Experiencing Toronto is incomplete without a visit to the city’s cultural destinations. Toronto is home to many parks and museums, and the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) are two of the most popular destinations.
The Royal Ontario Museum is better if you want to explore various galleries and interactive exhibitions. Go to the Art Gallery of Ontario for its curated galleries and other cultural experiences like stage plays.
We prepared a detailed comparison between the Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario to help you decide where to go first.
Royal Ontario Museum or Art Gallery of Ontario: Which is Better?
- Royal Ontario Museum or Art Gallery of Ontario: Which is Better?
- Ticket Prices of Royal Ontario Museum vs Art Gallery of Ontario
- Membership packages of Royal Ontario Museum vs Art Gallery of Ontario
- Range of Membership Packages
- Benefits of Membership Packages
- Exhibits and Art Collections in Royal Ontario Museum vs Art Gallery of Ontario
- Accessibility of Royal Ontario Museum vs Art Gallery of Ontario
- ROM vs AGO: How They Stack Up
Ticket Prices of Royal Ontario Museum vs Art Gallery of Ontario
AGO tickets offer better value than ROM tickets. For only $30, you get a whole day’s access to AGO’s featured and permanent exhibits compared to ROM whose ticket prices range from $26 to $43.50.
Between the two, AGO’s ticket prices are more affordable than ROM’s. Apart from the whole-day pass priced at $30, AGO offers a $35 annual pass that gives you access for the whole year.
|General admission tickets||$26 for adults||$30 for adults (permanent and special exhibitions)|
|General admission + 1 special exhibition||$39 for adults||$30 for adults (permanent and special exhibitions)|
|General admission + 2 special exhibition||$43.50 for adults||$30 for adults (permanent and special exhibitions)|
|Free admission||Every third Tuesday of the month from 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm|| |
People aged 25 and below with valid ID
Every Wednesday from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
|Discounts and other ticket price reduction offers||Complimentary tickets and discounted options for Canadian military personnel, veterans, indigenous peoples, Toronto public library card holders, and tertiary students||$35 for an annual pass|
ROM, meanwhile, has varying prices for adults, children, teens, and seniors. The general admission tickets alone are priced at $26 for adults, $16 for children, $20 for ages 15-19, and $21 for seniors.
Both museums, however, offer free admissions at specific time slots. If you’re going to grab these, make sure to reserve a schedule for ROM or plan your trip to AGO.
If you plan to frequent either of the museums in your future trips, a membership will benefit you more.
Membership packages of Royal Ontario Museum vs Art Gallery of Ontario
AGO offers more budget-friendly membership packages than ROM.
AGO’s memberships start at $110/year for an individual while ROM’s memberships start at $125/year for an individual.
Membership at either ROM or AGO offers various benefits and opportunities for those interested. Check out the prices and inclusions if you’re interested in getting one.
Range of Membership Packages
ROM offers memberships valid for one to two years. Their memberships can be named under an individual, two persons, and even families.
You can visit ROM’s membership page for more information on the packages.
|Membership Level||Price and Validity||No. of members and guests covered|
|Individual||$125 for 1 year|
$215 for 2 years
|Dual||$175 for 1 year|
$315 for 2 years
|Family||$225 for 1 year|
$370 for 2 years
|2 members plus 4 children|
|Curators’ Circle||$340 for 1 year|
$590 for 2 years
|2 members and 2 guests|
|Director’s Circle||$500 for 1 year||2 members and 2 guests or 1 member and 3 guests|
AGO is one of the institutions that offer the most budget-friendly membership. The membership packages worth mentioning are the individuals, students, long-distance, and fellow memberships.
|Membership Level||Price and Validity||No. of members and guests covered|
|Individual||$110 for 1 year||1 member|
|Dual||$145 for 1 year||2 members|
|Student||$45 for 1 year||1 member (full-time students ages 18+)|
|Long-distance||$90 for 1 year||2 members (living 100km or more outside Toronto)|
|Fellow||$1,100 - $2,499 for 1 year||2 members and 4 guests|
You can visit AGO’s membership page for a more detailed view of AGO’s memberships.
AGO also offers more flexibility in its membership prices compared to ROM. AGO’s lowest membership price starts at $45 for students with valid IDs. They also offer long-distance memberships at only $90 for people 100km outside Toronto.
They even offer memberships for college-level students. Students can enjoy the individual’s membership benefits and save $65 off their membership premium.
Benefits of Membership Packages
Both cultural institutions’ membership packages offer unlimited admission and discounts on programs, lectures, and events. It also entitles members to a free subscription to the institution’s magazines and a free coat check.
ROM and AGO also offer member-only events and exclusive previews of upcoming exhibitions and gallery previews. ROM and AGO members also receive reciprocal benefits from select museums and galleries in North America.
Exhibits and Art Collections in Royal Ontario Museum vs Art Gallery of Ontario
Both the Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Toronto have varied exhibits and art collections.
ROM is your best pick if you’re interested in science and cultural exhibits. If you’re into old or modern artworks by local artists, then you’ll enjoy a visit to AGO more.
ROM houses over 6 million items from around the globe, categorised in three permanent sections: World Cultures, Natural History, and the Hands-On area.
AGO has 95,000 works grouped into 10 collections: Modern, Contemporary, Canadian, European, Arts of Global Africa & the Diaspora, Photography, Prints & Drawings, Library & Archives, and the Thompson Collection.
Choosing between the two depends on the type of exhibit and collections that you would like to see.
Here’s a rundown of each museum’s exhibits:
|Permanent Exhibits||— World Cultures
— Natural History
— Hands-On area
|— Modern |
— Arts of Global Africa & the Diaspora
— Prints & Drawings
— Library & Archives
— The Thompson Collection
— 2 featured exhibitions
— 2 exhibitions
— 1 installation
— 3 featured exhibitions
|12 featured exhibits|
Accessibility of Royal Ontario Museum vs Art Gallery of Ontario
The Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario are both accessible by public and private transportation.
They are within walking distance from major subway stations, with paid parking spaces near the institutions.
The ROM is walkable from the Museum subway station (Line 1). Several bus routes are also available in the area.
AGO is within walking distance from the St. Patrick subway station (Line 1). It is also accessible by buses and streetcars.
While ROM and AGO have limited parking spaces, there are paid parking spaces available within the vicinity. There is a website for paid parking that you can check to see their prices.
ROM vs AGO: How They Stack Up
Both ROM and AGO offer exhibitions, activities, and experiences that visitors would enjoy. However, when it comes to value for money, a visit to AGO is your best option.
If you’re a natural and cultural history aficionado, you’d enjoy a trip to ROM. Keep in mind that a trip to ROM needs to be scheduled, so it is best to book your tickets ahead before heading there.
Here is a summary of all the points we’ve discussed and our take on which spot is better for your Toronto trip.
|Factors||The Better Cultural Institution||Why|
|Ticket Prices||AGO||AGO’s ticket prices are for the whole day compared to ROM’s limited-time ticket.|
|Membership Packages||AGO||AGO’s membership packages are inclusive, affordable, and cover more people and their guests.|
|Exhibits and Art collections||Tied||Both institutions offer varied exhibits and collections for viewing; it’s a matter of preference which one you’re going to visit.|
|Accessibility||Tied||Both cultural institutions are accessible by public and private transportation.|