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May 27, 2003
Residents and tourists embrace fourth annual Doors Open Toronto
  
Over 100,000 people celebrated Toronto's architecture, culture and heritage

Toronto Culture --- They came by car, by bike and on foot -- over 100,000
people toured the city and received a warm welcome at landmarks, historical
buildings and hidden gems participating in Doors Open Toronto, May 24 and 25.
Early indications are that this year's event was more popular than ever (final
attendance figures are still being tallied). The Carlu, the stunning
restoration of the Eaton Auditorium and Round Room in College Park, opened its
doors on Sunday to over 4,500 people. The line-up of eager visitors ran south
down Yonge Street from College Street to Gerrard Street.

"This year's success was the result of the extraordinary enthusiasm
Torontonians have for their city," says Karen Black, Manager of Museums for the
City of Toronto Culture Division. "Doors Open Toronto taps not only into
people's interest in architecture and history but also into their desire to
understand and be part of their community. The event has received overwhelming
support from media, sponsors, volunteers, private donors and building owners,
all of whom want to provide Torontonians with an opportunity to be tourists in
their own city."

Many buildings experienced outstanding attendance numbers including several new
venues. The Distillery Historic District greeted crowds of more than 50,000
people during the weekend. Tours of Canada's largest and oldest social housing
project, Regent Park, were popular among the more than 600 visitors. Staff at
Mountain Equipment Co-op welcomed over 500 people (and one dog) to their
Environmental Green Roof.

There were many buildings participating this year that truly reflect the city's
diversity including the Chinese Cultural Centre and the Islamic Foundation of
Toronto. Mr. Shakil Akhter, Foundation Administrator, said when commenting on
visitor numbers of over 500, "We've already decided to participate again next
year." Members of the Riwoche Tibetan Buddhist Temple, formerly the Heintzman
Piano Showroom, enjoyed interpreting their visually stunning Buddhist shrine
room.

Additional weekend attendance figures include:
· Canada Permanent Building (new this year) - 1,620
· First Evangelical Lutheran Church (new this year) - 1,000
· Le Royal Meridien King Edward - 3,400
· Old City Hall - 6,000
· Osgoode Hall - 7,589
· Spadina Museum: Historic House and Gardens - 3,205

The Design Exchange and New City Hall, both returning buildings in 2003, showed
significant growth in attendance numbers. The Design Exchange hosted 2,300
people this year compared to 760 last year while New City Hall's numbers rose
from 900 to 2,000. The historic St. Lawrence Hall more than doubled its
attendance from 2,000 to 4,000.

"Participating in Doors Open Toronto was an opportunity to demonstrate our
commitment to the community," says Tom MacMillan, President and CEO, CIBC
Mellon. "We were pleased to have a chance to show off the significant
renovations recently completed at our historic banking hall. This very
worthwhile event provided the thousands of visitors who walked through our
space a unique look into our city's history."

"Doors Open Toronto Regent Park not only put us on the Toronto map but took
down any perceived barriers between Regent Park and the rest of Toronto,"
explains Albert Koke, Community Housing Manager, Regent Park. "Our tour guides
-- the residents of Regent Park -- took great pride in showing visitors a
vibrant and friendly community that takes pride in its diversity. The event was
truly worthwhile, and we look forward to welcoming even more visitors next
year."

"We would like to thank all of our program partners, sponsors and volunteers
who play an integral role in the success of Doors Open Toronto. Their passion
for this city is demonstrated in their commitment to this program," says Jane
French, Project Manager, Doors Open Toronto.

The 5th Annual Doors Open Toronto will run May 29 and 30, 2004. For more
information, visit www.doorsopen.org


Media Contact
Kristen Juschkewitsch
Culture Division
416-338-0495

Jane French
Doors Open Toronto
416-338-0496

 

 

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