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.