Toronto's Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), the largest one in Canada, launched its 15-million Canadian dollar "Love the ROM" fundraising campaign to mark its 100th anniversary on Wednesday.
Described as a vital step in positioning the museum for a new century, ROM CEO Janet Carding announced four projects that will focus on creating "a dynamic museum for the future."
One of those projects aims to improve the museum's interior lobby and create what the ROM is describing as its first "outdoor gallery."
"To deliver on our goal of making an encyclopedic scope of the museum more accessible through our centers, we're announcing today that we plan to welcome our visitors with a re-imagined entrance and lobby to enable visitors to get the most from The ROM and outside our doors," she told her guests at the launch, who included Ontario Lieutenant-Governor David Onley and Michael Chan, minister of tourism, culture and sport in Ontario.
This campaign comes after the museum's last Renaissance ROM 400-million dollar project, which saw the construction of the controversial Crystal. It completely transformed the ROM's appearance with its looming steel-and-window structure, which some believe created an angular and chilly front entrance to the museum. This new project aims to change just that.
"We're going to have new landscaping and a performance space that will literally take the museum's content outside and transform one of Toronto's most iconic street corners into an inviting urban green space with biodiversity gardens, inviting seating areas and spaces for conversation and enjoyment," said Carding.
Three other projects announced Wednesday included plans to deliver the future Gallery of Early Life - which Carding said will change the way visitors learn about the most ancient living things, the creation of a programming fund to animate the ROM with more programming and events, and also a director's fund to enhance the ROM for future generations.
The ROM is one of the largest museums in North America, attracting over 1 million visitors every year. According to the museum, preliminary work on the new lobby is expected to begin shortly.