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Harry Marinakis

PostPosted: Sat 14 Mar, 2015 12:34 pm    Post subject: Royal Ontario Museum worthwhile?         Reply with quote

I'll be in Toronto soon, wondering if the Royal Ontario Museum is worth a visit from the perspective of seeing military arms and armor up to the 16th Century.


Thank you
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Tom L.

Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 20 Jun 2008

Posts: 35

PostPosted: Sat 14 Mar, 2015 1:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I live in Toronto and I'll have to say that it's a smallish collection. The armour collection consists mostly of 16th and 17th century pieces with a few basket hilts and rapiers thrown in. There is a small Napoleonic section and a small first world war display as well. Then there is the cabinet of medieval and viking age swords. This is all in a small section in their European gallery on the 3rd floor. Before the recent renovations, there was an additional section featuring crossbows and 19th century firearms, but that has disappeared.

On the ground floor, there is a small Japanese arms and armour collection and there is an Indian section as well in the 3rd floor. To be honest, the collection isn't bad and is worth seeing, it's just that having glimpsed in books and on the web what is out there in other museums around the world, it seems that it could be more. There are nice pieces that may catch your eye (such as the anime cuirass, the pinch of snuff baskethilt and the composite Maximillian harness). On top of that, there are some Greek and Roman pieces scattered here and there.

I would say go and see it, simply because there is no other real arms and armour display in Toronto. Fort York is a War of 1812 site with a small collection based around the Fort's military history, and then there is the dreaded Medieval Times.

I have a cunning plan Mr. B.
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J.D. Crawford

Location: Toronto
Joined: 25 Dec 2006

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,835

PostPosted: Sat 14 Mar, 2015 8:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tom L. wrote:
I live in Toronto and I'll have to say that it's a smallish collection.

I don't know man, I think you're underselling 'our' collection, in true Canadian fashion! I think it holds up quite well against any of the collections I've visited around the world. Here's a previous thread with pictures of the main display in the European section:

Plus there's lots of other things to see at the ROM.

Other things with a medieval flavor:

if you're looking to connect with medieval martial artists, there's this (I haven't attended for years, but I'm sure they would welcome a visitor):

An for a less serious take on history, there's this:

Other things to do in Toronto: Not far away from ROM (down Bloor West then spadina South) walk between Kensington Market, Chinatown Restaurants, and Art Gallery of Ontario, or walk South to U. Toronto Campus from ROM, and on dowtown, or Further West along Bloor toward the Annex/Japanese/Korean Restaurant area, or even further toward High Park and Bloor West Village for a more European feel, then south to Western Beaches (I used to live there); Back downtown again: I'm not into shopping, but for someone who is, if you have a rock star wallet then Yorkville across from the ROM, otherwise downtown shopping at Yong Street Stores, and Eaton Centre for bad weather, or if weather good can go along Harbourfront and Ferry to Centre Island, with great view of downtown sky-scrapers. Others: Elevator up to top of CN Tower, Little Italy down College St. for Italian food, Or head East to Greek Area and back down to Lake Ontario for Eastern Beaches and Queen St. East Trendy area. Can stop between downtown and Eastern Beaches at Distillary distict which is full of overly expensive shops but still cool looking Victorian Era buildings looking like Diagon Alley in Harry Potter. Entertainment areas along Queen St. East and Yong cater to taste ranging from world-class theatre down to the infamous 'Brass Rail; another kind of rock star experience. Sports: every major league in North America, although our Raptors and Leafs are both currently an embarassment. And every type of music and every size from local to all the big world acts stopping by here all the time. And depending when you come, theres usually some kind of festivals or events going on.

Enough? I don't live inside the city anymore because I'm a country boy, but I'm still very proud of the city where I work.
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Harry Marinakis

PostPosted: Sun 15 Mar, 2015 2:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote


I'm traveling to Hamilton to get some work done on a kayak. I was trying to decided whether or not it was worth the extra miles to go into the city. My wife and like to go to the art galleries in Toronto, although we usually do it in the winter and have to wear full Gortex suits to walk around the city. (:
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Harry Marinakis

PostPosted: Tue 17 Mar, 2015 6:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Going to museum on Monday March 23
Maybe I'll catch some Canadian ballet while I'm in the Niagara area. (:
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