People & CityEye on Doors Open Toronto

Eye on Doors Open Toronto

This weekend, Toronto opens its doors to 9.2 million people.

The 18th annual Doors Open Toronto takes place May 27 and 28, offering the public free access to various buildings across the city. In honour of Canada’s 150th birthday, 150 architecturally and culturally significant structures will be available for open house tours. The aesthetes and culture vultures at Glossi Mag rounded up a list of must-see buildings this year to help plan your weekend.


Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at University of Toronto

Address: 120 St. George St.
Year opened: 1973
Style: Post-Modern (1945+)

The Thomas Fisher Library, located within Robarts Library, is the largest rare book library in Canada, and something of a hidden treasure in the city. While classic Brutalist on the outside, the interior is a reader’s delight: four mezzanine floors of rare books tower over its visitors.

Photo Credits: University of Toronto (left) ; Gordon Belray (right)

Native Child and Family Services of Toronto

Address: 30 College St.
Year opened: 2008
Style: Contemporary (1995-Present)

Originally constructed as an office building, 30 College Street was renovated and adapted into the headquarters for Native Child and Family Services of Toronto. The entrance sign, in the shape of an Ojibwe hand drum, signals a strong Aboriginal presence. Visitors will see a space that does justice to Indigenous Culture, in all its visual wealth.

Photo Credit: Ben Rahn (left); Architecture Lab (right)

R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant

Address: 2701 Queen St. E.
Year opened: 1941
Style: Art Deco (1918-1940)

Constructed in the 1930s, the R.C. Harris is the largest ensemble of Art Deco buildings in Toronto, providing an excellent example of how Art Deco style can integrate with Late Romanesque Revival and Modern Classical forms. It is the largest of the City’s four water treatment plants, providing an average of 400 million litres of safe drinking water to residents in Toronto and York Region.

Photo credit: RC Harris Filtration Plant

Teeple Architects

Address: 5 Camden St.
Year opened: Unknown
Style: Contemporary (1995-Present), Commercial/Industrial

Teeple Architects Inc. was founded in 1989 by firm Principal Stephen Teeple. Visitors looking for an interactive experience can explore the Teeple Architects studio and try out the latest technology that made it possible to design and build projects, such as the new Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum in Alberta.

Photo Credit: Doors Open T.O

University of Toronto Scarborough: Andrews Building

Address: 1265 Military Trail
Year opened: 1965
Style: Post-Modern (1945+)

The Andrews Building exemplifies the Modernist notion of connection with the environment, framed by the woods and balanced above the ravine and river below. It is considered one of Canada’s most important examples of modern architecture, some saying it turns concrete into poetry.

Photo Credit: Vik Pahwa

Story Arts Centre at Centennial College

Address: 951 Carlaw Ave.
Year opened: 1954
Style: Modernism (1880+)

This modernist gem, designed by renowned architect Peter Dickinson, was originally built as the Toronto Teachers College and won a Massey Architecture Award as the best school design in Canada that year. Some of you may recognize it at the school used to film Degrassi High.

Photo Credit: Centennial College

The entire list of participating buildings can be found here.

Ashley is a contributor at Glossi Mag.
She is inspired by creative leaders and musical theatre. If she’s not belting out show tunes, she’s taking a nap.

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