The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is a museum of world culture and natural history located in Toronto. It is the fifth largest in North America and contains more than six million objects. It has notable collections on dinosaurs, art from the Near East, Africa and East Asia, European history and Canadian history.
The museum is located on the southwest corner of Bloor Street and Queen's Park, north of the Queen's Park Legislative Complex, and on the east side of the University of Toronto Philosophers' Drive. Established in 1912 by the provincial government, the ROM was run by the University of Toronto until 1955. Now an independent institution, it continues to maintain a close relationship with the university, sharing expertise and resources.
Inaugurated on March 14, 1914 by the Duke of Connaught, Governor General of Canada, the original building was designed by Toronto architects Frank Darling and John A. Pearson. The architectural style is Italian neo-Romanesque, popular in North America in the 1870s. The structure is rather heavy, punctuated by windows with large frames and topped with moldings, and overhung by a decorative cornice.
When the museum site was chosen, it was still on the edge of the built-up area of the city and away from the business district. The location was selected for its proximity to the University of Toronto. The building was built on the western boundary, opposite the Philosopher's Walk, the entrance overlooking Bloor Street. This was the first phase of a two-part mass plan that would allow expansion into an H-shaped building.