The Royal Ontario Museum is not only the largest museum in Canada, it is the most popular. Focusing mainly on world culture and natural history, the museum is home to some of the most interesting artifacts in the history of the nation. It was first founded in 1912, and since that time has continued to grow and become more popular. The building sits beside the University of Toronto, and throughout its history the museum has maintained a very close relationship with the school. It was under the control of the university until 1968, when it became a private organization.
There are more than six million items located at the Royal Ontario Museum that are spread across more than forty exhibits. The museum is most known for their dinosaur collections, which feature fossils from some of the most rare dinosaurs. The Royal Ontario Museum also has large collections of African Art, East Asian art and Canadian history.
Before the Royal Ontario Museum, there was the Museum of Natural History and fine Arts which was first opened in 1857. The Royal Ontario Museum first got its start in 1912, when the provincial government passed the Royal Ontario Museum act. The museum was placed in the city's central business district in hopes that it would attract more people to the area. They also chose the location because it was close to the University of Toronto. The original building was constructed along the edge of the Philosopher's Walk, a popular trail at the University.
They eventually expanded the location in 1933 to make room for more exhibits. The museum was also used as a way to employ people during the Great Depression. Most of the new hires during this time were used to excavate the basements and foundations by hand, so that they could expand the museum when the economic situation turned around.
One of the most famous locations inside of the Royal Ontario Museum in the McLaughlin Planetarium. The planetarium was not added until 1968, but has continued to grow since that time. Named after Colonel Sam McLaughlin, the huge planetarium was built so that the museum could compete with other European and American museums. Unfortunately, visitors to the planetarium dwindled and the location was closed in 1995. Today, it is used for extra storage.
'The Crystal' is the entrance to the Royal Ontario Museum and was first opened in 2007. The area serves as the entrance to the museum and also features a gift shop, restaurant, and a number of added galleries. The building received its name because the jagged glass structure resembles a crystal.
The five main galleries inside of the museum focus on the fields of archaeology, mineralogy, paleontology, zoology and geology. Each of the galleries and exhibits are separated by these categories, making it easier for visitors to navigate the museum.
The Royal Ontario Museum has become a staple of Ontario and the surrounding areas. With so many fascinating exhibits for you to check out, there is really no reason to skip this location if you are going to be in the area. The Royal Ontario Museum has something for everyone. As the largest museum in the country you would be hard-pressed to find something that you were not interested in learning about.