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The first building: where it all began.


On April 16, 1912, in the Ontario Legislature, Bill 138 received Royal Assent. It formally established the creation of a building to "provide a home for culture and science under the same academical roof." There were to be five ROMs situated there (archaeology, geology, mineralogy, palaeontology, and zoology), each with its own director.

The news received scant coverage; an unsinkable ocean liner called the RMS Titanic had gone down the day before.

The original building, shown here, was designed by the Toronto architectural firm of Pearson and Darling, whose credits include Convocation Hall at University of Toronto (1906), the Summerhill-North Toronto railway station (1916) and, in 1930, the Canadian Bank of Commerce Building, the Commonwealth's tallest for decades after.

The opening date was determined by H.R.H. The Duke of Connaught who declared he would make himself available on March 14, 1914. "This was far too soon for our convenience," wrote founder Charles Currelly years later, but it was "most important for us if he would open the building ... Finally what had seemed an utter impossibility was nearly accomplished, and the opening took place with all the galleries in fair shape but one, for which we had not a single case ready."


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Title Annotation:Last Word
Publication:ROM Magazine
Date:Dec 22, 2013
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