Doors Open Toronto 2013
Doors Open Toronto returns for its 14th year on May 25th and 26th, complete with a lineup of new buildings to explore and a stable of old favourites. There have been a few years in which the event has suffered from over-hype and a lack of novel places to explore for return visitors, but based on a perusal of this year's program, that doesn't appear to be the case this year. On the contrary, the selection of first-time offerings is actually quite extensive.
I'll get to those shortly, but in the meantime, here's a couple of reminders. Based on the increased popularly of Doors Open, it's become far more important to plan one's visits in advance, taking into account not just the possibility of lineups, but also geographic proximity and potential photography restrictions (for those who plan to snap away). And while I hate to state the obvious, if there's a building that you really want to check out but you're not into waiting around, your best bet is to arrive early.
In previous years, there's been a few mobile app to choose from, but the pickings are slim for 2013. The one that's recommended on the official website, which uses the Dynamic Legend platform, is not the worst, but I suspect it's easier to just plan ahead. That said, the mobile site looks like a bit of a mess, so having the app might be good as back up.
Given the focus on first time offering here, if you're after a bit more breadth, take a look at our guides to previous years.
5 NEW BUILDINGS TO CHECK OUT FOR 2013
Mattamy Athletic Centre at MLG
Here's your chance to see what the rink at Maple Leaf Gardens looks like today. While the enture building has been overhauled, the cathedral-like roof remains along with a number of smaller historical touches.
Toronto Carpet Factory
One of Liberty Village's grandest buildings, the Toronto Carpet Factory was also one of the places that the tech boom happened in the neighbourhood. This tour offers access throughout the building, allowing visitors to see how it's been adapted to its current use.
Toronto Police Service 11 Division
I hesitate to recommend entering a police station ever, but I have to admit that there's something pretty fascinating about the prospect of exploring a cop shop when not shackled in handcuffs. Bonus: this building is a wonderful example of adaptive reuse.
Massey Tower Presentation Centre
OK, the presentation centre part of the tour might not be the most fascinating and they might try to sell you a condo or something, but having taken a peek behind the scenes at this Toronto landmark, it's definitely worth a look.
I tend to think that places which are easily accessible outside of Doors Open aren't worth visiting during the event, but I'll make an exception for the Fox. Not only is it one of Toronto's oldest cinemas, but the tour includes a look at the projection room.
OTHER NEW BUILDINGS WORTH A LOOK
MOST LIKELY TO HAVE LONG LINES
Doors Open is obviously a great opportunity to take photos of what are otherwise generally difficult to access buildings. As such, we'd love to feature your shots. Upload your photos to our Doors Open Toronto 2013 stream, and we'll feature the best ones in a dedicated post on the site.
Lead photo by Tom Ryaboi
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