First-ever “Kids’ Guide to Doors Open Toronto” presents the great urban adventure for children|
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Kids and their favourite grownups are invited to explore Toronto from the inside out on the Doors Open Toronto weekend with help from the first-ever “Kids’ Guide to Doors Open Toronto.” This 24-page booklet, full of games, puzzles and questions about Toronto, encourages children to have fun while discovering more about the city, its architecture and history. On Saturday and Sunday, May 27 and 28, over 140 buildings open their doors for the 7th annual Doors Open Toronto weekend. A number of buildings on this year’s roster offer special family-friendly programs to encourage children to explore Toronto’s great spaces and places. Admission is free at all locations.
“Toronto’s Building History Mystery, Do Buildings Have Birthdays?” and “A Tale of Two City Halls” are just some of the activity pages in the Kids’ Guide. Colourful photos, illustrations and interactive pages introduce kids to stories about pre-historic Toronto, heritage buildings, ghosts, cemeteries, and nature in the city. A centerfold “map” highlights Doors Open Toronto locations along the central waterfront, from the Palais Royale to the Redpath Sugar Refinery and the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse on Centre Island. In addition, two of Canada’s leading architects, Raymond Moriyama and Eberhard Zeidler, share early memories about architecture.
“Ever since we launched Doors Open Toronto in May 2000, this annual celebration has attracted an increasingly multi-generational audience. The Kids’ Guide was developed to tap into young people’s natural curiosity about their surroundings. If a child’s experience of a city is shaped by stories, challenges and engaging activities, then he or she will enjoy it more,” said Jane French, Project Manager, Doors Open Toronto and writer/editor of the Guide. “I’m looking forward to feedback from younger visitors who use the Guide as they explore the city on the Doors Open Toronto weekend.”
Produced in collaboration with Harbourfront Centre, with support from Live with Culture 05/06, the “Kids’ Guide to Doors Open Toronto” is free. Limited quantities will be available the week of May 22 at Toronto Public Library branches, Toronto City Hall and all civic centres, as well as select Doors Open Toronto sites (offering children’s activities) and at the Doors Open Toronto Information Centre at the CBC - Canadian Broadcasting Centre, 250 Front St. W. A downloadable version is available at http://www.doorsopen.org.
Visitors of all ages are welcome at all Doors Open Toronto buildings. The following list highlights places where children’s activities are planned. Building hours vary. Most sites are open both Saturday and Sunday, May 27 and 28 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (unless otherwise indicated). Program is subject to change; visit http://www.doorsopen.org for the most up-to-date information about hours and directions.
Black Creek Pioneer Village (11 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days): Experience village life in a re-created 19th century setting. Kids try pioneer crafts and trades in the Hands-On History Centre.
BLP Bronze International: State-of-the-art foundry making everything from plaques to statues. Kids’ workshops with sculptor Dr. Michael C. Irving; sculpt a small native animal (to be cast in bronze) Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or 2 to 3:30 p.m. (limited space; 20 kids per workshop; retrieve miniature bronze animal at a later date).
Cadbury Chocolate Factory: 100 years of chocolate-making; “Chocology” see, touch and taste ingredients used to make chocolate; Activity Centre, store and museum. Please note that this is not a nut-free facility.
Colborne Lodge (noon to 4 p.m. both days): Solve the “If these walls could talk” riddles, based on architecture and furnishings.
Commerce Court North: Celebrate the 75th anniversary of this landmark building with a Colouring Contest and a game of “Find the Hidden Objects and Animals!”
Don Valley Brick Works: Tour historic buildings and quarry garden; enjoy storytellers and music; create art out of reusable objects; plant native plants and make pottery.
Enoch Turner Schoolhouse (Sunday only; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m): Visit the oldest school in Toronto and go back in time to experience classroom life 150 years ago.
Fort York: March to the historic fort for drill sessions and tours; bring your own picnic.
Gibson House Museum: “What’s wrong with the house” activity; find objects not authentic to this 1850s house; open-hearth cooking, dress-up clothes and more.
Historic Zion Schoolhouse: Sit in a 1910 school desk, write on a slate, paper craft activities and more.
Horse Palace at Exhibition Place: Visit the home of the Toronto Police Mounted Unit, see horses and police dogs demonstrate their skills and tour the Animal Shelter. Activities and games. Free Canadian Pets & Animals Magazine complete with Kids’ Passport to the Horse Palace.
John Street Roundhouse: Toronto Railway Historical Association offers rides behind real miniature coal burning steam locomotives at this national historic site.
Lakeshore Grounds in Colonel Samuel Smith Park (Saturday only): Scavenger hunt, bird-house painting and more. Start at the Assembly Hall.
Leslie Spit Allotment Gardens: Bird houses, gardens with sculptures, scented plants, soap-making demonstrations, sweet grasses, take-away seed packages and more. A good bicycle destination; Martin Goodman Trail to the Leslie Street Spit.
Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People (Sunday only): Building tours (with ghost stories); theatrical displays and activities; dance and drama workshops.
Ontario College of Art & Design (Saturday only): Kids of all ages become designers and architects, crafting a magical, miniature city from plush fabrics at The Soft City hands-on happening, presented by the Upper Parkdale Benevolent Arts Guild (UPBAG). Soft City workshop, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Ontario Place (grounds only): Treehouse Live! stage presents Big Comfy Couch and Billy & Buster performing live at 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. both days.
Zion Church Cultural Centre (Saturday only; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.): Explore the cemetery (with activities in the Guide), plus architectural drawings and grave rubbings.
A complete list of participating buildings is available on the Doors Open Toronto website at http://www.doorsopen.org. No pre-registration or tickets are required. For public event information call 416-338-3888.
The Doors Open Toronto Weekend Information Centre is located in the Barbara Frum Atrium, CBC - Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Saturday and Sunday, May 27 and 28, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 250 Front St. W. Visitors can go behind-the-scenes at the home of the CBC and meet radio and television personalities.
Doors Open Toronto is presented by Toronto Culture and the Toronto Star and is a Signature Event of Live With Culture. CBC Radio One and CBC Television are the official media sponsors.
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 http://www.livewithculture.ca, the ultimate guide to Toronto’s culture scene.
Jane French, Project Manager, Doors Open Toronto, Toronto Culture, 416-338-0496
Kristen Juschkewitsch, Toronto Culture, 416-338-0495