Royal Ontario Museum’s Phase One Heritage Galleries to open in December 2005

The Board of Trustees of the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) has confirmed an adjusted schedule of openings for the Renaissance ROM expansion and renovation project. As originally planned, the first wave of restored heritage galleries in the existing buildings will open on December 15, 2005. During the summer of 2006, the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal will open to the public. The second phase of heritage galleries will open through December 2006 and early 2007.

"The Renaissance ROM project remains substantially on time and on budget," said William Thorsell, Director and CEO of the ROM. "The opening of the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal will simply move to halfway between the Phase One and Phase Two Heritage Galleries openings. The Crystal’s unique design requires a six-month extension to the original construction schedule of the new wing of the Museum, normal for a construction project of this scope and complexity. We intend to deliver the highest quality museum experience to the public.

The gallery design process is now 100% complete, under the direction of Haley Sharpe Design and the ROM’s in-house curators and technical experts. The teams have delivered gallery designs that bring almost twice as many artifacts out for public display in the new and restored galleries. Tenders have been decided for the fabrication and installation of gallery cases and displays, and it is expected that Phase One gallery spaces will be turned over to the fabricators (of display cases, flooring, lighting, etc.) beginning in April 2005. Artifact installation will follow for the Asian galleries (in the heritage Philosopher’s Walk building) and the Gallery of Canada: First Peoples (in the Weston Heritage Building).

The Royal Ontario Museum is an agency of the Government of Ontario. Created in 1912, Canada’s largest museum of natural history and world cultures has six million objects in its collection and galleries showcasing art, archaeology and natural science. Renaissance ROM is an ambitious expansion and heritage renovation project that will transform the Royal Ontario Museum into one of North America’s great museums and a leading cultural attraction for the city, province and country. The Museum’s vast collections, some of which have never before been displayed, will be showcased in over 300,000 square feet of dramatic new and expanded galleries and public spaces. A major new wing, the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, is being added to the Museum, designed by Daniel Libeskind in a joint venture with Bregman + Hamann Architects. Haley Sharpe Design leads the gallery design process and Vanbots Construction Corp. is Construction Manager. The Hon. Hilary M. Weston leads an 80-member fundraising Campaign Cabinet that held its Groundbreaking and Campaign Launch on May 28, 2003. Renaissance ROM will allow the ROM to expand its public programming, scientific research and educational mandates. For more information, please visit