Skip to main content

The Royal Ontario Museum’s debt dates to 2007, when the ROM opened the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal as part of a $300-million renovation and expansion.Gary Blakeley/Getty Images

The Royal Ontario Museum has made its full 2015 debt payment to the Ontario government. The museum confirmed on Wednesday that it had made the March 31 payment of $2.2-million, thereby reducing its debt with the Ontario Financing Authority to $33.3-million. The debt dates to 2007, when the ROM opened the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal as part of a $300-million renovation and expansion.

This is the first time in five years the ROM has not had to avail itself of a provision in its loan agreement with the province that permits the institution to pay a penalty and defer part of a payment. A Globe and Mail investigation last week revealed the ROM has had difficulty keeping up with scheduled payments because money pledged by several high-profile donors, including Mr. Lee-Chin himself, had come in much more slowly than anticipated. The outstanding pledges total $23-million, while another $10-million had not been covered by pledges or donations when the capital campaign closed in 2010.

As of March 31, 2014, the museum also carried $11.6-million in accumulated deficits and had drawn $4.6-million on a line of credit. The 2014-2015 financial picture will become clearer when the museum publishes its annual report, expected in June.