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May 9, 2012
News Release - Doors Open Toronto explores Toronto's history of communities
Over the last 200 years, Toronto has grown from a town of 700 to a metropolis of 2.7 million residents. Toronto is one of the world's most diverse cities - with 140 distinct neighbourhoods.

On May 26 and 27, the 13th annual Doors Open Toronto will give the public a rare opportunity to explore Toronto's historic and modern development. Doors Open will provide access to many of the city's most interesting spaces and reveal the communities that helped create Toronto. More than 135 locations, including 51 new ones, are included in this year's Doors Open weekend.

Many of this year's locations have been grouped into themes and neighbourhoods. A news release yesterday highlighted the themes. Highlights of the neighbourhood groupings include the following locations:

Waterfront: This new neighbourhood will have many buildings and activities to discover. Doors Open on Toronto's Waterfront, presented by Queen's Quay Terminal in association with the Waterfront Business Improvement Association (BIA), will feature 15 ships and two historic buildings. The Toronto Harbour Commission building will be open to the public on Saturday and Queen's Quay Terminal will feature archival photographs showcasing the history of Toronto's waterfront. The photographs are available courtesy of Toronto Star Archives, the Toronto Port Authority, City of Toronto Archives and Queen’s Quay Terminal. Corus Quay, Redpath Sugar and the John St. Roundhouse will also have their doors open in this area.

Islington Village: Free hourly trolley and walking tours sponsored by the Islington Village BIA will leave between noon and 4 p.m. on both days from historic Montgomery's Inn. The public will see the area's many beautiful building-sized murals and may leave the trolley at any time to explore the neighbourhood. Lambton House and York Museum are also close to this area.

Scarborough: Visitors will get rare access to Canadian painter Doris McCarthy's private home, which she called "Fools Paradise," as well as a rare look at how theatre stage sets are created at the Gretchen Ross Production Centre for The National Ballet of Canada. The Islamic Foundation of Toronto and the Periya Shivan Temple are also featured locations in addition to the Scarborough Museum and the Cedar Ridge Creative Centre.

The Beaches: There will be two walking tours on May 26 starting at the Beaches Branch Public Library, which will include a presentation about the library's history, followed by a historical introduction to the Beach community and a walking tour of the neighbourhood. Area highlights include the Corpus Christi Parish and Fire Station 227. Nearby is the largest ensemble of buildings in Toronto - at the R.C. Harris Water Filtration Plant.

Harbord Village: The Harbord Village Neighbourhood Walking Tour will showcase the Victorian facades found on most Harbord Village homes. The tour will also feature homes occupied by noteworthy people over the years, the village's largest trees and other built and natural features. Tours may allow visitors to go inside one or more houses. Near Harbord Village are historic buildings such as St. Stephen's Community House, Fire Station 315, St. George's Lutheran and College St. United churches, and the Kensington Health Centre Hospice.

Rosedale: On May 26, the Rosedale BIA will offer a public walking tour through historic Rosedale to discover the stories behind some of the area's historic buildings. Tours will start at the North Toronto Station. Built in 1916, it has been meticulously restored in the neo-classical Beaux Arts style and is now home to Canada’s largest liquor store.

Roncesvalles: This vibrant neighbourhood will feature access to locations like the Revue Cinema, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary, St. Vincent De Paul parish, High Park Library, Colborne Lodge, Emmanuel Howard Park Church and the TTC Roncesvalles Carhouse.

Weston: This area will feature Weston's Masonic Building, Weston's Toronto Public Library branch, the Weston Historical Society Archives in Eagle Manor, and Ward Funeral Home.

Doors Open Toronto will be very active with social media communities, and will host a photo contest with five Lumix cameras as prizes. The event will also have mobile applications designed by independent programmers using open data.

More information is available at

Doors Open Toronto can be accessed on Twitter at, on Facebook at and on foursquare at

Doors Open Toronto, produced by the City of Toronto and sponsored by the Toronto Star, has attracted more than two million visitors since it began 13 years ago. Citytv and OMNI Television are Doors Open Toronto's media partners.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.7 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media Contact
Shane Gerard
Senior Communications Coordinator



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