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A three-year construction project to transform the ROM will begin soon. Here is a look at the changes.

The Royal Ontario Museum announced Wednesday that it plans to undertake a “sweeping architectural transformation” of its main floor as part of a three-year construction project that will begin early this year.

In a news release, the museum said the “OpenROM” project, will “dramatically” open the museum up to the public and add 6,000 square feet of new gallery space on the second and third levels.

ROMThe renovation will include a redesigned Bloor Street entrance that the museum says “will deepen ROM’s connection to the city.”

“OpenROM is more than a physical transformation; it is a major leap forward in the Museum’s ongoing evolution to becoming an even more welcoming and accessible space,” Josh Basseches, ROM’s director and CEO, said in a written statement.

“This is an opportunity to truly throw the doors of the museum open, both literally and figuratively, and invite more people in to experience all ROM has to offer. We want people from down the block and around the world to feel like this is a place for them, where they are inspired and belong.” 

The museum will stay open during the three-year construction project, which has been funded in part by a $50 million donation from the Hennick Family Foundation. Siamak Hariri, of Toronto-based firm Hariri Pontarini Architects, is in charge of the renovation design.

ROMThe museum added that once construction is complete, it will offer “ongoing free access” to the main floor, building on its summer-long Free Main Floor pilot program first introduced in 2022.

The ROM said in addition to “reimagining” the core of the museum, enhancements are also being made to exterior spaces, including a new water feature that will wrap around the building’s façade near Bloor Street and Queen’s Park.