ROM celebrates 110th anniversary

Mar 28, 2024 | Culture, Life

The Royal Ontario Museum celebrated its 110th anniversary on March 23 and 24, with free entries from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

As wait times were expected, people lined up in front of Ontario’s renowned cultural and educational institution before 10 a.m.

On both days, the museum reached its full capacity slightly before 4 p.m., prompting ROM volunteers to make announcements at the entrance, advising visitors to turn back as no further entries were allowed.

Alex Howard, one of the visitors, who came to ROM with his family said the experience was nice but it was too crowded for him to see all the artifacts.

“I will come again once it is not this crowded so that I can read about the art,” Howard said.

In a news release before the weekend, ROM said all guests should enter through the Weston Entrance along Queen’s Park. The lines were separated into two halves and the ROM volunteers guided the crowd patiently into the museum.

Royal Ontario Museum
West Wing entrance
ROM 110th anniversary

The Royal Ontario Museum this past weekend as it celebrated its 110th anniversary. Photo credit: Aanchal Nigam

Included in the anniversary weekend was the free admission to the special exhibitions Death: Life’s Greatest Mystery and Wildlife Photographer of the Year. The exhibition about death took visitors on a journey of how different cultures and traditions help the community process a death.

Addia Nasir, a visitor, who spent hours at the Death: Life’s Greatest Mystery exhibition, said she saw different elements of death for cultures across the globe.

“I thought it was really interesting to see all the different things that were just put in front of us and then to compare it to like my own knowledge, even like the different, I’m Muslim,” Nasir said. “So looking at how the Jewish, how Hindus, how everyone sees death differently, I think that’s really interesting and also comparisons of it.”

ROM had several outstanding sculptures and dinosaur fossils on display for visitors who were interested in science.

The skeleton of an Ankylosaurus, Zuul crurivastator, a horned and armoured dinosaur with a sledgehammer-like tail was also available for visitors to see until Sunday.

Royal Ontario Museum

Visitors click pictures at the Royal Ontario Museum. The ROM celebrated its 110th anniversary this past weekend. Photo credit: Aanchal Nigam

Matthew Araneta, an Engineering Student at Toronto Metropolitan University, said that he enjoyed the Death exhibition the most.

“And I feel like this exhibit does a really good job of kind of exploring death not just scientifically, but religiously and Philosophically, and it kind of questions like where do you see yourself after you die or what may happen to you?” Araneta said. “And it’s not just something that you explore from the past but something that you kind of reflect upon for the future.”

The Royal Ontario Museum was created by the Ontario Legislature in 1912 after the ROM Act was signed. It officially opened its doors to the public for the first time on March 19, 1914.

In the beginning, the museum consisted of five different museums affiliated with the University of Toronto, but they were combined into one in 1955 and separated from the university in 1968, according to ROM.

Royal Ontario Museum
Ontario Museum

The Death Exhibition at the ROM place sticky notes outlining what they'd like to do before they die. Photo credit: Aanchal Nigam

Gilles Huot, a ROM volunteer, said it is always wonderful to see, thousands and thousands of people come to the museum and that’s why he was there.

Huot said he liked teaching visitors about the artifacts they could see and enjoy as he guided them at the entrance.

“Well, here we have quite a few galleries that are very important and almost unique in the world,” he said. “For example, our gallery of Chinese artifacts is one of the best in the world. We have a gallery called Dawn of Life, which is life before the dinosaurs, from zero to the dinosaurs, and it’s probably unique in the world.”

For those who missed the chance, free entries at ROM are available every third Tuesday of the month.