Ontario Heritage Trust / Fiducie du patrimoine ontarien
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May 24, 2014 - May 25, 2014

The 15th Doors Open Toronto, presented by Great Gulf, returns this year with more than 155 architecturally, historically, culturally and socially significant buildings across the city.

The theme for this year's event is Secrets and Spirits … Exploring the Mysteries Behind the Door – which focuses on secret spaces and stories from all over Toronto. This year's event will include architectural and ghostly walking tours, the Doors Open Speakers Series, art exhibits at various secret spaces across the city and more than 40 new building additions.

Visit www.toronto.ca/doorsopen for a full list of participating sites. Below is just a sampling of the buildings participating in this year’s event ...

Doors Open Toronto volunteer opportunities

A wide range of adult and youth volunteer opportunities are available at many buildings participating in Doors Open Toronto. Volunteers are ambassadors for this event and for the City of Toronto.

General criteria:

General criteria to participate as a Doors Open Toronto volunteer include:
  • Being familiar with the Doors Open Toronto program
  • Enjoying dealing with the public
  • Having good communication skills
  • Appreciating the architecture and history of Toronto
  • Attending an information and interview session for prospective volunteers

See which opportunity is right for you!

  • Information Ambassadors
  • City Hall Info Desk Ambassadors
  • Tour Guide Ambassadors
  • Floater – downtown core only
  • Volunteer Captains – various areas
For more information, contact the Special Events Office at spevvol@toronto.ca. All volunteers are guaranteed one hour for lunch and two 15-minute breaks (based on an eight-hour shift).

Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms

Applewood - The Shaver Homestead

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
450 The West Mall
Toronto, Ontario
Telephone: 416-622-4124
Year built: 1846
Landscape type: Garden
Style: Georgian
Sunday only: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; last admittance at 4:45 p.m.
This one-and-a-half-storey Georgian-style brick farmhouse was once home to MP James Shaver Woodsworth, founder of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation party. Situated in the middle of Broadacres Park, the 168-year-old house – built by Woodsworth’s grandfather – has original fireplaces, a country kitchen, secret doors and friendly hauntings. Discover Applewood’s special stories during your Doors Open visit.
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly

Artscape Gibraltar Point and Gibraltar Point Lighthouse

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
443 Lakeshore Avenue, Ward's Island
Toronto, Ontario
Telephone: 416-392-1030
Year built: 1907
Landscape type: Garden
Building type: Historic landmark
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This modest one-storey wood-frame structure, built in 1907 on the shore of Lake Ontario, now houses Artscape Gibraltar Point. Inside are meeting spaces, private and shared studios, and art throughout the hallways. The lighthouse is one of the oldest on the Great Lakes. Visit the charming Artscape building and hear about the scandals, hauntings, secrets and mysteries of the lighthouse.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms

Artscape Youngplace

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
180 Shaw Street
Toronto, Ontario
Telephone: 416-530-2787
Year built: 1914
Style: Art deco
Building type: Attraction
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Artscape Youngplace, a community cultural hub located in Toronto’s West Queen West neighbourhood, is devoted to artistic inspiration, learning, growth and expression. This 1914 art deco building reopened in 2013 after major renovations. Explore the building from top to bottom, stop by artists' open studios and take a guided tour, leaving on the hour from the base of the mezzanine.
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly

Church of St. Mary Magdalene

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
477 Manning Avenue
Toronto, Ontario
Telephone: 416-531-7955
Year built: 1888
Architect: Frank Darling
Style: Romanesque revival
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This Anglican church, built in 1888, began as a mission church in what was then a new suburb. Designed in the form of a simple basilica by architect Frank Darling, the church has features, including the windows, in the Romanesque style and is noted for its visual simplicity and appeal, its resonant acoustics and significant artworks by well-known Canadian artists.
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
National Historic Site (Canada)
Kid-friendly
Self-guided tours available
Site has blue and gold provincial plaque
Site is protected by the Ontario Heritage Trust

Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
189 Yonge Street
Toronto, Ontario
Telephone: 416-314-2901
Year built: 1914
Architect: Thomas Lamb (designer)
Style: Edwardian
Building type: Theatre
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Take a front-of-house look at the historical Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre, the last double-decker theatre facility in the world. Doors Open provides a great opportunity to see parts of the theatres usually closed to the public. Staff will answer questions as visitors explore the building on their own. Photography permitted (no tripods).
Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available
Self-guided tours available
Site has blue and gold provincial plaque
Site is protected by the Ontario Heritage Trust

Fool's Paradise

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
1 Meadowcliffe Drive
Toronto, Ontario
Telephone: 416-325-5000
Landscape type: Garden
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Ontario Heritage Trust staff will tell visitors about the career of Doris McCarthy, a key figure in Canada’s artistic community, and the experience she had building Fool’s Paradise. Tours will include McCarthy’s eccentric house and studio, and end with an opportunity for visitors to explore the beautiful grounds, with gardens, a large pond and spectacular views of the Scarborough Bluffs.
Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly

Johnson Chou Inc.

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
1085 Woodbine Avenue North
Toronto, Ontario
Telephone: 416-703-6777
Year built: 1930s
Style: Art moderne
Building type: Commercial, Private residence
Saturday only: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Constructed in the art moderne style in the 1930s, the three Johnson Chou Inc. buildings illustrate the company’s modern approach to design and its design philosophy: less is more. Visitors will have a unique opportunity to explore the interdisciplinary design studio and the principal designers’ private residence.
Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms

Mackenzie House

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
82 Bond Street
Toronto, Ontario
Telephone: 416-392-6915
Year built: 1858
Style: Victorian
Building type: Historic landmark, Museum
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Friends and supporters of William Lyon Mackenzie bought this Greek revival row house, now one of 10 City of Toronto-owned and -operated museums, in appreciation of his years in public service. Mackenzie was Toronto's first mayor, an activist, journalist and a leader of the 1837 Rebellion. In 1949, he was designated as a person of national historic significance.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly

Metropolitan United Church

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
56 Queen Street East
Toronto, Ontario
Telephone: 416-363-0331
Year built: 1872; 1929
Architect: Henry Langley
Landscape type: Landscape
Style: Gothic revival
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
In 1928, fire destroyed all but the carillon tower of the 1872 Metropolitan Methodist United Church. Within a year, the Gothic revival church was rebuilt and restored to its former glory. The Metropolitan has the fourth-largest carillon in Canada, the largest Casavant pipe organ, dozens of McCausland stained-glass windows and 20 life-sized wooden carved angels in the Norman-style ceiling.
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
National Historic Site (Canada)
Self-guided tours available

Ontario Heritage Centre

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
10 Adelaide Street East
Toronto, Ontario
Telephone: 416-325-5000
Year built: 1909
Architect: George Gouinlock
Style: Edwardian
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Enjoy a self-guided tour of the Ontario Heritage Centre, where staff will be available to answer questions about the building and its owner, the Ontario Heritage Trust. Among the many interesting features of this building are the two gallery spaces with mezzanines, oak-panelled Oval Board Room, original manually operated elevator and period washrooms.
Full wheelchair access

Pachter Hall and Moose Factory

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
22 Grange Avenue
Toronto, Ontario
Year built: 2005
Architect: Teeple Architects Inc.
Building type: Private residence
Saturday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; last entry 30 minutes before closing
In 1996, Charles Pachter, one of Canada's leading contemporary artists, purchased the abandoned property at 22 Grange Avenue, just west of the Art Gallery of Ontario. He transformed the property into the Moose Factory gallery and event centre, which architecture critic Don Rouge-Humber has described as “the most innovative private show space to appear in Toronto in decades."
Partial wheelchair access

Russell Carhouse

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
1403-1433 Queen Street East
Toronto, Ontario
Year built: 1913
Building type: Transportation
Saturday only: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; last entry at 4:45 p.m.
The Toronto Railway Company built this industrial-style structure in 1913 as a paint shop. When the Toronto Transit Commission’s King Street Carhouse burned down in 1916, the commission transformed the paint shop into a carhouse, which opened in December 1924. During Doors Open Toronto, visitors will see where streetcars are repaired and can board the new articulated streetcar.
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Self-guided tours available
Site is protected by the Ontario Heritage Trust

Spadina Museum Historic House and Gardens

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
285 Spadina Road
Toronto, Ontario
Year built: 1866; 1896
Architect: Original unknown; 1896, Vaux Chadwick
Building type: Attraction, Historic landmark, Museum
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This elegant house was built for Toronto financier James Austin in 1866. A recent restoration, using letters, photos and other archival documents as references, has made the Spadina residence an authentic recreation of what it looked like in the 1920s and 1930s – the only historical Toronto site representing that time period. Co-owned by the City and the Ontario Heritage Trust.
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms

Toronto Necropolis

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
200 Winchester Street
Toronto, Ontario
Telephone: 416-923-7911
Year built: 1850; 1872 (chapel)
Architect: Henry Langley
Landscape type: Landscape
Style: Gothic revival
Building type: Cemetery
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This cemetery, established in 1850, is the final resting place of many prominent Toronto citizens, such as the city’s first mayor, William Lyon Mackenzie, journalist George Brown, founder of what is now the Globe and Mail, and former New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton. The buildings are Gothic revival in style, and beautiful stained-glass windows adorn the 1872 chapel.