The Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1338 Words
Date:  2022-03-29


Human beings create various distinctive cultural architectures that distinguish their geographic location and the specific culture to which they belong. However, modernism is changing the form of every region in the world. Museums are essential parts of our cultural lives. The Royal Ontario Museum was the initial museum of Toronto's natural history and fine arts, opened in 1857 at Toronto Normal School. The Toronto original museum later came to be known as the Royal Ontario Museum following government enactmen1912 and resulted in an extension of the museum, the Crystal Extension designed by Frank Darling and John A Pearson in an Italianate neo-Romanesque style. The extension opened in 1914 and later then the museum had other three main expansions.

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Analysis of the Royal Ontario Museum

The extension of this museum, now called the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal which is at a prominent intersection in the downtown central Toronto. The museum is the largest in Canada, attracting over one million tourists in a year. The new name comes from the five intersecting metal-clad volumes of the building which are evocative of crystals, enthused by the crystalline forms of the mineralogy galleries of Royal Ontario Museum. The whole museum complex is a luminous beacon as Libeskind developed an organically interlocking structure of prismatic forms. The expansion created a new entrance to the Queen's Park where the showcasing of the museum's themes of nature and culture takes place.

There is a unification of the museum's entire ground into a seamless space which has clarity of circulation as well as transparency. The crystal gives the Royal Ontario Museum the fortress-like appeal, transforming it into a stimulating environment devoted to the renaissance of this historic architecture as a dynamic site of Toronto. The design of the museum makes it successful in attracting glimpses up and down, into the galleries as well as from the streets. The Gloria Hyacinth Chen Court, the considerable entrance atrium, splits the old historic structure from the new, giving an approximately comprehensive view of the historic buildings' restored facades and also serves as a site space for all types of public events. Opened in 2007, this extension offers 100,000 square feet area of the new exhibition, a new lobby and entrance, three new restaurants and a street-level retail shop. Additionally, the studio Libeskind restored ten galleries in the existing ancient building as part of this project (Dickson, 1986). Many people highly regard the Royal Ontario Museum globally, and it has a substantial number of cultural relics, straddling from the prehistoric times to current years.

Role of Geography in the Development of the Royal Ontario Museum

Geography plays an integral role in the development of a museum. The vegetation, land formations, climate, and the water cycle affect the lifestyle of the people of this area because they strive to acclimatise with the available climatic patterns and food. As humans have migrated across the planet, they have had to adapt to all the changing conditions exposed to. Three geographical aspects influenced the development of the New-York Historical Society Museum; the topography, climatic, as well as the spatial considerations. The physical features in the land where people live develop and shape the culture that people identify themselves with.

The physical form was the most basic geographic aspect in the development of this museum (Geoghegan, 2010). The topography of the area's landscape with many trees and the reasonably flat land were also contributing factors. The availability of farmland and its productivity also played a role in the development of this museum because of fertile land guarantees that the cultural plant-based diets will be popular. The physical geography aspect also had an impact on the language, clothing, political organisation and the religion of the people.

The Climatic Considerations for the Development of the Royal Ontario Museum were the reduced probability of natural disasters in the area that would affect the weather in the future days because the museum itself has little control over the climate of the town. The spatial considerations had a vital role in the development of this museum. Since the museum cannot move its physical location, the connectivity of the town with many other cities in the region was possible through improved infrastructure. The people from the neighboring cities and countries could and can easily tour there because of the developed roads and other means of transport.

How the Royal Ontario Museum Affects the Geography of Its Location

Over time, the historical cultures preserved in museum exert their influence on the geography. The economic value of the cultural museum sector is the only one part of some net worth to the community. The museum acts as an income generating center because people visit it for professional services, research, learning, and to experience the food culture of that place (Kelly, 2006). The museum also offers employment to the locals which improve their life. The museum also encourages the development of a sense of identity as well as authenticity. People in this area have an authentic heritage asset which gives them a strong sense of purpose motivating them towards a total commitment to the historical accuracy through which they restore their local pride and identity. Heritage prompts many visitors to the country.

When the visitors come to the museum, they spend money on various activities, and this helps in the development of the local economy. The museum runs under the legal restrictions. The legal issues that museums follow are a non-profit business, tax laws, the art and the cultural heritage laws, property laws, insurance, employment, intellectual property laws among other requirements. The museum also cultivates an appreciation of diversity and bridge the generational gap among the residents. Without the aid of records, the culture will be nothing more significant than a well-combined sequence of original assumptions and funny fables. It is through the cultural content in the museum that this town advanced into the 21st era, providing the visitors with a vast collection of values, beliefs, art, objects, artifacts and other valuable constituents of the local culture.

How the Museum Reflects the Cultural Identity of the Residents

Issues of cultural identity are the theme of much debate, mainly in the fields of the social and cultural studies. The Museums are at the center such debates, and their collections and the interpretation of the collections inextricably connect with people's cultural identity. Cultural information in this museum influences the residents' sense of identity and behavior. Attention the cultural heritage creates awareness and links the people of this place with their past. The mission of this museum is to support in shaping the history of the residents, and the resulting cultural identity instills loyalty in the group (Macdonald, 2012). The cultural information provided in the museum meets the needs of the individual as well as those of a group thus influences the way of life of the residents because it influences the people's beliefs, knowledge, and emotions. Museums have a substantial contribution in developing the residents' understanding of their cultural identity.


Museums are essential parts of our cultural lives. The Royal Ontario Museum was the first museum in Toronto, founded in 1857. It has some cultural relics, spanning from the prehistoric times to contemporary years. The geography plays an essential role in the development of a museum. The topography, climatic, and the spatial considerations are crucial aspects of geography that contributed to the development its development. Over time, the human cultures preserved in the museum exert their influence on the geography. The museum is an income generating site and gives the residents a strong sense of purpose and identity. The Royal Ontario Museum has a considerable contribution to developing the residents' understanding of their cultural identity. It impacts the people's beliefs, knowledge, and feelings.


Dickson, L. (1986). The museum makers: The story of the Royal Ontario Museum. ROM.

Geoghegan, H. (2010). Museum geography: Exploring museums, collections and museum practice in the UK. Geography Compass, 4(10), 1462-1476.

Kelly, L. (2006). Museums as sources of information and learning: The decision-making process. Open Museum Journal, 8.

Macdonald, S. J. (2012). Museums, National, Postnational and Transcultural Identities. Museum studies: An anthology of contexts, 273-86.

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The Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada. (2022, Mar 29). Retrieved from

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