Friday, May 22, 2009

Doors Open Toronto

This weekend Toronto opens its doors for the public to tour 175 buildings of architectural, historic, cultural and/or social significance. This is the 10th anniversary of the event and each year it gets bigger and better. Admission is free

There are all manner of buildings and points of interest which are available for wandering through, for guided tours and in some cases literary talks and readings. This year Doors Open is combining with City Lit, connecting books with buildings. Many venues will host site-specific author events, exhibits and literary walking tours in celebration of books set in Toronto, a city of writers for 175 years.

I shall have a difficult time to choose which places to see. I have managed a list (of sorts) which I will have to whittle down more because I won't get time to do them all!

You can go through the website to see the complete list and get descriptions and see the pictures of the buildings and read the event particulars at the Doors Open website.
See all the Buildings Described Here

Some of the choices on my list are:

The Gooderham Building, better known as the Toronto Flatiron building, was completed in 1892 to be the headquarters of the Gooderham and Worts distillery and more specifically; George Gooderham's office.

Coach House Press is located in an old coach house on the U of T campus. It has been the home of the Coach House Printing Company and Coach House Books since 1965.Master printer Stan Bevington, pressmen and publishers will show visitors how books are printed on our two Heidelberg presses, and they'll give a lesson in letterpress printing on our Vandercook. Visitors will also have an opportunity to browse through our bookstore, and to snap a photo of the poem carved into bpNichol Lane. We'll be giving away lots of print souvenirs, too!

The Design Exchange
The D-X is the original site of the historic Toronto Stock Exchange. Alongside the limestone facade by artist Charles Comfort and sweeping grand staircase, the building houses the illustrious 10,000 square-foot trading floor constructed in the Art Moderne style. This space features monumental ceilings, streamlined details, lights sheathed in opalescent glass, and murals depicting post-Depression Canadian industry.

St. Anne's Anglican Church
Built in 1907, St. Anne's Anglican Church was designed by architect Ford Howland, a charter member of the Arts and Letters Club. Its Byzantine architecture, flying in the face of Anglican tradition, reflects that of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. In 1923 J.E.H. MacDonald was commissioned to decorate the church's interior with murals depicting scenes from the life of Christ. MacDonald involved fellow members of the Group of Seven, Frederick H. Varley and Franklin Carmichael, as well as other artists of their acquaintance to produce a set of seventeen spectacular murals.
Distillery District Historic Buildings

Don Jail
The Old Don Jail, according to the Doors Open Website is one of Toronto’s greatest hidden treasures. Built before Confederation, it was the largest prison of its kind built in North America - a jail that attempted to reform its inmates rather than simply incarcerate them. The Don Jail reflected contemporary trends in prison design for its time. Its design provided each inmate with access to daylight, heat and ventilation - all modern advances in mid-19th-century prisons. During the day prisoners worked in the fields that are now the surrounding Riverdale neighbourhood.
After more than 30 years of vacancy, the Old Don Jail is soon to be adapted as an active part of Bridgepoint Health's new hospital. Doors Open 2009 will be the only fully public opportunity to see the Jail before the renovations begin. Walk through the main doors of the Jail to visit the great Rotunda and the cellblocks.

Exhibition Place – Tours of the Wind Turbine and the "green roof" of the Horse Building along with other buildings located in the CNE grounds

Fort York – Tours of the grounds and demonstration of cooking, dance and musket skills

The Gladstone Hotel - The Gladstone Hotel is the oldest continuously operating hotel in Toronto 1889 - The Gladstone Hotel has been described as an example of “unabashed architectural exuberance” utilizing details from the Greek, Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance eras.

1 comment:

  1. The flatiron building looks very similar to the one we have in my hometown!


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