Walking Through the Open Doors

Torontoist

cityscape

Walking Through the Open Doors

New at Doors Open this year: an expanded set of walking tours meant to bring the city's buildings to life.

Doors Open
May 25-26
FREE

While it’s fun to create your own a la carte menu of buildings to visit during Doors Open Toronto, sometimes you crave more guidance or want some context to connect your stops. This year’s edition of the popular sightseeing event may satisfy these desires by offering a larger selection of guided walks.


The official Doors Open website lists 15 walking tours happening on Saturday and Sunday, up from four last year. These walks are offered in conjunction with community groups and organizations like Jane’s Walk and the Toronto Society of Architects. Participants were asked by Doors Open to tie into this year’s theme of “Creators, Makers, and Innovators.” Geographically they stretch from the Thistletown neighbourhood in Etobicoke to the grounds of Guild Park in Scarborough. All walks are free and are on a first come, first serve basis. While some attendees might be disappointed that the walks don’t necessarily go into the buildings shown during the walks, the stories told along the way will provide deeper insights into the characters and forces which shaped them.

We tagged along for a preview run of this year’s “signature tour,” which Doors Open commissioned from Heritage Toronto. Bookended with stops at City Halls past and present, “Creating Toronto: The Story of the City in Ten Stops” is designed to show walkers how innovation and creativity have shaped Toronto since its establishment. Each stop symbolizes a particular theme in the city’s development, including nods to our financial (King and Bay), commercial (Queen and Yonge), and educational (the one-time site of Ontario Veterinary College on Temperance Street) accomplishments. Plenty of tidbits are shared at each stop—we enjoyed a story about how 11,000-year-old footprints were discovered on the lake bed during a water pipe installation near Hanlan’s Point a century ago.

For your own sneak peek of the tour, check out the gallery.

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