Now in its 16th year, Doors Open Toronto—presented by developer Great Gulf—is becoming quite the tradition among urban enthusiasts. Every year, the festival allows curious members of the public the opportunity to step inside some of Toronto's most culturally, socially and historically significant buildings across the city. Doors Open has announced its lineup of buildings and programming for this year's May 23 and 24 dates. Of the 155 buildings to be open to the public for Doors Open 2015, 55 new participant buildings have been announced, including recently completed ones like the Aga Khan Museum, Ismaili Centre, and Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport.
“Doors Open Toronto offers a truly unique behind-the-scenes experience at some of the City’s great institutions,” said Mayor John Tory. “My office will be open for all to see and I encourage Torontonians to visit City Hall for an in-depth tour. I’d like to thank our presenting sponsor Great Gulf for its continued commitment to this event and support for the city, its buildings and its people.”
With the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games fast approaching, Doors Open will pay special attention this year to athletic facilities in Toronto, granting access to a list of over 70 sports-related buildings including BMO Field and the Mattamy Athletic Centre at Maple Leaf Gardens. DO TO will also feature 14 free walking tours for 2015, sponsored by the University of Toronto. To tie in with the Games, many of the tours also focus on the history of sport in Toronto, including "A Century of Fun: Sports Leisure and Recreation at the University of Toronto", "Sport Stadiums and Lakeside Leisure: Playing Along the Waterfront", and "Ravine Lands at the University of Toronto Scarborough, and Toronto's Playground: A History of Amusement Recreation and Athletics on the Toronto Islands".
This year's event will also celebrate the 50th anniversary of Toronto City Hall, a recurring focal point of the Doors Open festival. In addition to new features like access to the Mayor's Office, visitors will once again be able to view the 27th floor observation deck and council chambers. Also featured at City Hall, a photographic exhibition will honour the building's 50th anniversary, a fitness circuit will offer family-friendly activities, a showcase of archival images and facts about sports in Ontario, and an exhibition about Toronto's most significant public spaces.
Programmed events are also being offered for the 2015 event. The Cultural Landscape Foundation has organized "What's Out There Weekend" to coincide with a conference being held in Toronto, called the Second Wave of Modernism III: Leading with Landscape. Three OpenInsights speaker series talks will take place throughout the weekend, with insight on architectural design, built form, and public space from professionals in various fields, including architects, civic officials, academics and artists.
We look forward to exploring Toronto's culture and architecture next month. Let us know below what you are most interested in exploring at Doors Open this year.