7th Annual Doors Open Toronto (May 09, 2006)

Cultural celebration, cutting-edge innovation and waterfront venues define many of the buildings opening their doors for the 7th annual Doors Open Toronto, held over the weekend of May 28, 2006. Throughout the city, visitors will have a rare opportunity to explore spaces and places in over 140 buildings of architectural, historic or cultural significance. Many venues are not often open to the public. Admission is free at all participating venues: from lighthouses to places of worship, private clubs to “green” roof gardens, hidden gems to national historic sites.

Among the 35 new buildings on this year’s roster are the exquisite home of Canada’s National Ballet School, the recently opened Young Centre for the Performing Arts, the MaRS Centre, as well as the Terrence Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research (CCBR) at the University of Toronto. The Masonic Temple, now the Canadian home of MTV, the newly restored 1 King West and several mansions on Jarvis Street, including 519 Jarvis, the childhood home of Vincent Massey, now the York College of Industry and Technology, also join Doors Open Toronto.

Toronto’s central waterfront is home to a collection of distinctive buildings, many of which are new to Doors Open Toronto this year: Ontario Place, at 35 years old, welcomes the original design team of Eberhard Zeidler and Michael Hough for daily presentations at 1:00 pm in the Cinesphere; the Horse Palace at Exhibition Place, considered an Art Deco gem, will be alive with riding demonstrations and animal shows; the two-storey Officers’ Quarters of the original Stanley Barracks, a stone fort built in 1841; the Empire Sandy, formerly a Deep Sea Tug that served during WWII and was refurbished as a Tall Ship (docked at the foot of Spadina Avenue), and the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery at Harbourfront Centre.

A number of Doors Open Toronto participants celebrate special anniversaries in 2006: the congregation of Holy Blossom Temple marks its 150th anniversary; the Cadbury Chocolate Factory celebrates 100 years of chocolate-making on Gladstone Avenue and the University Club commemorates its centennial. The Carlu and Commerce Court North both turn 75 this year.

Explore the city with Doors Open Toronto walking tours led by local historians and volunteers who love the city and its vibrant history. In the east, don’t miss The Beach Walking Tours and in the west, on the Lakeshore Grounds of Colonel Samuel Smith Park waterfront expert Wayne Reeves leads tours (on Saturday, May 27 only). The GreekTown Walking Tours return offering a taste of the Danforth.

To celebrate Live with Culture and encourage people to bring children to this annual weekend event, a colourful and interactive Kids’ Guide to Doors Open Toronto, produced in collaboration with Harbourfront Centre, will be published in May. The complimentary guide will be available at select Doors Open Toronto sites and Toronto Public Libraries, or check for the downloadable version on the website in mid-May at www.doorsopen.org. The official Doors Open Toronto pull-out Program Guide will be in the Toronto Star What’s On section on Thursday, May 18.

Doors Open Toronto has attracted almost a million visits to hundreds of buildings since it was launched in May 2000. The Doors Open Toronto Weekend Information Centre is located in the Barbara Frum Atrium, CBC Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Saturday and Sunday, May 27 and 28, from 10:00am 4:00pm at 250 Front Street West.

A complete list of participating buildings will be available on the Doors Open Toronto website at www.doorsopen.org the week of May 15. Most buildings are open 10:00am to 4:00pm on one or both days. For public event information call 416-338-3888.

Also, join Mayor David Miller on Friday, May 26 at the Doors Open Toronto Kickoff, in conjunction with the Humanitas Festival. The event takes place on Toronto’s waterfront at 6:00 pm in the “Cooler By the Lake Tent” where Lake Ontario meets Yonge Street.

The Humanitas Festival, May 26 to June 25, is a month-long festival of what was, is and could be Toronto. The festival explores the quest to build and sustain liveable cities. Participate in special events, forums and exhibitions that animate Toronto’s history and diversity. The Humanitas Festival, presented by NOW magazine, is a signature event of Toronto Culture and Live With Culture. The complete guide to the Humanitas Festival events will appear in NOW Magazine on May 25, 2006. Visit www.livewithculture.ca/humanitas for details.

Doors Open Toronto is presented by the Toronto Star and is a Signature Event of Toronto Culture and Live With Culture. CBC Radio One and CBC Television are the official media sponsors. Live With Culture is a 16-month celebration of Toronto’s extraordinary arts and cultural communities, shining a spotlight on the vibrant and diverse activities happening in the city each and every day. From September 2005 until the end of 2006, Live With Culture showcases the vast scope of the city’s culture of creativity and inspires culture in Toronto to become a daily part of everyone’s life. How do you live with culture? Visit www.livewithculture.ca, the ultimate guide to Toronto’s culture scene.