The Royal Ontario Museum Opens New Outdoor Terrace and Plaza

The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) recently opened the Helga and Mike Schmidt Performance Terrace and the Reed Family Plaza to the public. The new Bloor Street terrace and plaza overlooks Philosopher’s Walk, a footpath located in the St George campus of the University of Toronto.

Photo Courtesy of Matt Forsythe/ROM

“Building community, ensuring accessibility, and playing a meaningful role in people’s lives are key elements of our enduring success,” says Josh Basseches, ROM Director & CEO. “The opening of the Helga and Mike Schmidt Performance Terrace and the Reed Family Plaza not only enhances the pedestrian experience along Bloor Street, it also provides new ways to deepen the ROM’s connection with our community and participate in the urban life of the city. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, visitors now have a new and inviting civic space to enjoy in the heart of Toronto. We are very grateful to Helga and Mike Schmidt and Nita and Don Reed for making this important project possible.”

Designed by Toronto architect Siamak Hariri of Hariri Pontarini Architects, the 13,595 square-foot public space features garden-side seating and an open-air space for music, theatre, discussion, and performances.

“Our family is very pleased to support the ROM’s new vision for community engagement with the Reed Family Plaza,” says Nita Reed, long-time ROM donor and volunteer. “It’s a thrill to see it come to life as a dynamic gathering space along Bloor Street.”

The Helga and Mike Schmidt Performance Terrace is surrounded by the contemporary architecture of the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, and the softly textured stone walls of the ROM’s heritage façade.

The green space, designed by Ronald Holbrook & Associates, will feature a seasonal palette of native, perennial plant species that reflect the ROM’s biodiversity mandate, according to the Museum.

In September, programming will be available every Saturday and Sunday from noon to 3:00 p.m.

“Supporting a beautiful outdoor performance space at the Museum is a dream come true,” says Helga Schmidt, philanthropist and ROM supporter. “My late husband would have been very proud of this moment, which honours our shared love of music and live performance.”

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