If you haven’t yet participated in Doors Open Toronto, the free event is an annual opportunity to explore some of Toronto’s heritage and noteworthy buildings, many of which are not generally open to the public. Taking place on May 25-26, 2013, Doors Open Toronto 2013 presented by Great Gulf offers free entry to many Toronto buildings, and this year, they’ve added a speaker series and select walking tours. Perhaps there is a building in your neighbourhood that you’ve been curious about; this may be your chance to pass beyond its exterior and find out what goes on inside.
Some of the new buildings that have been added to Doors Open Toronto 2013 include:
- Mattamy Athletic Centre at The Gardens, 50 Carlton Street, open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., last admission 4:45 p.m.
- Kew Williams House aka the Gardener’s Cottage, 30 Lee Avenue, open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., last admission 3:45 p.m.
- Liberty Grand Entertainment Complex, 25 British Columbia Road, open Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Hart House at University of Toronto, 7 Hart House Circle, open Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., last admission 3:45 p.m.
- George Brown College Waterfront Campus, 51 Dockside Drive, open Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., last admission 4:45 p.m.
- Artscape Gibraltar Point, 443 Lakeshore, Toronto Island Avenue, open Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., last admission 3:45 p.m.
- Leaside Lawn Bowling Club, 190 Hanna Road, open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., last admission 3 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., last admission 3 p.m.
- Regent Park Aquatic Centre, 640 Dundas Street East, open Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., last admission 4:30 p.m.
- Bridgepoint Health and Administration Building, 14 St. Matthews Road, open Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- The Fox Theatre, 2236 Queen Street East, open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., last admission 3:30 p.m.
- Riverdale Hub, 1326 Gerrard St. E., open Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., last admission 4:45 p.m.
- Dineen Building, 140 Yonge Street, open Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., last admission 4:30 p.m.
- Miller Lash House, 130 Old Kingston Road, open Sunday from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., last admission 4:45 p.m.
- Foundery Buildings, 376 Bathurst Street, open Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., last admission 4:45 p.m.
Some of Doors Open Toronto 2013’s walking tours include:
- U of T Campus Tour – The Toronto Society of Architects will discuss historical and new buildings on the downtown U of T campus on this 60-minute walking tour on Saturday, May 25 at 10:30 a.m. and 12 noon. Meet at the northeast corner of St. George and Harbord Streets in front of Robarts Library
- Woodcliffe Landmark Properties – Historian Bruce Bell leads a 60-minute walking tour of the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood on Sunday, May 26 at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Meet at 10-12 Market Street
- Three Centuries of Corktown – Take a walking tour through Corktown led by heritage experts and view the labourers’ homes and first parliament buildings in Victorian-era Toronto, as well as the changing shape of the neighbourhood. The 90-minute tour takes place on Sunday, May 26 at 10 a.m. Meeting place is Enoch Turner Schoolhouse at 106 Trinity Street
- Islington Village Walking & Trolley Tour – Take a guided walking tour of ARTWalk, featuring murals along Dundas Street West, west of Islington. Trolley rides are also available from Montgomery’s Inn on the hour from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26.
Some of the buildings I recommend visiting include the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre, the only double decker theatre remaining in the world; Fort York National Historic Site and the King Edward Hotel (if the 17th floor Crystal Ballroom is open where you’ll be able to take phenomenal pictures of Toronto’s St. Lawrence neighbourhood.) I myself plan to venture to the Beaches to visit the Art-Deco-styled R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant, mythologized in Michael Ondaajte’s postmodern In the Skin of a Lion and may stop by the Gardener’s Cottage in Kew Beach. Enjoy!