Thursday Doors: A Day At The Museum

My recent excursion was not intended to be a quest for interesting doors.   Doors were found, but that was simply an unexpected bonus.

On this particular hot and humid day, I was braving the subway and downtown crowds for rarer game – a Chihuly exhibit.

I’ve been a blogger for 3 years now and on several occasions I’ve been in awe of other people’s posts about Chihuly displays of blown glass in fantasy designs.  I had hoped that one day I too would get to experience some of that magic.

Good things come to those who wait because Chihuly has finally arrived in Toronto at the Royal Ontario Museum.

The ROM building itself is a visual delight and although I’ve been there several times over the years, I’ve never devoted proper attention to its exploration.  I really must return one day to correct that omission.

At least a dozen photos later, I finally got one that I deemed ok.

The original limestone building was constructed in 1912 and has undergone numerous expansions in its 100+ years as its collections and research facilities continue to grow.

Do not be deceived as I was.  This is not the main entrance.


However, I was here to see Chihuly glass.  My interpretation of the exhibit is that there were 4 distinct themes …a nautical presentation including a spectacular coral reef, a display of trees and campfires that reminded me of the Canadian North, a trellis of floral discs, and a collection of delicate bowls.





I never miss an opportunity to check out a gift shop, but the price tags approaching 5-figures for a little bit of take-home Chihuly was certainly WELL OUTSIDE of my snack bracket.

On my way back to the subway, I noticed a discreet side door that looked worthy of investigation and I wasn’t disappointed.  It is in the same style as the doors to the Special Events area shown in the 2nd photo, but these doors tucked away on the side are the entrance to an Art Deco theatre available for private functions within the ROM.

ROM door
I love the stylized *ROM* in the left window, but I’ve been unable to identify the meaning behind the *93*

These weathered doors remind me of great portals one might find on an ancient castle.

Instead of simply being able to check an item off my TO DO list with the satisfaction of finality, this trip to the museum only managed to spark my interest enough to want to return again to explore more of the ROM and some the other interesting buildings in the area.

So much to do ….

Thursday Doors is a weekly photo feature hosted by Norm Frampton at Norm 2.0.


  1. Wow…beautiful glass! It’s the first I’ve heard of it, definitely worth braving the subway.

    I also just stumbled upon your post on Yurts. Very cool…I wonder how long it takes to assemble? As soon as I found it, I lost it before I could comment.I can’t tell if it’s me or trouble with my laptop which has been doing odd things lately.


    • Just yesterday a FB friend posted a number of pictures about his hike on Mont Blanc in France. Imagine my surprise when I saw a yurt in the background with a spectacular door on it!! I’m starting to think that the 2 yurts I discovered in Toronto are actually very typical. Who knew?!!!
      Thanks for the visit – computer issues and all 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Probably one of those things like when you buy a car…suddenly you see that car everywhere. I’m sure I’ll be seeing Yurts pop up in all sorts of places now. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s funny because I had just checked into your blog thinking I hadn’t seen anything for a while and wondered if I’d missed something. I hadn’t but then about five seconds later your post popped up. 🙂 Still took me days to get here to actually read it. (Explanation coming if I can find the time to write it but then you already know anyway.)

    Gosh, that glass is gorgeous! Loved the boat. And your museum is a museum piece in itself.

    I had the same idea as Su that it was “1931” and started to go looking for an explanation but thought I’d better check if anyone else had done it already and save myself the time. 🙂


  3. You MUST return, you have whetted my appetite with those photos of the museum. And doors. As for Chihuly , well I am a huge fan ever since someone posted about an exhibition in a garden. Your first Chihuly photo is spectacular. I would really love to have a piece of his work, but I can’t see it happening.


  4. I became a fan of Chihuly glass when our daughter attended Gonzaga Univ in Spokane, WA, and one of the buildings displayed a huge Chihuly chandelier. Gorgeous. Then, a year ago I visited a college friend in St. Petersburg, FL, where there’s an incredible Chihuly museum AND a separate workroom, showing artists blowing glass Chihuly-style. I could only afford a tiny blue heart, which I admire every day. Your photos of the Royal Ontario Museum and Chihuly art work are magnificent.


  5. I liked this entire post, Joanne! I love how Chihuly has such distinct pieces for each area or museum and then some overlap, like the umbrella like glass overhead and the huge blown glass balls. It is a pleasure to see the doors to the ROM, along with the intricate wire design of the initials and the puzzling “93”, a purely original doors post! ❤


  6. Beautiful doors! I have not been to a Chihuly exhibit, but the Naples Philharmonic (in Naples, Florida) has some of his installations . I recall a glass ceiling when I was there for some ballets many moons ago. It was quite spectacular.


  7. Beautiful glass pieces! We had an exhibition of glass art near where I live – so creative and beautiful. I hope your sore bits are getting better Joanne. I’ve been thinking of you and wishing you a speedy recovery.


    • Since I started carrying a camera all the time, I find I’m more observant and notice details I would otherwise have overlooked. The grandness of this building is one of those!


  8. Chihuly…I was finally able to visit the Chihuly Glass House at the Seattle Center last fall. l loved it but it was very crowded so I am hoping to go again on a future visit to my son. I am not sure if I posted pics of it. I will have to do that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chihuly has a permanent “Glass House” exhibit in Seattle?! I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.
      Crowds can be a real turn-off trying to visit a exhibit. I hadn’t intended to visit the ROM until the fall when the tourist crowd died down, but I was assured that Mondays at mid-day was a great time to go.
      It was. I was able to amble around with only a handful of other people.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, in Seattle. He’s from that area so there’s a lot of his written there. There’s also a Chihuahua exhibit in Tacoma, and from what I hear, there is also some of his work in public places in Tacoma.

        Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a good question.

      It seems that public buildings built a hundred or more years ago had considerably more attention into the small details of the design. I suspect it was simply the style at the time and yes, they were intended to be special.


  9. What a gorgeous-looking place to see a Chuhuly exhibition!! He is one of these artists I admire but whose work I’ve never seen “in the flesh”. One day!! I wonder if the “93” isn’t perhaps 1931? It’s usual to put a date on things like that, and 1931 would fit the Deco theme.


  10. Opulent styles here! And I love the glass – actually, the round balls are my favorite – with so many designs in that yellow one -I would have like to see how the artist made that one! Lovely post Joanne:) (you’re doing excellent, for having a blog for only three years!!)


  11. I haven’t heard of Chihuly glass before… so lovely to find something new… I rather liked the doors too and the stained glass window… thank you for sharing, it looked like a great place to spend some time…


  12. Nice doors Joanne. The ROM is on my list for my next visit to TO
    I saw this exhibit when it was here a while back and I’ve seen his stuff at the Bellagio and his boutique in Vegas as well – he is a remarkable talent.


  13. You photographed the glass art so beautifully! I would love to have all 3 pieces you found in the gift shop, but I’m sure the price of one would stop me from pulling out my wallet. 🙂 I’ve seen pieces of his work in San Francisco, and it is princely sum!

    I love the marble staircase, and side door. Looking forward to your return trip and seeing what you find to share next.


  14. The glass exhibits are lovely. Reminds me a bit of a glass bangle my stepfather brought me back from Israel which couldn’t have been cheap and broke almost instantly. The lesson here: glass is not the best material for jewelry. Nice doors too.


    • I had not heard of it either until several bloggers started to post about various exhibits on the US west coast. I fell in love with his work and was beside myself when I discovered he was having an exhibit in Toronto.


  15. Oh, such gorgeous doors and windows! OOH & AAH over that series of blue green stained glass. Just so beautiful!
    And doors like a fortress! Nice!
    I’m a big Chihuly fan as well. Now that I’m seeing more and more, I may need to dedicate a post to my own photos of the Chihuly glass 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Gorgeous doors, Joanne, and that is a beautiful museum. The intricacies of the doors and windows is amazing. I think you had two exhibits going there: the Chihuly glass and the building’s architecture.


  17. Gorgeous doors, Joanne, but all pale in comparison to Chihuly’s work. I’ve been blessed to see a number of his exhibitions/installations and they bring joy to my heart each time.



  18. That really looks like a place one could spend great amounts of time in. And I didn’t even know about that glass until now.

    Toronto looks nice. I’ve never been in any modern big city. One day I hope to visit my little stationery store I’ve found there. We don’t have one here in SJ, so I buy from then online.


  19. Wonderful doors. The glass art is amazing. We have one hanging in a local theater. I always wonder how they manage to ship those. I really like the metal-work inside the windows on the side door.


  20. I love to spend a few days in Toronto just wandering and photographing. There are so many exquisite buildings around the ROM and the University of Toronto – so much to do so little time. Thanks for sharing Joanne as I wasn’t familiar with Chihuly and love blown glass.


    • I agree Cheryl. There is just so much to explore and enjoy. Sadly I don’t do it nearly enough!!

      If you’re ever in TO and would like some company on a walk-about, I’d love to join you 🙂


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