On the eve of the 20th annual edition of Doors Open Toronto, we're offering a few more noteworthy place to consider dropping into during the event that offers access to over 150 different sites and buildings over the weekend. If you haven't checked out our initial picks for this year's celebration, you should give them a read here, but today we're back with a few more recommendations.
One of the crowd favourites returning from previous years is the 2014-built Aga Khan Museum near Don Mills and Eglinton. The Fumihiko Maki-designed building will offer free access to activities, tours, pop-up music and dance performances, the Museum Collection gallery, and discounted admission to the special exhibition. The building will be open on Saturday and Sunday from 10 AM to 5 PM. The public can also tour the Ismaili Centre on the other side of the reflecting pond pictured below. Interior photography, prohibited at previous events, is now permitted according to the Doors Open official website.
The Aga Khan Museum—built on the former grounds of the Bata Shoe headquarters—shares that link to our next pick, the Bata Shoe Museum on Bloor Street West. The Raymond Moriyama-designed museum will offer a variety of exhibitions highlighting footwear spanning the globe and across human history. Visits can be made to this Toronto jewel on Saturday from 10 AM to 5 PM, and Sunday from noon to 5 PM.
One of the new entries this year is the new Artscape Weston Common near Weston and Lawrence, the latest project from not-for-profit cultural development organization Artscape. On Saturday and Sunday from 10 AM to 5 PM, the doors will be open to the new community cultural hub, where visitors will have the chance to explore the new space, including an exhibition in the hallway galleries, as well as meeting the new programming partners who have moved in to the facility. Artscape Weston Common revitalizes parts of a parking garage and disused retail space in a community that will benefit greatly from the reinvestment.
The December 2017 opening of the subway extension to Vaughan has made certain sites much more accessible, including the impressive Archives of Ontario at York University station. The 2008-built, B+H Architects-designed facility offers a fascinating look into the province's past, dating all the way back to the 16th century. Visitors can get in on guided tours of the Archives' reading room, exhibit gallery, vaults and preservation lab on Saturday only, from 10 AM to 4 PM.
One more station to the northwest, or a few minutes walk from the Archives through the York U campus, Black Creek Pioneer Village is a stop many may not have visited since grade school field trips. Following this year's '20 Somethings' theme, visitors will have the chance to experience what life was like for the '20 Somethings' of the 1860s on Saturday and Sunday, from 11 AM to 5 PM.
Near Bloor and Jarvis, Casey House is an HIV specialty hospital consisting of an 1875-built heritage home with a 4-storey contemporary addition completed in 2017, designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects. Visitors can takea guided tour of the first and second floors of the new build and historic house, available on both Saturday and Sunday, from 11 AM to 5 PM.
In The Stockyards area of town, the Junction Craft Brewing "Destructor Building" is a 1934-built Art Deco incinerator building that operated until the 1970s before being renewed recently and opened as Junction Craft Brewing in 2017. Available on Sunday from 10 AM to 5 PM, visitors will be able to check out a selection of activities, craft beers, food and drink, and brewery tours conducted by Junction Craft Brewing founder and owner, Tom Paterson. This is a great reuse of a rare example of Art Deco industrial architecture.
Among photogenic new buildings worth visiting is the new Odeyto Indigenous Centre at Seneca's Newnham Campus at Finch and the 404. The Gow Hastings Architect and Two Row Architect-designed building features impressive vaulted timber arch interiors, designed to look like a canoe resting on its side. Available on Saturday and Sunday from 10 AM to 5 PM, visitors will be able to experience the building's architecure, indigenous themes, and visit Seneca’s Bee Colony.
Global toy and entertainment company Spinmaster has a cool new office in the King Tower at MetroCentre in the Entertainment District, available to visitors on Saturday and Sunday from 10 AM to 5 PM. A timber sculptural staircase, large video displays, and an exhibit on the company's history make this a fun contrast to the Mad Men style modernism visitors to the TD Centre will experience.
Finally, if you've admired 'Safe Hands', the very shiny and very tall new piece of public art at Yonge and Bloor since it was installed outside of One Bloor a few months ago, you can learn more about it directly from its designer Ron Arad by attending the Intersection of Art and Architecture talk, part of the OpenInsights Speakers Series, on Saturday 1:00 PM at St. Paul's Bloor Street, a block to the east. Arad, based in Isreal, will be joined by a number of others responsible for its creation, including its local fabricators and representatives of Great Gulf, developers of One Bloor, and longtime sponsors of Doors Open Toronto.
You can learn more about the 156 sites accessible for this year's Doors Open by visiting the event website, which continues to be updated. Photos from the event can be shared using our dedicated Doors Open Forum thread.
Have a great time at the event!
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