10 Buildings Worth Checking Out At This Year’s Doors Open Toronto

Doors Open Toronto
Odeyto at Seneca College. Photo courtesy of Tom Arban Photography.

It’s that time of year again. Doors Open Toronto is back this weekend, giving locals and tourists alike a chance to explore the interiors of some of the city’s most buzz-worthy buildings.

In celebration of 20 years of Door’s Open, this year’s theme will be “20 Something” and will look back at the first 20 years of the event and look forward to the next 20 years.

With over 150 buildings opening up their doors this weekend, you might not know where to start looking. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of our 10 favourite buildings to check out during Doors Open 2019.

1. Artscape Daniels Launchpad

 

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Address: 130 Queens Quay E.
Hours: Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Architect: Quadrangle (interiors); RAW Design, Rafael + Bigauskas Architects (building)

Go inside this members-only creative entrepreneurial hub and leave inspired. Visitors will get the chance to explore the state-of-the-art facility’s creative studios, editing suites and creative lounges where they’ll get to meet some of the artists who use the space. This destination will also feature a discussion on ‘The Next 20 Years: How Architecture and Design Could Shape Our City’ at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

2. Brook Mcllroy

Address: 161 Spadina Ave.
Hours: Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Architect: William Alexander Langton

Originally constructed in 1890, this former Episcopal church is now home to architecture firm Brook Mcllory. Visitors to the studio will not only get a chance to take a look at some of the firm’s projects, but they’ll also see images of what the space looked like over the past 20 years as the film set and as an after-hours club to the 6ix God himself — Drake. One of the firm’s Indigenous architects will also be on hand to talk about the company’s Indigenous Design Studio.

3. First Russian Congregation – The Kiever Synagogue

Address: 25 Bellevue Ave.
Hours: Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Architect: Benjamin Swartz

This stunning worship centre is one of Toronto’s heritage sites. Built between 1920 and 1929, the Kiever Synagogue was designed in the Byzantine Revival style making it a true site to be seen. Aside from taking in its stunning exterior, visitors will also get the chance to enter the building, giving them a closer look at the intricate and delicate details in the main sanctuary.

4. The Don Jail And Bridgepoint Active Healthcare Admin. Building

 

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Address: 1 Bridgepoint Dr.
Hours: Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Architect: William Thomas

Take a tour of the historic Don Jail. The pre-confederation building operated as a jail for 133 years but now serves as an administration building for Bridgepoint Hospital. Despite the redevelopment, the building’s history has remained intact so visitors won’t be disappointed. Doors Open Toronto is also giving Don Jail visitors a chance to explore areas typically closed to the public, but beware there is a limit on how many visitors can be in the building at a time, so a line-up is likely.

5. The Legislative Assembly of Ontario

Address: 111 Wellesley St. W.
Hours: Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Architect: Richard Waite

If you haven’t been inside the province’s Legislature yet, now’s your chance. Visitors will get a chance to stroll through the building exploring exhibits, displays and galleries. The building will also host an outdoor scavenger hunt for kids visiting the government building.

6. Liberty Village – The Bakery

Address: 2 Fraser Ave.
Hours: Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Architect: Unknown

Liberty Village is rich in history, discover more about the area and, in particular, the neighbourhoods old bakery at this new Doors Open destination. Visitors will get a chance to wander through the area’s rooftop terraces and exterior decks. They’ll also get to explore a new two-storey pedestrian pathway that connects to the South Liberty Trail.

7. Malabar Opera Department

 

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Address: 122 Brock Ave.
Hours: Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Architect: Unknown

Toronto’s oldest costumer is opening its doors to the public. Go inside the company’s incredible costume warehouse where you’ll get to peruse through floor to ceiling racks of handmade costumes and accessories. Staff will be on site to take visitors through the history of the company and its Opera Department, this is one stop fashion and theatre lovers won’t want to miss.

8. Native Child and Family Services of Toronto

Address: 30 College St.
Hours: Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Architect: LGA Architectural Partners

This 1980s office building was transformed into the headquarters of Native Child and Family Services of Toronto in 2008. Upon entering the building, visitors will be greeted by Indigenous artwork, artifacts and even an artisan market. Doors Open Toronto will also be offering visitors guided tours of the space four times a day. The tour will uncover the building’s history and design while also teaching visitors about Indigenous culture.

9. Ontario Heritage Trust – Ashbridge Estate

 

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Address: 1444 Queen St. W.
Hours: Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Architect: Jesse Ashbridge

Explore the main hall and front parlour of this historical house. The stunning historical site was built between 1800 and 1866 and was acquired by the Trust in 1997. Doors Open visitors will get a chance to do inside the building and interact with artifacts belonging to the Ashbridge family. Visitors will also get a chance to explore the property’s urban farm.

10. Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library

Address: 120 St. George St.
Hours: Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Architect: Mathers and Haldenby, Toronto

Book lovers will salivate over this stunning hidden treasure. Designed in a classic Brutalist aesthetic, UofT’s Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library is the largest rare book library in all of Canada. Visitors will get a chance to flip through the books and chat with city staff about the books and the archives. There will also be an exhibition showcasing the art of bookbinding as well as information relating to this year’s Door Open ’20 Something’ theme.

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