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June 13, 2006
Doors Open Toronto breaks attendance record
Close to 200,000 visits to 144 buildings of architectural, historic and cultural significance took place on this year’s Doors Open Toronto weekend, Saturday and Sunday, May 27 and 28, surpassing last year’s total visitation of 165,000 by more than 30,000. Topping the list again this year were Old City Hall and City Hall, with each venue welcoming 8,500 visitors over two days.

One of the most popular new buildings on this year’s roster, the Cadbury Chocolate Factory, attracted 4,700 visitors to its 100-year-old home on Gladstone Avenue. Along the central waterfront, Ontario Place celebrated its 35th anniversary year with 4,743 people, the tall ship, Empire Sandy welcomed over 4,000 aboard and the Fort York Armory saluted 3,500 visitors. The newly-restored Palais Royale evoked memories among its 2,120 guests (Sunday afternoon only), many of whom recalled its romantic dance hall past. Over in the Distillery District, the new Young Centre for the Performing Arts welcomed 1,450 visitors.

The Horse Palace at Exhibition Place saw 3,000 visitors crowding the equestrian demonstration ring and going nose to nose with four-legged members of the Toronto Police Mounted and Police Dog Unit. Tours of both historic and current exhibits by the Canadian Armed Forces as well as the state-of-the-art Toronto Animal Services were popular. Staff Inspector Bill Wardle was pleased that a significant number of visitors were new Canadians who welcomed the rare opportunity to visit an active police unit, equestrian school and animal shelter with their children.

Jarvis Street’s ‘Mansion District’ proved popular, with Canada’s National Ballet School drawing 3,500, Gooderham House and York College of Industry and Technology, (former home of Canada’s Massey family) attracting 3,000 visitors each, and the Gloucester Square Inns’ two beautifully restored mansions with 1,400 visitors respectively.

Returning favourites include: Osgoode Hall (7,200), John Street Roundhouse (6,220), Black Creek Pioneer Village (6,200), CBC - Canadian Broadcasting Centre (5,000), Canada Life (4,800), Commerce Court North (4,500), Ontario Legislative Building (4,200), 1 King West (3,426), Spadina Museum: Historic House and Gardens (3,236), Toronto-Dominion Centre (3,207), Carlu (3,000; Sunday only), Casa Loma Stables (2,847), St. Anne’s Anglican Church (2,700), Canada Permanent Building (2,500), Gladstone Hotel (2,327), Fort York (2,131), Campbell House (2,100), Design Exchange (2,000), Don Valley Brick Works (2,000), Royal Canadian Military Institute (1900), Redpath Sugar Museum (1804), 51 Division (1800), Metropolitan United Church (1,770), Masonic Temple (1,600) and Ontario College of Art and Design (1,500; Saturday only).

“Every year I continue to be amazed at how Doors Open Toronto brings out the best in our city on both an architectural and a human scale,” said Rita Davies, Executive Director, Toronto Culture. “Attendance figures are one way of measuring the success of this event, but equally important are the new relationships this year with venues like the MaRS Centre (2,200) and the Terrence Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research (2,000), both located in the heart of Toronto’s Discovery District, Holy Blossom Temple (800; Sunday only), that celebrated its 150th year as a congregation by participating in Doors Open Toronto, and BLP Bronze International (830), where figures sculpted by children on the weekend will be cast in bronze for a proposed native sculpture garden in Toronto’s portlands. Our first-ever Kids’ Guide to Doors Open Toronto was a great hit with the ever-increasing number of children who make up a significant part of the audience for this annual event.”

In seven years, Doors Open Toronto has attracted almost one million visitors to the city’s architectural landmarks, hidden gems and innovative buildings, all of which define Toronto in the 21st century. Admission to all participating venues is free and many buildings are not normally open to the public.

Doors Open Toronto is proud to acknowledge its title sponsor, the Toronto Star, and media sponsors CBC Radio One and CBC Television. GreekTown on the Danforth BIA, the Toronto Society of Architects and Wright Real Estate Ltd. participated as Sandstone Level sponsors this year. Program partners, Doors Open Ontario, Festival of Architecture and Design (fAd), Heritage Toronto and the Mayor’s Clean and Beautiful City initiative are recognized for their contributions. We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund and the Cultural Capitals of Canada program.

The 8th annual Doors Open Toronto will take place on Saturday and Sunday, May 26 and 27, 2007 with a special focus on Toronto’s ‘green’ buildings. Visit in 2007 for program information. Doors Open Toronto is a Signature Event of Toronto Culture and Live With Culture.

Live With Culture is a 16-month celebration of Toronto’s extraordinary arts and cultural communities, shining a spotlight on the vibrant and diverse activities happening in the city each and every day. From September 2005 until the end of 2006, Live With Culture showcases the vast scope of the city’s culture of creativity and inspires culture in Toronto to become a daily part of everyone’s life. How do you live with culture? Visit, the ultimate guide to Toronto’s culture scene.

Media contacts:

Jane French
Project Manager
Doors Open Toronto
Toronto Culture

Kristen Juschkewitsch
Program Development & Design (Acting)
Toronto Culture



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