popular Dinosaur Gallery, located in the Michael A. Lee-Chin Crystal,
is home to almost 20 full dinosaur skeletons, of both marine and land
dwellers, including the world’s most complete Maiasaura and her baby, which are thought to be 80 million years old.
and adults alike are encouraged to get up close and personal with the
wonders of the natural world in this imaginative discovery zone on Third
Level. Touch animal skulls, antlers, and pelts, and don special glasses
to look at the world through the “eyes” of various animals.
Canada’s First Peoples
ROM’s holdings of Aboriginal artifacts, on Street Level, are superb.
National treasures include an Innu-painted caribou-skin coat and a
quilled pouch collected by Canadian painter Paul Kane (1810–71), who
traveled extensively among Native settlements in the mid-1800s. You
won’t be able to miss the Umyak boat, large enough to hold an entire
Inuit coat, First Peoples Gallery
than 1,000 artifacts, from everyday gold earrings to elaborate
ceremonial mummy cases, combine to shed light on ancient Egypt (Third
Level). The Punt Wall, a plaster cast taken from the temple of Queen
Hatsheput near present-day Somalia, provides an opportunity to test your
skill at decoding hieroglyphics.
rise of mammals following the Ice Age’s “big chill,” which ended about
10,000 years ago, is explored in this dramatic exhibit on Third Level. A
giant beaver, mastodon, saber-toothed cat, and hippopotamus are just
some of the impressive specimens on display.
of birds from all over the world swoop together in one spectacular
flock, suspended in mid-flight from the ceiling of the Michael A.
Lee-Chin Crystal. Marvel at the 9-ft (2.7-m) wing span of the albatross;
listen to birdsongs at interactive booths; and pull out drawers
containing nests, bones, eggs, and feathers.
French and American Art Deco furniture, lamps, and sculpture –
exquisitely crafted from ebony, lacquer, and ivory, among other fine
materials – celebrate this influential design movement of the 1920s and
1930s. Art Deco glass, ceramic, and silver pieces round out this
collection, on Third Level.
over 6,000 years of Chinese history (4500 BC to AD 1900), this
collection (Street Level) ranks among the world’s finest. The procession
of 7th-century ceramic tomb figures and the monumental Buddhist
sculptures from the 12th to 16th centuries are outstanding.
Ming Dynasty headrest, Chinese Art Collection
Arms and Armor
Third Level, intimidating battle gear stands guard over some 300 pieces
– from 15th-century European chain mail to World War I automatic
weapons – that highlight the history of human conflict.
stone, bronze, and ivory sculptures make this collection on Third Level
one of the best in North America. Those dating back to the Hellenistic
Age, around 325 BC, reflect the development of Greek society under
Alexander the Great as his army forged into Egypt and India.
The highlight of the
museum’s renovation is the Michael A. Lee-Chin Crystal, a magnificent
glass and aluminum-clad addition designed by world-renowned architect
Daniel Libeskind and named for the lead donor. This jagged crystalline
structure of interlocking forms, with its spectacular atrium space,
glass-sliver windows, and jutting angles thrusting over the sidewalk, is
the dramatic new entrance to the museum. Inside the Crystal, which has
been designed to have no right angles, are four levels of galleries,
including two unusual spaces: the Spirit House, a soaring void
crisscrossed by bridges linking the new galleries, and the Stair of
Wonders, an intriguing vertical cabinet of curiosities from the ROM’s
collection. The Crystal is linked on all levels except the fourth to the
The Michael A. Lee-Chin Crystal, with the historic building to the left
Top 10 Architectural Highlights
Stained-glass windows, Queen’s Park entrance
Floor mosaic at entrance to Samuel European Galleries
Leaded windows in stairwells
Arched windows along western façade
Exterior cornice around building