Thursday, May 28, 2009

Doors Open Toronto

I blogged about the Doors Open event last week. If you did not read that blog, you can slip over and have a scan to catch up if you like. Just go here.

I did not go to one building that I had on my list! I did go to a bunch of others. I had been listening to CBC radio promote the event all week and they were focusing on buildings that would have events going on at the building as well as just the tour of the building itself. After listening to that all week, I had a different idea of which places I should try and get to. Add to that unexpected long line ups at some of the ones I was interested in and a bit of spontaneity on my part and well- I just ended up seeing a different set of buildings.

Let me tell you about it. As you may recall from my earlier blog, I came back from Gopher Broke Farm on Sunday morning so I could at least do one day of the event. So I headed out from home at about 12:00 and headed over to Union Station, our downtown train station.

There was a performance event being put on by the Diaspora Dialogues organization. This group had commissioned a bunch of short plays and readings which featured transportation a theme. This was a Lit City Event held in conjunction with Doors Open. I listened to one of the readings and decided to move on. I could have just hunkered down and enjoyed the 3 hours of performance but there was just not time.

According to their web site:
Diaspora Dialogues supports the creation and presentation of new fiction, poetry and drama that reflect the complexity of the city through the eyes of its richly diverse writers. Publishing and mentoring activities, as well as a monthly multidisciplinary performance festival, help encourage the creation of a literature that is vibrant and inclusive, while bringing these works to a wide audience. Diaspora Dialogues is supported by Maytree, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Canadian Heritage, Ontario Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council, the George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation and TO Live With Culture.

There also was not time to wait for the next tour of the train station, besides, I found out that they do tours regularly on the last Saturday of the month every month for the small sum of $10! The tour takes you into all the places that are off limits to the public. The tour is organized by the Toronto Railway Historical Association. So another time for sure.

Next, I thought I would try the flat iron building I mentioned in my previous blog. The lineup was at least an hour, so I decided to forgo that one and strike out to the north and see what buildings I could find. Around the corner, I found the St. Lawrence Town Hall where there was an Opera, Atelier being performed. Unfortunately it was both in progress and full. I did get to look around the building and snapped a few pictures.

After that I struck out to the north west, thinking that I would end up at Old City Hall but see whatever else I could find in between.

I went by Massey Hall and then heard the sound of bagpipes! I just happened to be at Yonge Street at the right time to catch a parade! For those of you who have not been to Toronto, Yonge Street is Toronto's main street and it runs straight up the Centre of the city, north from Lake Ontario for about 2 hours by car! It is one of the longest uninterrupted roads, which is not a highway, that I know of. In any event, they had closed off half of it for the "Friends of Schizophrenics" parade. Actually, I caught up with them again later when I got to City Hall - they were doing a fund raising concert and had a rock band playing. After stopping a few minutes to watch the parade, I carried on to the west.

I lucked out to find the Church of the Holy Trinity without any line up and spent a good hour poking around the building and the grounds. This is a tiny church which opened its doors in 1847 which is today pretty much surrounded by the Eaton’s Centre – Toronto’s main tourist shopping destination. It is “Gothic in style and cruciform in plan” – according to the self guided tour information I picked up. The word "cruciform" means "a cross-shaped church". The church pews were to be available “rent free” and so it served the poorer immigrant folks for the early years of the City of Toronto. The inside is wonderful in architecture and the pipe organ is huge. I will finish with some photos from the interior. I was able to get to quite a few more buildings before the day ended, but that will need to keep for another day. I have run out of blogging time today.

1 comment:

  1. What a fantastic event! Doors open. And everyone allowed in. Lovely photos and atmosphere. Many thanks for the images and commentary. And also, thanks for your comments on my blog. I think that the copy you have carries the more accurate translation and one with which Solzhenitsyn himself was very satisfied.

    Greetings from London.


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