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June 18, 2007
Eighth annual Doors Open Toronto sets record attendance Over 220,000 visits to Toronto’s historic, contemporary and ‘green’ venues
  
The eighth edition of Doors Open Toronto was a record breaker with over 220,000 visits to 150 buildings that define the best of Toronto’s historic, contemporary and ‘green’ architecture. The visits on Saturday and Sunday, May 26 and 27, surpassed last year’s total visitation of 205,000 by more than 15,000. Two familiar sites topped the list again this year, City Hall and Old City Hall, where 10,000 and 9,586 visitors respectively were welcomed over two days.

Among the most popular new venues on this year’s roster, the TTC Bay Lower station attracted 3,500 visitors during the three-hour period it was open. The Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts drew 6,500 on Sunday only.

While high-profile official ‘green’ and sustainable buildings like the Toronto Botanical Garden (4,000), Steam Whistle Brewing (2,800), SAS (1,807), Bloorview Kids Rehab (1,000) and St. Gabriel’s Passionist Parish (1,000) attracted respectable crowds, smaller venues like the Eco-suite at Tridel’s Element Condominium (1,014), Levitt Goodman House (1,000) and the HOK office (350; one-day only) also drew the curious and inquisitive. Attendance at venues well beyond downtown, such as the Thomas L. Wells Public School (417; one-day only), Metro Label (351), and the Ravina Project (307) proved that the ‘green’ theme drew audiences from all corners of the city and beyond. Don Valley Brick Works attracted 5,000 visitors of all ages (more than double last year’s attendance) who learned about Evergreen’s plans to transform this historic site into the greenest facility in North America.

The Horse Palace at Exhibition Place was literally jumping on the Doors Open Toronto weekend, with 8,000 visitors crowding the equestrian demonstration ring and going nose to nose with four-legged members of the Toronto Police Mounted and Police Dog Unit. 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. Over in the Distillery Historic District, 6,000 visitors took advantage of the rare opportunity to tour the Malt Kilns Building and Tunnel, the Scale Tank Loft and Rack House D.

Returning favourites for the weekend included; Osgoode Hall (8,747), Black Creek Pioneer Village (5,622), John Street Roundhouse (5,250), Casa Loma Estate Gardens (5,083), CBC - Canadian Broadcasting Centre (5,000), Canada Life (5,000), Ontario Legislative Building (4,977), Design Exchange (3,300), Spadina Museum: Historic House and Gardens (3,223), Campbell House (2,990), Commerce Court North (2,557), Toronto Police Marine Unit (2,500), Metropolitan United Church (2,500), Carlu (2,384; one day only), Canada Permanent Building (2,272), Toronto-Dominion Centre (2,200), MaRs Centre (2,157) and Ontario College of Art and Design - Sharp Centre for Design (1,931; one day 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,” says Rita Davies, Executive Director, Toronto Culture. “Attendance figures are one way of measuring the success of this event, but equally important is the new relationship this year with the Clean Air Partnership that resulted in a special and very timely focus on green and sustainable architecture. Visitors learned first hand what goes into designing, constructing and operating a green building at over 20 official venues citywide. As well, our second-annual 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 eight years, Doors Open Toronto has attracted over 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. Woodcliffe Development Corporation and 360 Capture Photography contributed as Granite sponsors while the Toronto Society of Architects, Wright Real Estate Ltd. and Pizza Pizza participated as Sandstone sponsors this year. Program partners were the Ontario Heritage Trust (organizers of Doors Open Ontario), Festival of Architecture and Design (fAd) and the Clean Air Partnership are recognized for their contributions.

The ninth annual Doors Open Toronto will take place on Saturday and Sunday, May 24 and 25, 2008, with a special focus on Toronto’s Sacred Spaces, Sacred Circles. Visit, http://www.toronto.ca/doorsopen in 2008 for program information. Doors Open Toronto is a Signature Event of Toronto Culture and Live With Culture.

An initiative of Toronto Culture, Live With Culture is a celebration of Toronto's extraordinary arts and cultural communities. Doors Open Toronto is one of a series of signature events that forms the core of the City-initiated programming. Visit http://www.livewithculture.ca, the ultimate guide to Toronto's culture scene.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years Toronto has won more than 50 awards for quality and innovation in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media Contacts:
Jane French
Project Manager, Doors Open Toronto
Toronto Culture
416-338-0496
jfrench@toronto.ca

Kristen Juschkewitsch
Supervisor, Program Development & Design (Acting)
Toronto Culture
416-338-0495
kjuschk@toronto.ca


 

 

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