Royal Ontario Museum

 
Patrick Baum

If the collections at the Royal Ontario Museum came to life and decided to ransack the city, we wouldn’t bet on Toronto’s survival.

The Jurassic Park’s worth of dinosaurs alone would do some serious damage, but working in tandem with the the mummies, the bats, and the samurais—prognoses are grim. While everything’s still inanimate, though, the Royal Ontario Museum is a compelling one-stop-shop for all things very, very old. With a shattered-jewel-like facade, the museum has lost a fair number of right angles, so best to ditch the map and wander until something catches your eye. Come on a Friday night to party with a triceratops at a weekly party.

Best things to see at Royal Ontario Museum

The Light of the Desert gem

Discovered in Tsumeb in northern Namibia, the 898-carat gem is the world’s largest faceted example of cerussite (from the Latin meaning “white lead”). This magnificent rock is so sensitive to heat and vibration that even the warmth from your hand can damage it.

 

The Gallery of Chinese Architecture

China’s iconic architecture dates back to the beginning of civilization and the museum’s collection is one of the largest and most complete outside of China. Focal points to pay attention to include the Ming Tomb, the Tombs of Han and Tang, and the reconstruction of a corner of a Chinese Imperial Palace building.

 

Gordo the Barosaurus

Want to feel small (really small)? Go say hi to Gordo, the enormous Barosaurus on display in the James and Louise Temerty Galleries of the Age of the Dinosaurs. He’s over 88 feet long and is the largest real fossil dinosaur mounted in Canada (and one of only three complete Barosaurus skeletons on display in the world!).

Best places to eat & drink near Royal Ontario Museum

Druxy’s ROM Café

If you’re too busy exploring to eat elsewhere, the museum’s on-site dining offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The menu includes sandwiches, salads, and an extensive hot menu of burgers, pizza, and grilled items.

 

St. Lawrence Market in Old Town

If you really want a true dining experience in Toronto, skip the museum’s food offerings and hail a cab to St. Lawrence Market. It may be touristy, but the diverse array of fresh and local foods will have your taste buds singing with joy.

 

Royal Ontario Museum directions and parking

The best way to get to the Royal Ontario Museum

The Royal Ontario Museum is located in South Toronto near Queen’s Park. If you are driving from the north, take the 401 Expressway to Avenue Road S. Continue onto Bloor St. W and take a right. If you are coming from the south, take the Gardiner Expressway to Spadina Avenue. Go north to Bloor St. W and take a right.

The Museum can be accessed by subway by taking the Bloor-Danforth line to St. George Station or by taking the Yonge-University line to Museum Station. The #142 and Avenue Road #5 buses will also take you. 

 

Best parking near the Royal Ontario Museum

There is parking located at 9 Bedford Road, 37 Yorkville Avenue, Cumberland Parkade, 164 Cumberland Street, 465 Huron Street, and 9 Madison Avenue.

Royal Ontario Museum FAQs

What are the museum’s hours?

Open Daily: 10am-5:30pm

Open every day except Christmas.

 

How long is the average visit?

Visitors typically spend about four to five hours at the museum.

 

Is photography allowed?

With the exception of special exhibitions, photography done with hand-held equipment is allowed.

 

Are strollers and wheelchairs available to rent?

Wheelchairs are free with proof of ID. Strollers are available to rent for a small fee.

 

Is re-entry permitted?

Yes! Just hold onto your ticket.