November 10, 2005
by Canadian Architect
The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), with its partner Graywood Developments Ltd., is withdrawing its proposal to build a mixed-use museum addition and residential tower at 90 Queen’s Park (ROM South).
“The proposal requires a change in use and zoning for which we have been unable to build public support,” said ROM Director and CEO William Thorsell. “The ROM and its partners have taken public concerns very seriously, and will not proceed with this project as proposed.”
ROM South proposed the construction of a 35,000-square-foot addition to the museum, a new public plaza with elevated pedestrian link to Philosopher’s Walk, a direct, accessible connection to the Museum subway station, and a private residential tower. In addition, revenues from ROM South would have contributed significantly to the restoration of the ROM’s heritage buildings on Queen’s Park and Philosophers’ Walk, and the installation of seven permanent galleries in Phase Two of Renaissance ROM.
“I had hoped that many visible public benefits would justify a beautiful exception to the rule on this site,” said Mr. Thorsell. “In the course of events, they didn’t. ”
Phase One of Renaissance ROM opens to the public on December 26, with restoration of the Rotunda and Samuel Hall ,Currelly Gallery, refurbishment of the newly named Signy and Clophe Eaton Theatre and Lower Rotunda, and the galleries of Canadian First Peoples, Far Eastern Art, Japan, Chinese Temple Art, Chinese Sculpture, Chinese Art and Archaeology, Chinese Architecture and Korea. The remainder of Phase One in the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, opens on Bloor Street in the fall of 2006.