Always keen to try the public transport of a city I caught the Toronto subway system, which I have to say is easy to use. Working out how to catch a train or bus can sometimes be a pain in a foreign country as you’ll usually find yourself staring at some automated kiosk that requires a bachelor’s degree in astrophysics with a minor in international diplomacy to figure out how to obtain a single daily pass ticket. Toronto has kept it easy for the infrequent traveller as, just before the subway turnstile there’s a little ‘bubble-gum machine’ that takes change (something you always end up accruing and have trouble getting rid of in a foreign country) and spits out tokens. The added bonus is you get to use a subway token- how ‘quaint’ is that?
The ROM has its own station on the network and oh what a station it is. Much like the American Natural History Museum in New York, the platform has been ‘themed’, with all of the columns holding up the tunnel roof turned into Mayan, Egyptian and Native American totems and statues.
My growing disappointment wasn’t helped by two things. The first was that, as I’d been so focused on looking and photographing the animal displays I never really gave the blank Rubik’s wall behind me a close look. All those angles and protruding triangle walls meant I’d missed the tiny, almost hidden corridor from the Cretaceous display into the Jurassic, and I honestly almost walked away at that point shaking my head thinking ‘is that’s it?’
Still, despite my misgivings about the building, the ROM has one of palaeontology’s largest exhibits of prehistoric creatures…if only they were given a little bit of character it would easily rank as one of the world’s greatest displays!