gallery is the home to many interactivities for the entire family where you can excavate fossils or wear costumes of different regions. The Sir Christopher Ondaatje South Asian Gallery and the recently introduced Wirth Gallery of the Middle East are packed with items preserving the memorable past of 5,000 years – religious items, clothes, sculptures, and weapons. The Patricia Harris Gallery of Costumes and Textiles is adorned with varied fabrics such as European designs of the 18th century and specimens of Canadian tapestries.
There are many more galleries related to the other cultures of the world. For that, you need to visit the museum!