The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is a museum of World culture and natural history in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. With its main entrance facing Bloor Street in Downtown Toronto, the museum is situated north of Queen's Park and east of Philosopher's Walk in the University of Toronto. Founded in 1912, the museum has maintained close relations with the university throughout its history, often sharing expertise and resources. The museum remained under direct control and management of the University of Toronto until 1968, when it became an independent institution.
Containing more than six million items and forty galleries, the museum has notable collections of dinosaurs, minerals and meteorites, Near Eastern and African art, East Asian art, European history, and Canadian history. It also houses the world's largest collection of fossils from the Burgess Shale with more than 150,000 specimens.
The ROM began in 1912 with the enactment of the Royal Ontario Museum Act by the provincial government. It was opened at 3 p.m. EST on March 14, 1914, by HRH The Duke of Connaught, Governor General of Canada. When the museum's site was first chosen, it was still at the edge of Toronto's built-up area and far from the city's central business district; the location was selected mainly for its proximity to the University of Toronto. The original building was constructed on the western edge of the property along the university's Philosopher's Walk, with its entrance opening on Bloor Street. It was the first phase of a two-part master plan which was to see the museum eventually expanded towards Queen's Park Crescent as an 'H' shaped building. Many of the artifacts were transferred from the museum's predecessor, the Museum of Natural History and Fine Arts at the Toronto Normal School.