Doors Open Toronto

The top 10 buildings to see at Doors Open Toronto 2016

Doors Open Toronto, the annual peek at the city's typically hidden spaces, takes place on May 28 and 29 this year with a host of new buildings to explore. There are over 130 structures on the roster this year, ranging from old favourites like Osgoode Hall and the R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant to novel offerings like the recently completed TTC Leslie Barns.

Here are my picks for the top buildings to see at Doors Open Toronto in 2016.

TTC Leslie Barns
The TTC might still be waiting for loads of its new low-floor streetcars, but you can get a look at the new state-of-the-art maintenance facility that was built to accommodate them. This is the first time the public will get a look inside this new building.

OCADU Sharp Centre for Design
It's one of the city's most iconic buildings, but how many people outside of OCADU students have actually been inside the the Sharp Centre for Design. One of the knocks against the building is that the interior looks like a high school. Find out for yourself this year, the first the building has participated in Doors Open.

Queen Richmond Centre

Queen Richmond Centre
The atrium of the Queen Richmond Centre is always open to the public, but for Doors Open visitors will get a behind the scene look at the tenant spaces and how the historical building has been fused with the modern structure.

Billy Bishop Airport
The best part about this tour of the Island Airport is that visitors will get a behind-the-scenes look at the transportation hub, including an up-close view of the tarmac and maintenance facilities. You can also have a look at the still newish tunnel that passes beneath the Western Gap to connect the Island to the mainland.

Ryerson Student Learning Centre

Ryerson Student Learning Centre
Get a look at the upper floors of the Ryerson Student Learning Centre, which are normally reserved for students. 45 minute guided tours will be offered throughout each day of the festival.

Sony Centre for the Performing Arts
Designed by Peter Dickinson in the 1960s as the O'Keefe Centre, this building has aged remarkably well despite numerous name changes. If you haven't caught a show here, check out the venue and learn about how the L Tower has been integrated above it.

pan am sports centre toronto

Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre
One of the crown jewels in the legacy projects from the Pan Am Games, the Sports Centre in Scarborough is a remarkable facility that's home to a number of national sports organizations. One hour tours will showcase the various venues housed within the building.

U of T Centre for Aerospace Studies
You'll have to register in advance to go on a guided tour of this secure building, but if you're even remotely curious about aeronautics and the exploration of space, this is a rare chance to get a look inside one of the world's preeminent research facilities.

Bergeron Centre

York University Bergeron Centre
One of the most gorgeous buildings completed in Toronto recently, the Bergeron Centre joins Doors Open for the first time, where visitors will get a chance to explore the inner workings of the building known as "the Cloud."

High Level Pumping Station
The High Level Pumping Station isn't new to Doors Open this year, but I highly recommend it if you haven't paid a visit before. It's always less busy that the R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant, and the early 20th century interior and machinery is wonderfully photogenic.

doors open toronto

CONTEST

Submit your photos of this year's Doors Open Toronto and you could win one of 3 gift certificates for Henry's Canada:

  • 1st place: $300 gift certificate
  • 2nd place: $150 gift certificate
  • 3rd place: $50 gift certificate

Just tag your photos of Doors Open Toronto with #blogtodot16 on Instagram to enter the contest. The deadline to submit photos is May 30 at 11:59 pm.

We will select our 10 favourite photos from those submitted and then the public will have a chance to vote for their favourite between May 31 to June 7, 2016.

Note: all photos must be of a 2016 Doors Open Toronto venue and taken on May 28 or 29, 2016.

For more information on Doors Open Toronto, check out the City's main website, which includes additional maps, information about photography, and open/close times.

Top photo courtesy of the TTC.


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