Drawing over a million visitors a year, and with more than 6 million objects in its collection, this is one of the largest museums in North America. And though it sounds cliched, there truly is something for everyone here. For the kids there's an extensive dinosaur exhibit, a creepy bat cave, hands-on experiences such as a dinosaur dig, and mummies and totem poles to check out. Adults will enjoy the Chinese galleries, which feature an intact Ming tomb, and other ancient exhibits, from Roman busts to extensive artifact displays from Egypt, Greece, and Cyprus. As impressive are the changing exhibits the Museum regularly hosts. In honor of the museum's 100th birthday, it mounted a show about the important design work that was being done in 1914, the year ROM debuted (Frank Lloyd Wright, Walter Gropius, and Louis Comfort Tiffany were among the designers featured). Not long ago, the museum went through a controversial redesign by architect Daniel Libeskind. Its new crystal wing, which opened in 2009, looks like it was smashed into the north side of the lovely historic building. It features six oddly designed galleries, some with small windows letting you peak down to Bloor Street. In a successful move to attract an audience of young professionals, the ROM has introduced Friday Night Live for six weeks each spring and fall. Admission is a reduced $12 and there are food and drink stations throughout the museum with everything priced at $6 (tickets are sold at the entrance). It's fun to see all the young singles wandering the the galleries, enjoying a glass of wine! You might even come across some live jazz. The lines to get in, however, can be quite long. Tip: Though there's Wi-Fi in the museum, you will be ahead of the game if you download the free ScopifyROM app to your phone or iPad before you arrive (there's a link on their website). This terrific app gives visitors reams of extra information about the exhibits, all of it interesting. For example, as you enter you'll find yourself at the feet of Canada's largest dinosaur, a 27m (90-ft.) cast of a futalognkosaurus. Stand on the special floor mark and hold your device up and you'll be able add skin to the dinosaur skeleton, or see an animation of it in its natural environment. There are 14 stations throughout the museum where the augmented reality app enhances exhibits.
Royal Ontario Museum
100 Queens Park
Our Rating Neighborhood Southeast corner of Avenue Road and Bloor Street Hours Daily 10am–5:30pm (Fri till 8:30pm); closed Dec 25 Transportation Subway: Museum Phone 416/586-8000 Prices $16 adults, $15 students and seniors over 65, $13 children 4–14, free children 3 and under; additional charge for special exhibits; discounted admission Fri 4:30–8:30pm Amenities
Web site Royal Ontario Museum