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March 8, 2012
Doors Open Toronto unlocks how the city built its character
Doors Open Toronto unlocks how the city built its character

Doors Open Toronto is a popular, annual, city-wide, weekend celebration that features free access to nearly 135 architecturally, historically, culturally and socially significant buildings. This year's 13th annual event will focus on "200 years of building the urban city" on Saturday, May 26 and Sunday May 27.

Prominent independent schools like Havergal College, Upper Canada College and De La Salle College "Oaklands" will be open to the public alongside historic venues like the Arts and Letters Club, the Old Firehall Theatre and the recently renovated Bloor Cinema. Doors Open Toronto will also give the public a rare look inside famed Canadian painter Doris McCarthy's private home in Scarborough, which she called "Fools Paradise".

Many of this year's locations were selected for the stories they have to tell the public about the history of Toronto, the personalities who built them and the communities that reside within them. As part of commemorating the War of 1812 Bicentennial, Doors Open Toronto will reveal in an engaging and interactive way how and who built the Toronto of today.

Visitors will also be able to see some of Canada's best heraldic stained glass and the only Canadian church with a double hammerbeam roof - at the Cathedral of St. Alban the Martyr. This Anglican church is now part of Royal St. George's College. It is not used as a public church so it is seldom open to the public. Due to a recent fire, the church's wooden ceilings, and much of its interior woodwork, have been replaced.

In addition to rare access to a bank vault and a Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) laboratory, popular buildings featured again this year include, the R.C. Harris Water Filtration Plant, MaRS Discovery District, the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre, Osgoode Hall, Fort York National Historic Site, Old City Hall and Toronto City Hall.

Doors Open Toronto has attracted more than two million visitors since it began. Toronto was the first North American city to launch a Doors Open event and has advised similar programs like Doors Open Ontario and Open House New York. Doors Open Toronto is produced by the City of Toronto and sponsored by the Toronto Star. Media sponsor: Citytv and OMNI Television. A complete list of venues for 2012 will be released on May 1. More information is available at

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
Communications Coordinator



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