Once a year, Toronto opens its doors to the public and city becomes our playground. This event first launched in 2000, after the concept had attracted large crowds globally since the first ever Doors Open event in France in 1984. The 17th annual Doors Open Toronto event offers free and rare access to some of the city’s most interesting buildings. Whether they’re architecturally, historically, culturally, or socially significant, they’re all worth getting a peek into. This year’s event has more than 30 new buildings participating, as well as a speaker series, special programming, exhibits, and walking tours.
Here are a few buildings and events you should check out.
OpenInsights Speaker Series
This year’s speaker series will feature a talk with keynote speaker, Karim Rashid, who will discuss the future of design, Architecture Is Art?, a discussion on whether architecture is considered art (we think so!), and among others.
City Hall Activities
From 10am to 5pm City Hall will offer rare access to key locations, such as the mayor’s office, the 27th floor observation deck, and council chambers. There will also be special events, including Psychology on the Streets, an exhibit and walking tour designed to open our eyes to the subliminal effects of what’s going on around us, and Unlock the City, an exciting team game that will take place city wide.
This walking tour, which will run all day, explores the stories of riverside bridge, sunlight park, broadview hotel, degrassi street and much more! An opportunity to look back while moving forward.
Honest Ed’s Tour
With the famed building closing its doors at the end of this year, this Open Doors tour will offer an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at the world-renowned discount store.
Downsview Park Sports Centre – True North Climbing
If you’re looking for a little more activity during this year’s Open Doors event, then you’ll definitely want to check out True North Climbing, located at the Downsview Park Sports Centre. The facility will be offering one free climb to visitors all day long!
Gangways Open Toronto’s Waterfront
Open Toronto’s Waterfront will provide an opportunity to explore a variety of unique watercrafts, from majestic tall ships to luxurious cruise liners. Participants will be able to search every corner of the ship, meet the captains, and perhaps even encounter a pirate or two!
The Printing House 3D
Interested in cutting edge technology? Then you’ll have to stop by The Printing House. This state of the art 3D printing facility will be offering 3D printing and 3D scanning workshops, as well as free demonstrations.
Toronto Botanical Garden
A wonderful display of natural beauty through popular horticultural and environmental programs. A powerful showcase of environmental sustainability and architectural beauty, you’ll be able to take a guided tour of the LEED Silver certified glass pavilion, green roof, and rainwater management system.
If you’re interested in gaining access to Toronto’s most interesting buildings, and learning more about your beloved city along the way, then be sure to check out the city wide Doors Open Toronto, which takes place Saturday May 28th and Sunday May 29th, from 10am – 5pm.