Sunday, November 23, 2014

Late Postcards from Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum

The Royal Ontario Museum was across the street from our hotel. It's Canada's largest museum, dedicated to both human civilization and the natural world. In 2007, it acquired this glass-and-aluminum addition courtesy of Daniel Libeskind. To me, it protrudes like a faceted tumor from the face of the original early-20th-century building, a stately structure in pale brick.

The Canadians held a little surprise parade for us the afternoon we left. So thoughtful.

At night there's a light show, in the colors you see here, and gray:

Inside there's still some Beaux-Art embellishment:

But mostly there are things like bats:

This was a simple bat display, but you can also go for a walk in a dark and creepy cave full of fake bats stirring about and making bat racket. I was unmoved, having been in real places like that for extremely short periods in the past. But, on Sunday mornings, the ROM is packed with families, and the little kids around me were not so blasé.

A happy little stuffed bat on a fake tropical flower, possibly carnivorous.

There are also dinosaur skeletons and fossils, exhibitions about biodiversity and exploring Space, art and artifacts from many world cultures past and present, including ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Asia, Canada's Native Americans, and so on. 

I was mostly in the mood for the taxidermy aspect of natural history during my visit:

Eventually, I came across far too many insects for my taste, too:

It's quite a collection, taken all together, and a superb educational resource. If I ever go back to Toronto, I will visit the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, across the street, and the Art Gallery of Ontario. But first I will need to be fortified with fish & chips. More on that later.

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