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March 1, 2007
Eighth annual Doors Open Toronto - The great architectural adventure goes green Free admission to 150 buildings city-wide, May 26 and 27
From the greenest church in Canada to a revitalized 1913 industrial building with a green roof and a living-breathing plant wall, many venues on this year’s Doors Open Toronto lineup represent the growing number of new and retrofit green, sustainable buildings in Toronto.

Across the city on Saturday, May 26 and Sunday, May 27, visitors will have a rare opportunity to explore the interior spaces of 150 buildings of architectural, historic, social or cultural significance. Admission is free at all participating venues - from courtrooms to places of worship, private clubs to green roof gardens, and hidden gems to national historic sites.

Rita Davies, Executive Director, Toronto Culture, who oversees the Doors Open Toronto program, applauds the green theme. “More than one million visitors have toured Toronto’s exceptional buildings in the past seven years. Our focus on green and sustainable architecture will measure the creativity of our city from a new and very current perspective. Visitors will learn firsthand what goes into designing, constructing and operating a green building at over 20 venues city-wide.”

This special Doors Open Toronto focus on green, sustainable buildings is being planned in conjunction with the Clean Air Partnership (CAP). “When people experience green buildings first-hand and up-close, it will encourage them to seek greener options in their own lives,” said Eva Ligeti, Executive Director, CAP. “Each building that is built to higher green standards, by using renewable energy, green roofs or non-toxic materials, creates a healthier living environment for Toronto residents.”

The newly opened St. Gabriel’s Passionist Parish is Canada’s greenest church and features a solar glass wall in the sanctuary facing a naturalized garden and a living wall that purifies the interior air. Designed by Larkin Architect to establish a link between the sacredness of the gathered community of faith and the sacredness of Earth, St. Gabriel’s Passionist Parish is both beautiful and environmentally progressive.

The Robertson Building on Spadina Ave. is a fine example of Toronto’s best practices in adapting an old building to address sustainability issues of the 21st century. Owner Margaret Zeidler, of Urbanspace Property Group, maintains that one of the ‘greenest’ things to do with an old building is restore it, keeping demolished buildings out of landfill sites and taking advantage of existing resources. Visitors will tour the 4,000-square-foot green roof planted with native Ontario wildflowers.

Two other green venues, both designed by Montgomery Sisam, are Bloorview Kids Rehab - a new building in which nature and technology combine to make it one of Canada’s greenest health-care facilities - and the Toronto Botanical Garden. This award-winning LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified building showcases sustainability and architectural beauty surrounded by contemporary-themed gardens.

The SAS Building, by NORR Limited Architects & Engineers, demonstrates how a progressive green office space in the 21st century is good for both business and its employees. Natural and indirect energy-efficient lighting fills the workplace. Non-toxic (VOC) and recycled materials are used for offices and meeting rooms. Rain water is captured on its ‘white’ roof and used to flush toilets.

Other buildings with green features new to this year's roster include: the Cecelia Murphy Building, Element - Eco Model Suite, HOK, Metro Label (LEED certified), Regal Hand Laundry, Thomas L. Wells Public School (LEED certified), University of Guelph, Humber and York University's Computer Sciences Buildings and Pond Rd. Student Residences.

Five buildings from last year are returning with a special focus on their green features: 401 Richmond, Beach Solar Laundromat, the Horse Palace at Exhibition Place, Mountain Equipment Co-op, and Steam Whistle Brewing.

NOTE: Building hours may vary. Most buildings are open on one or both days from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; confirm hours of operation at each venue. No pre-registration or tickets are required. The complete list of buildings and hours will be available at as of April 1. The official Doors Open Toronto pull-out program guide will be in the Toronto Star’s What’s On section on Thursday, May 17. Public event information: 416-338-3888. The Canadian Broadcasting Centre, 250 Front St. W., will be the Doors Open Toronto onsite information centre on May 26 and 27, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Drop by this 10-storey, state-of-the-art facility, one of the first fully digital broadcasting centres in the world. Media sponsors: CBC Radio One and CBC Television.

Doors Open Toronto, presented by the Toronto Star, is a Signature Event of Toronto Culture and Live With Culture. Live With Culture is a 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. 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.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of more than 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
Kristen Juschkewitsch, Doors Open Toronto, Toronto Culture, 416-338-0495



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