Doors Open Toronto

Events, free, Things to Do, What's New — By karcus on May 22, 2011 at 11:44 pm

I’m really excited about next weekend. The city is holding its annual Doors Open Toronto festival on May 28th and 29th, and if you really want to see the ‘off the beaten path’ bits of Toronto, you have to take advantage of this opportunity.

The festival does pretty much what it says on the box – a wide variety of buildings throughout the city open their doors to visitors for free. Also, this year’s theme is photography, so it is a definite must for any shutterbugs out there. So, really, the only decision left is what buildings to pick.

Because the list is endless: museums, galleries, studios, condos, theatres, businesses, archives, television broadcast centres, churches, temples, seniors’ residences, fire halls, private clubs… The City of Toronto website has a complete list, including details about the buildings, available tours and opening hours.

I don’t think it’s actually possible to see everything in just two days. For me, much as it breaks my heart to say it, I would probably skip the museums and galleries that are typically open to the public. Much as it would be wonderful to get in for free, I think I would rather see inside some of the buildings that aren’t usually accessible.

I’ve been trying to go through the list and put together some recommendations of what to see, but there really are far too many interesting choices. So, my recommendation is this: pick a neighbourhood for each day. All of the buildings are mapped on the City of Toronto website, so you can see what’s nearby. Make yourself a list of all the buildings in the neighbourhood and plan your route. See as much as you can, even if it’s not something you would traditionally pick out. You never know what you’ll discover along the way, or what surprises you might find. There is no better way to experience the city.

A quick search of the NileGuide site will give you some great lunch/dinner options in your chosen neighbourhood.

Have fun, and tell me what you find!!

Tags: architecture, buildings, Doors Open Toronto, history, off the beaten path, photography, Toronto, tour, tourism, travel