Ever wanted to know what goes on in the kitchens at the Royal York Hotel? Or see if the interior of the Gooderham Flatiron Building is as cool as its exterior? Or finally know what’s in that loft above the Pure Spirits building at the Distillery District?
Doors Open Toronto 2007 will allow you to do all that—for free! 150 buildings across the city will allow you free access on May 26 and 27 in celebration of Hogtown architecture. You can roam landmarks that usually aren’t open to the public or would otherwise charge admission. But keep in mind, a mere two days to explore so many places and spaces isn’t a lot of time, so take the weekend off and write up your itinerary wisely (the listings and this map should help you).
Since 2007 is looking like it will be the Year of the Environment (unlike the Year of the Gun, we have no problem with that), Doors Open Toronto will emphasize “green” locations, like Horse Palace Green Roof and St. Gabriel’s Passionist Parish, Canada’s greenest church. Some places are a little odd. Why would you want to spend time at an environmentally-friendly laundromat when you can be touring the Redpath Sugar Refinery Museum, the Enoch Turner Schoolhouse, or the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre?
New venues this year include the Gardiner Museum, Toronto Postal Station K, and the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. And—most exciting of all—another chance to get a glimpse of Lower Bay station! This time, you actually get to walk on the platform. The last time the public had that opportunity was in 1966. Show up anytime from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday only to be part of this historic moment. It will probably be the only time you’ll get to see a subway station free of ads.
Photo of the Gooderham Flatiron Building by rpeschetz.