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Toronto's Top 10 : Royal Ontario Museum (part 2) - Collections

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Collections

  1. Dinosaurs

    The 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.

  2. Hands-On Biodiversity

    Children 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.

  3. Canada’s First Peoples

    The 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 Indian village.

    Inuit coat, First Peoples Gallery
  4. Ancient Egypt

    More 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.

  5. Ice-Age Mammals

    The 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.

  6. Birds

    Hundreds 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.

  7. Art Deco

    Rare 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.

  8. Chinese Art

    Spanning 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
  9. Arms and Armor

    On 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.

  10. Greek Sculpture

    Striking 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 Crystal

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 original building.

The Michael A. Lee-Chin Crystal, with the historic building to the left Top 10 Architectural Highlights
  1. Rotunda

  2. Crest Poles

  3. Queen’s Park façade

  4. Stained-glass windows, Queen’s Park entrance

  5. ROM Theatre

  6. Glass Room

  7. Floor mosaic at entrance to Samuel European Galleries

  8. Leaded windows in stairwells

  9. Arched windows along western façade

  10. Exterior cornice around building

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