Ever walked by a building, structure or church and wondered why it was built or what it looks like on the inside?
There is a festival designed solely just for that. The 16th annual Doors Open Toronto festival offers people free and rare access to more than 155 architecturally, historically, culturally and socially significant buildings across the city.
The two-day event takes place this year on Saturday, May 23 and Sunday May 24. This year’s theme of Sports, Recreation and Leisure pays tribute to this summer’s Pan-Am Games and features private and public recreational sites ranging from aquatic centres to athletics stadiums.
Doors will be open at buildings from the lake to the 407 and as far west as Islington to the eastern reaches of Military Trail. In and around the Freeman Real Estate office at 988 Bathurst, there are several notable buildings worth visiting:
Artscape Wychwood Barns
This 100-year-old former streetcar repair facility is today a hub for arts, culture, food security, urban agriculture, environmental and other community activities and initiatives. Opened in 2008, this multi-faceted complex has become the social heart of the neighbourhood.
City of Toronto Archives
Opened in 1992, the City of Toronto Archives was designed with a sky lit Research Hall where researchers can access the City’s documentary heritage. Doors Open guests will be given behind-the-scenes treatment as they view artworks based on archival images that have been created by students from the TDSB especially for the Pan-Am Games.
Denegri Bessai Studio
This modest two-storey commercial and residential brick building situated on Bathurst Street, south of Dupont, will take visitors through the studio’s office space. View live prototyping and 3D printing demonstrations in addition to engaging in discussions with office staff.
First Church of Christ, Scientist – Toronto
This neo-classic building was commissioned to accommodate the growing Toronto congregation and has served its members since its completion in 1916. The interior spatial style mimics ancient Greece. The auditorium is arranged to seat just under 1,000 people in traditional pews and also holds an outstanding organ.
High Level Pumping Station
High Level is located at the site of the long-buried Castle Frank Brook. This stream is the original source of raw water for the former Yorkville Waterworks. While Torontonians now rely on Lake Ontario for their tap water, the station’s core function of pumping water to higher elevations in Toronto remains unchanged for more than a century. High Level is the oldest pumping station in Toronto’s water supply system. The building has expanded over time to feature several additions that reflect different architectural styles such as Second Empire, Edwardian Classical and Style Moderne.
Spadina Museum: Historic House & Gardens
Built in 1866, the Spadina Museum was built by Toronto financier James Austin. Visitors will have the opportunity to view the remarkable restoration of this site with the support of stationed site staff that will be on-hand to offer background information on the site and answer questions.
Doors Open is presented by Great Gulf and produced by the City of Toronto in partnership with the broader community.
For more information about the event visit http://bit.ly/1dZbpeI.