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May 8, 2012
Doors Open Toronto - 200 years of building our city
Toronto's history is marked by its buildings and the stories they reveal - from the inside out. On May 26 and 27, the 13th annual Doors Open Toronto will celebrate and demonstrate how the city has transformed from a small military and farming town into Canada's largest, most diverse city and commercial centre.

"As one of the City's most popular and innovative programs, Doors Open Toronto is an excellent way for the public to experience Toronto's vibrant history and to learn about its city builders," said Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37 Scarborough Centre), Chair of the City of Toronto's Economic Development Committee. "As the City starts to commemorate the War of 1812 Bicentennial, events like these help residents and visitors alike appreciate how Toronto has evolved through its communities and its architecture."

Many of the more than 135 locations on this year's roster - now available to view at - are grouped into clusters by theme and by neighbourhood. Many buildings will profile the city builders who helped create these memorable locations.

Highlights of some the groupings by theme include:

War of 1812: As part of this year's bicentennial commemoration of the War of 1812, Doors Open Toronto will feature war locations, which include Fort York National Historic site, the First Parliament Interpretive Centre, St. James Cathedral and the Scadding Cabin at Exhibition Place. Visitors can also learn about the Battle of York and Fort York at a Market Gallery exhibition.

Education: Toronto's schools provide some of the earliest and most accomplished views on the city's changing architecture, and the city builders who were educated there. Visitors will have rare access to independent schools like Havergal College, Upper Canada College, St. Michael's College School, De La Salle College "Oaklands", TFS - Canada's International School (formerly Toronto French School), Central Technical School and Regis College.

Visitors can experience what a Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) laboratory looks like - at the Humber Centre for Justice Leadership, and learn about makeup and cosmetics alongside the comedy history of Second City and Gilda's Club at the recently renovated Old Firehall. The building is now home to the Complections College of Makeup Art and Design.

Religion: Many city communities were, and are, centred in places of worship, and many of these buildings are leading examples of the city's architecture. This year features Church of St. Alban the Martyr at Royal St. George's College School, Church of the Holy Trinity, Kadampa Meditation Centre, St. Paul's Basilica, Trinity St. Paul's United Church, Church of the Redeemer, Riwoche Tibetan Buddhist Temple of Toronto, Grace Church on-the-Hill, ISKCON Hare Krishna Temple, Islamic Foundation of Toronto, Canadian Turkish Islamic Heritage Association Inc., Metropolitan United Church, Periya Shivan Temple, St. George on Yonge Anglican Church, St. Timothy's Anglican Church North Toronto and St. George's Greek Orthodox Church, among many others.

Architects: Current city builders are acknowledged by featuring the studios of AGATHOM Co. (Adam Thom and Associates), Cannon Design, DTAH (du Toit Allsopp Hillier / du Toit Architects Limited) and Diamond Schmitt Architects. The Toronto Society of Architects will have an Architectural and Design Studio Tour which offers a self-directed tour of the above architectural studios in Toronto as well as tours of the studios of Levitt Goodman Architects, Gow Hastings Architects, Paul Raff Studio, ERA Architects Inc., regionalArchitects and Williamson Chong Architects.

Co-Ops: Toronto has a tradition of co-operative communities. The Karma Food Co-Op, Hugh Garner Housing Co-Op and Mountain Equipment Co-Op represent co-ops this year.

Doors Open Toronto has a presence on Facebook, Twitter and foursquare. The event will also have a photo contest, featuring the chance to win one of five LUMIX DMC-GF3X cameras, and will have mobile applications designed by independent programmers, using open data.

More information is available 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, City of Toronto



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