Affectionately known as the ROM by locals, the Royal Ontario Museum is one of the most impressive museums in the world. It’s Canada’s largest museum, and has been around for over 100 years. It is constantly growing its holdings of natural and cultural objects, with about six million items to date. The ground floor features Canadian and Asian galleries focusing on cultural items, and the floors above focus on natural history, with everything from geology exhibits to fossil exhibits. You can even see textile exhibits further up, and the museum is constantly switching out changing exhibits that focus on everything from glass to Vikings. With such a large space, it can often be difficult to figure out how to make your way through everything (not everyone starts at the bottom!), but here are a few highlights and suggestions to help you make your way through the museum in an afternoon—and, just a pro-tip, admission is free to Canadian university and high school students on Tuesdays with the presentation of your student ID!
- Feel like you don’t know a lot about Canada before the colonisers showed up? Pore over the hundreds of artifacts that the ROM holds, showcasing aboriginal societies and culture.
- Make your way to the ROM’s Chinese history collection, one of the best Chinese collections in the world—the ROM has over 2000 objects that cover over 7,000 years of China’s history. Marvel at the prehistoric ceramic jars and spoons, the jewelry of pre-18th century China, and stunning temple art. You can even see how religion affected the art of the region, and examine sculptural changes as the Abrahamic religions made their way to the region between the 3rd and 19th
- Make your way up to the Schad Gallery of Biodiversity, which houses over 1000 specimens. Take your time looking at the white rhino display at the entrance, and even make your way to the children’s section in the back—it’s not just for kids! Watch tropical fish and invertebrates swim in a display as you learn about coral reeds, and make your way through the Bat Cave, looking at all the bats, snakes, and other animals along the way.
- The ROM has thousands of specimens in Teck Suite of Galleries, with everything from gems to meteorites on display. One of the most impressive specimens is a huge 900 carat cerussite gem, and the Tagish Lake meteorite, which contains some of the most ancient organic mineral known to science (it dates back to the time the solar system was formed!
- Visit Gordo, the ROM’s Barosaurus specimen, who’s a whopping 90 feet long! You can also visit the Age of Mammals gallery, with over 30 complete skeletons of long-extinct mammals.