Eighth annual Doors Open Toronto – The great architectural adventure goes green
Free admission to more than 140 buildings citywide, May 26 and 27
Green is more than just a colour. Green and sustainable features define many of the buildings opening their doors for the eighth annual Doors Open Toronto, May 26 and 27. Throughout the city, visitors will have a rare opportunity to explore more than 140 buildings of architectural, historic, cultural and social significance. Many venues are not often open to the public outside of this event. Admission is free to courtrooms, to places of worship, private clubs to ‘green’ roof gardens, hidden gems to national historic sites.
Among the 38 new venues this year, 21 are designated officially ‘green,’ including: Canada’s ‘greenest’ church, St. Gabriel’s Passionist Parish (winner of 2007 Green Toronto Award); the SAS Building, a progressive ‘green’ office; Bloorview Kids Rehab, one of the ‘greenest’ healthcare facilities in Canada; Toronto Botanical Garden, a showcase of environmental sustainability and architectural beauty; the University of Guelph-Humber, featuring a four-storey living plant wall; Levitt Goodman House, the first house in the city to have a purpose-built planted roof; Eco-suite at Tridel’s Element condominium, the first residential community connected to Enwave Deep Lake Water Cooling; and the Thomas L. Wells Public School, Canada’s first high-performance ‘green’ school.
Rita Davies, Executive Director, Toronto Culture, who oversees the Doors Open Toronto program, applauds the green theme. “Doors Open Toronto’s special focus on green and sustainable architecture, in collaboration with the Clean Air Partnership, measures the creativity of our city from a new and very current perspective. Visitors will learn firsthand what goes into designing, constructing and operating a green building more than 20 venues citywide.”
Adaptive reuse of old buildings into new, sustainable venues speaks to this year’s ‘green’ theme. Examples include: HOK, one of the first projects in Canada to receive a LEED-CI Gold certification for its office and studio housed in a repurposed clothing manufacturing building; the Robertson Building, a 1913 industrial structure with a living-breathing plant wall and a 4,000-square-foot ‘green’ roof; 401 Richmond, a historic factory transformed into a centre for cultural producers and microenterprises; and Residences at Regal Hand Laundry, one of the most efficient buildings in the city with geothermal and solar thermal heating. Free copies of the Green Companion Guide to Doors Open Toronto will be available at all 21 official ‘green’ buildings.
Three of the new venues this year will open their doors on Saturday only 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. They are: TTC Bay Lower, a subway station that opened for only six months in 1966; TTC Harvey Shops, streetcar maintenance facility and general repair shops; and the iconic home and studios of 1050 CHUM, celebrating its 50th anniversary.
Returning Doors Open Toronto favourites include: BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Black Creek Pioneer Village, Carlu, Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto, Commerce Court North, Distillery Historic District, Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre, Gooderham ‘Flatiron’ Building, Holy Blossom Temple, Horse Palace, Islamic Foundation of Toronto, John St. Roundhouse/Steam Whistle Brewing (official green), Mountain Equipment Co-op (official green), Noor Cultural Centre, Old and New City Hall, Osgoode Hall, Redpath Sugar Museum and Toronto-Dominion Centre.
The official Doors Open Toronto Program Guide is in the Toronto Star What’s On section on Thursday, May 17. A complete list of participating buildings is available on the new and improved Doors Open Toronto website www.toronto.ca/doorsopen.
Note: Most Doors Open Toronto buildings are open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on one or both days; however building hours vary at some sites. Check the website or program guide to confirm.
No pre-registration or tickets are required. For public event information, call 416-338-3888.
The second annual Kids’ Guide to Doors Open Toronto, in collaboration with the Clean Air Partnership, is available at 27 family-friendly Doors Open Toronto sites.
The Doors Open Toronto Weekend Information Centre is located at the CBC – Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Saturday and Sunday, May 26 and 27, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 250 Front St. W. In addition, visitors can go behind-the-scenes at the home of the CBC and meet radio and television personalities.
Doors Open Toronto is presented by the Toronto Star and is a signature event of Toronto Culture and Live With Culture. CBC Radio One and CBC Television are the official media sponsors. Program partners and sponsors include: 360 Capture Photography; Clean Air Partnership; Doors Open Ontario; Festival of Architecture and Design (fAd); Heritage Toronto; Pizza Pizza; T-D Canada Trust (sponsor of the Doors Open Toronto kick-off event, Pecha Kucha Toronto); Toronto Society of Architects; and Woodcliffe and Wright Real Estate Ltd.
An initiative of Toronto Culture, Live With Culture is a celebration of Toronto’s extraordinary arts and cultural communities. Doors Open Toronto is one of a series of signature events that forms the core of the City-initiated programming. Visit www.livewithculture.ca, the ultimate
guide to Toronto’s culture scene.