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Doors Open Toronto Suggestions

Midwest USA
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Doors Open Toronto Suggestions

I am visiting Toronto this coming weekend and I noticed the Doors Open Toronto event will be happening:

http://www.toronto.ca/doorsopen/

The list of buildings that will be open to the public for free is overwhelming. Can anyone suggest a few buildings in the downtown area that might be particularly interesting or worth a visit?

I noticed a similar post a few years ago (tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g155019-i55-k19852…) but that might be a little dated.

Toronto, Canada
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1. Re: Doors Open Toronto Suggestions

Hi,

Are your interests more historical or do you like modern buildings?

Lines can be long, so for many people this becomes a full day or even full weekend event. How much time are you thinking of devoting to it?

Toronto, Canada
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2. Re: Doors Open Toronto Suggestions

Good questions from B&J, but as a general answer I think my suggestions in the earlier thread still hold true. Another pick downtown this year is Corus Quay (…toronto.ca/inter/…), a new office building on the waterfront that's controversial for being too dull.

I expect the big hit this year will be the RC Harris Water Treatment Plant, aka the "Palace of Purification" (…toronto.ca/inter/…) -- it was last included in Doors Open a decade ago.

The good news is that downtown there are a number of buildings that can accommodate lots of people without long lines (401 Richmond, Osgoode Hall, New City Hall), and other buildings are close enough together that if the wait looks too long at one you can just walk along to the next.

Edited: 25 May 2011, 17:54
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3. Re: Doors Open Toronto Suggestions

I should also note that RC Harris is not downtown -- it's in the Beach neighbourhood, which is a great place to stroll around on a summer weekend but will involve a 30-45 minute ride on the Queen streetcar each way.

Toronto, Canada
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4. Re: Doors Open Toronto Suggestions

Matt's suggestions from the previous post are excellent, and we would also consider the MaRS Discovery District, the Native Child and Family Services Toronto facility, and the Crystal Ballroom at Le Meridien King Edward hotel (only open Saturday) They are, respectively, an adaptive reuse of historic married with modern, modern, and historic.

And the RC Harris plant is just a great place, and could be tied into a fun outing in the lively Beach neighbourhood. (unfortunately we have to be out of town this weekend, or we'd be at the Harris ourselves- we've never been inside)

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5. Re: Doors Open Toronto Suggestions

HAHA, I had the great fortune to see the RC Harris plant last time. OUTSTANDING. The first Doors Open in Toronto (first city outside of Europe to adopt this program) was an initiative of the architecture community, to showcase heritage, architecture and design, to give the public access to interesting places that they wouldn't normally be able to see. Such as: the Ballroom at the King Eddy, the Wintergarden theatre, RC Harris, Don Jail, etc. The scope of the project has gotten a little broader, to not recycle the same places every year. But for me, the RC Harris plant has proven to be one of the most beautiful treasures, without question, and totally worth the wait. It is an art deco marvel, in the days when form was almost as important as function.

If you are an art fan, the Arts & Letters Club has tons of artwork on their walls done by well known (and not so well known) Canadian artists. These were often gifts by the artists to the club, so they are not widely seen pieces.

Osgoode Hall, Kiever Synagogue, Islamic Foundation, Humber Arboretum, East Toronto Masonic Temple, Elgin Wintergarden Theatre...these would be my highlights...

Midwest USA
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6. Re: Doors Open Toronto Suggestions

Thank you!

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7. Re: Doors Open Toronto Suggestions

some photos of places that are all close together downtown:

ontario-travel-secrets.com/doors-open-toront…

Toronto, Canada
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8. Re: Doors Open Toronto Suggestions

...and for any transit geeks out there, the TTC will be participating in Doors Open by showing off the system's new subway cars on Sunday between 10:00AM & 4:00PM at Davisville Station

urbantoronto.ca/news/2011/05/doors-open-reve…

Ottawa, Canada
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9. Re: Doors Open Toronto Suggestions

Hi Smoothrt,

Welcome to the TORONTO TRAVEL FORUM.

Unfortunately, I won't be in Toronto this time round... but as soon as I saw the title of this topic... the first thing that came to mind was the Water Treatment Plant… certainly something to put on one’s "short list"... I’m glad to see that it is back this year.

Other places that I'd recommend are the WinterGarden Theatre... truly stunning !! (Although the WinterGarden is open for tours regularly).

The Ballrooom at the King Eddy... this would be a real special one in my books... as by all accounts is still in its “derelict” state… but plans are to refurbish it to its former glory (as one of THE places to be seen in Canada) with an $ 8 Million facelift to be done by the New Owners.

Toronto Star – “Refit for a King of Hotels” = thestar.com/business/article/776924--refit-f…

Would be good to see it in person in its BEFORE and AFTER states… something one can talk about for years to come (as it has been closed and virtually abandoned since the 1950s), and rarely seen since.

Cheers!

Wine-4-2

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10. Re: Doors Open Toronto Suggestions

For any last minute planners, you can find The Star's printable list at thestar.com/news/article/997819--your-printa… , along with an interesting video of architectural photography tips from one of their staffers.