An architectural gem awaits its first polish – and a seat its honoree’s name


I walked by the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal addition at the Royal Ontario Museum this afternoon. It is getting easier and easier to imagine it in its final form as if, Christopher Hume points out, ‘artist’s renderings’ weren’t already impressive enough. (Note to American, and other non-Canadian, readers: the “serviette” Hume refers to is a Canadianism, a synonym for paper napkin.) On this cold and windy day there was still a small army of workers at the site although the legions of iron-workers seem to have completed their treacherous work.

It is a very impressive site, at ground level, so many facets of the crystal jutting out this way and that; white surfaces occasionally interrupted by large panes of clear glass. I look forward to seeing it from the inside when it opens this spring and, finally, much more of the museum’s huge collection will be able to come out of storage and be put on proper display.

Meanwhile, next door to the ROM, the Royal Conservatory of Music‘s large addition is proceeding along well, too. I must remember to call them soon after seeing an ad suggesting donations to name seats in someone’s honour. Mom graduated from there back in the 1950’s and I think she’d be tickled to have a theatre seat named for her. For a sentimental guy like me, this idea sure beats getting her a bath-tub lift, at least not right now, for infirmities that have not yet come to pass. I’ll see if my brother and sisters want to go in on it with me.

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