7th Annual Doors Open Toronto (February 14, 2006)

Cultural celebration and cutting-edge innovation define many of the buildings opening their doors for the 7th annual Doors Open Toronto on Saturday and Sunday, May 27 and 28, 2006. Throughout the city, visitors will have a rare opportunity to explore interior spaces often not open to the public in 150 buildings of architectural, historic or cultural significance. 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 highlights of this year’s roster are the exquisite new home of Canada’s National Ballet School and the recently opened Young Centre for the Performing Arts. The Jarvis Street campus of this world-renowned ballet school represents a seamless blending of old and new architecture by Goldsmith Borgal & Co. and Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg that has been praised as “a model for all future development in Toronto.” The Young Centre, located in the Distillery Historic District and designed (incorporating two former brick warehouses) by Thomas Payne of Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg, is the permanent shared home of the George Brown College Theatre School and the acclaimed Soulpepper Theatre Company.

The intersection of College Street and University Avenue is in the heart of Toronto’s Discovery District where two outstanding new buildings will open their doors: the Terrence Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research (CCBR) at the University of Toronto and the MaRS Centre. Designed by Toronto-based architectsAlliance and Germany’s Behnisch, Behnisch and Partner, the Terrence Donnelly Centre has already been hailed as a “Nobel factory” and a scientific and architectural landmark. Located on the site of the old Toronto General Hospital, the MaRS Centre incorporates a heritage building within two new buildings to create “a physical anchor” for the MaRS vision: a convergence innovation centre that fosters collaboration among science, business and capital sectors.

Doors Open Toronto has attracted almost a million visits to hundreds of buildings since it was launched in May 2000. To celebrate the Live with Culture initiative and encourage people to bring children to this annual weekend, a Kid’s Guide to Doors Open Toronto will be published in May 2006. The official Doors Open Toronto pull-out program guide will be in the Toronto Star “What’s On” section on Thursday, May 18.

A complete list of participating buildings will be available on the Doors Open Toronto website in April. NOTE: Building hours vary. Most buildings are open 10 am to 4 pm on one or both days. Confirm times for each venue when planning your route. For more information, please visit www.doorsopen.org. No pre-registration or tickets are required. Public event information can be obtained by calling 416.338.3888.

Doors Open Toronto, presented by the Toronto Star, is a Signature Event of the City of Toronto Culture Division and Live With Culture.

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.