The Royal Ontario Museum is one of the largest and most visited museums in Toronto due to its increasingly extensive and modern collections of art, culture, science, and nature. New finds from fields such as biodiversity, palaeontology, archaeology, material culture, the earth sciences, and the visual arts are consistently put on display to update visitors' understanding of the world.

With over 6 million items on display and 40 galleries, the Royal Ontario Museum’s emphasis on world culture and natural history extends into its exhibits and beyond. Popular exhibits include dinosaurs, Canadian and European artefacts, Burgess Shale fossils, Art Deco, clothing, and a variety of cultural and fine art. The museum’s collection of Burgess Shale fossils is among the most impressive in the world, boasting over 150,000 well-preserved specimens from the Canadian Rockies. The Royal Ontario Museum is also used as a large-scale field-research facility, performing research and conservation activities around the world.

Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto - one of the highlights of 10 Best Things to Do in Toronto and 9 Best Family Things to Do in Toronto (Read all about Toronto here)

photo by Aviad2001 (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

What are the highlights of the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto?

Interactive and interpretive exhibits within the Royal Ontario Museum provide an entertaining transition into the studies of archaeology, geology, mineralogy, palaeontology, and zoology, allowing diverse accessibility to the information through their appeals to multiple learning styles. For example, the Bat Cave incorporates realistic sounds, lights, and currents to recreate the experience of venturing into a bat cave. The CIBC Discovery Gallery was made to be a children’s learning zone with the sections In the Earth, Around the World, and Close to Home. The Discovery Gallery includes places to touch artefacts and rocks, dig up replica fossils, and examine costumes.

On the second floor of the Royal Ontario Museum are the Natural History galleries with collections of a wide range of species both native and exotic as well as endangered and extinct. These specimens include the famous Bull, a southern white rhinoceros that's a hugely successful example of conservation efforts.

Where to eat and drink in the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto?

A few blocks from the Royal Ontario Museum on Bloor Street lies Amal Toronto, a fantastic Lebanese restaurant. Right up Bedford Road off of Bloor Street, The Duke of York is a casual bar serving many local flavours and mixtures and offering booths and an upstairs patio. The Asian restaurant Spring Sushi boasts impressive flavours and excellent service. Likewise, Signatures Restaurant offers both classic and exotic dinners and healthy options for all ages in elegant, stylized areas like a courtyard igloo.

STK Toronto is a steakhouse near the Royal Ontario Museum that supplies well-cooked meats in a calm, contemporary atmosphere, while Museum Tavern offers a mix of American and Canadian foods in a similar atmosphere. The Oxley is an affordable pub option near the museum, and Sassafraz is a distinctly Canadian and vegetarian-friendly establishment.

What else is good to know about the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto?

The Royal Ontario Museum’s main entrance is on Bloor Street West, north of Queen’s Park. The Museum subway station is the easiest way to reach it, through line 1 on Yonge-University. However, the closest wheelchair-accessible station is St. George, which is a city block west of the museum on Bloor Street. Visitors generally spend about 2 to 3 hours exploring the museum.

The Royal Ontario Museum is close to other interesting sites you may want to check out, like the ceramics-focused Gardiner Museum, the Bata Shoe Museum, which features interesting footwear and titbits on fashion history, and the Aga Khan Museum, which preserves Muslim heritage, art, and culture. Kids especially might like the Ontario Science Centre, an interactive science and technology museum, and Queen’s Park, an urban park at the heart of Toronto.

Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto

Location: 100 Queens Park, Toronto, ON M5S 2C6, Canada

Open: Wednesday–Sunday from 10 am to 5.30 pm (closed Monday–Tuesday)

Phone: +1 416-586-8000