Toronto - The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) announced that visitor attendance to the Museum for the month of June, following the Architectural Opening of the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, has almost doubled compared to the three years preceding the construction of the Renaissance ROM project. June 2007 attendance reached over 80,000 visitors, representing an increase of more than 85% over the June average over the years 2000 to 2002. Further, July 2007 projections stand at more than 75,000 visitors (a 35% increase compared to the same years), also a substantial increase.

“We’re extremely pleased to see how our visitors have enthusiastically embraced the new ROM,” said William Thorsell, Director and CEO of the ROM. “We don’t expect the full visitor impact of the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal to be reflected in our attendance numbers until all its galleries open next Spring. However, these numbers are especially heartening in a year when tourism growth in the City is relatively soft.”

Comparing general admission numbers (which do not include school group visits, ticketed programs or special events guests) for June and July 2007 to the same months during three years of operations preceding the Renaissance ROM project, the growth trend is clear.

ROM General Admissions

2000 - June: 34,637 / July: 49,064
2001 - June: 43,659 / July: 60,722
2002 - June: 52,537 / July: 60,186

2000-2002 average - June: 43,611 / July: 56,657

2007 - June: 81,277 July: 76,427 (projected)

Increase over 2000-02 - June 2007: 37,666 / July 2007: 19,770

As a percentage - June 2007: 86% increase / July 2007: 35% increase

ROM visitors have been attracted by the stunning architecture of the new Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, one of the new symbols of Toronto and a not-to-be-missed destination for tourists and residents alike. The Museum’s excellent summer exhibitions are also drawing strong reviews.

Currently on display:

Ancient Peru Unearthed: Golden Treasures of a Lost Civilization (to September 3, 2007)
Drama and Desire: Japanese Paintings from the Floating World, 1690-1850 (to August 12, 2007)
Hiroshi Sugimoto: History of History (to September 3, 2007)
The Black Star Sapphire of Queensland (to December 2, 2007)
Early Typewriters (to January 2008)
Glass Worlds: Paperweights from the ROM’s Collections (to Winter 2008)
Heaven or Hell: Images of Chinese Buddhist and Daoist Deities & Immortals (to September 2007)

Also available to ROM visitors are Food Studio, the bright new family cafeteria on Level B1, the chic C5 Restaurant Lounge on Level 5, and the ROM Museum Store.

Upcoming at the ROM is the Fall 2007 Season of Canada, comprising the exhibitions Canadian Icons: Collected Treasures From Across the Nation and Shapeshifters, Time Travellers and Storytellers (presented by the Institute for Contemporary Culture), as well as the new permanent installation, the Sigmund Samuel Gallery of Canada. The first permanent galleries to open within the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal will be the Level 2 James and Louise Temerty Galleries of the Age of Dinosaurs and the Gallery of the Age of Mammals, which will open in December 2007, just in time for the family holiday season.