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May 11, 2004
5th Anniversary Doors Open Toronto Saturday and Sunday, May 29th and 30th, 2004
  
Over 150 buildings will lay out their welcome mat

The City of Toronto Culture Division is gearing up for the 5th Annual Doors
Open Toronto event. Over 150 buildings will be part of this year's Doors Open
Toronto weekend taking place Saturday, May 29th and Sunday, May 30th, 2004.
Contemporary spaces, architectural gems, historic landmarks, places of faith
and worship and many more sites will open their doors offering visitors a rare
chance to step inside. Admission is FREE! Many of the participating buildings
are not normally open to the public, so this is the opportunity to see Toronto
like never before.

As part of the 5th anniversary celebrations, organizers are putting a spotlight
on post-1945 architecture, thanks to the generous support from the Canada
Council for the Arts. Some contemporary highlights include BMW Toronto, a
spectacular six-storey blue-glass structure featuring $20 million worth of
showrooms, offices and service bays. The Bahen Centre for Information
Technology at the University of Toronto is another modern building new on the
2004 roster. This 400,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art facility for the
education of information technology professionals incorporates multiple green
design elements to reduce energy use, conserve water and enhance indoor air
quality. Other contemporary buildings include The Sharp Centre for Design at
the Ontario College of Art and Design, which hovers 26 metres in the air on 12,
nine-storey-high stilts of multi-coloured steel, along with the Trend House,
one of only 11 homes built in Canada under the 1950s Trend House program,
featuring an original interior. The Toronto-Dominion Centre, built by Mies van
der Rohe and John B. Parkin Associates, will open its Board Room, East and West
Rooms on the 54th Floor of the TD Centre. The TD Centre was Toronto's first
experience of Modern Movement urban design.

There are a variety of buildings that truly reflect the city's diversity. The
Chinese Cultural Centre is on for the second year in a row. Other returning
cultural buildings include the Islamic Foundation of Toronto and the visually
stunning Buddhist shrine room at the Riwoche Tibetan Buddhist Temple,
previously the factory showroom of the Heintzman Piano Company. An exciting new
addition is the Noor Cultural Centre, formerly the Japanese Canadian Cultural
Centre, which has been transformed into an Islamic cultural centre with help
from the original architectural firm, Moriyama & Teshima. The building conveys
a sense of harmony and spirituality that transcends many cultures.

Past favourites opening their doors include Osgoode Hall, which welcomed over
7,600 people in 2003 and Le Royal Meridien King Edward, a century-old landmark
designed by E.J. Lennox. The George Lake Big Band Orchestra performs sounds of
the 1930s and 1940s in the Crystal Ballroom of the hotel, Sunday, 1 - 4 p.m.
Also returning this year is the Carlu, the lavishly restored 7th Floor of
Eaton's College flagship store from the 1930s, an Art Moderne jewel featuring
the jaw-dropping Round Room and Eaton Auditorium. Historic Fort York, the
birthplace of Toronto, will be offering special curators' talks and tours
including the site's 'missing buildings' and a special art installation through
Mercer Union, 'Oasis' by Fabrizio Rivola. The artist will be at the fort during
the Doors Open Toronto weekend.

Montgomery's Inn, Gibson House, Mackenzie House, Scarborough Historical Museum
and Todmorden Mills Heritage Museum and Arts Centre are among the city-run
museums participating. All sites provide tours, talks and/or exhibits.

In its first four years, DOORS OPEN TORONTO attracted close to 500,000
visitors. This popular cultural event creates free access to, heightens
awareness of and generates advocates for our city.

"Doors Open Toronto is an event that should not be missed," says Karen Black,
Manager, Museums & Heritage Services, Culture Division. "This year's special
focus on post-1945 architecture has reinvigorated the program for its 5th
anniversary."

Plan the weekend in advance by logging on to www.doorsopen.org for event
information including a complete list of buildings, descriptions, photos and
maps. NOTE: BUILDING HOURS VARY. Most buildings are open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on
one or both days. Confirm times for each site when planning your route. No
pre-registration or tickets required. Also, the Web site's Tourist Section has
details on special hotel packages and discounts to area theatre, dining and
more. Public event information: 416-338-3888. The official Program Guide will
be published in the Toronto Star on Thursday, May 20, 2004.

The public is invited to attend the Doors Open Toronto kick-off event at the
Royal Ontario Museum (100 Queen's Park) on Friday, May 28, from 4:30 - 9:30
p.m. Admission is free. At 6 p.m. join Jeff Goodes, CBC Radio One host of Fresh
Air, and special guests for an innovative performance by Tafelmusik of
Vivaldi's Four Seasons with a global flavour. At 7:30 p.m. don't miss the
public forum: Imagining Toronto: how do we build a better city?, featuring the
City's former Chief Planner Paul Bedford, architect Brigitte Shim, building
owner (including 401 Richmond and the Gladstone Hotel) Margie Zeidler and
Montreal architect Claude Cormier. The forum will be moderated by the Toronto
Star's Christopher Hume. The Toronto Star Program Guide will be available at
the information table.

Start the Doors Open Toronto weekend at the Information Centre where there will
be Official Program Guides, staff and volunteers on hand to help both days -
Saturday, May 29th and Sunday, May 30th from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. The Information
Centre is located in the Barbara Frum Atrium at the CBC Broadcasting Centre,
250 Front St. W. Or call the Doors Open Toronto telephone hotline,
416-205-2670, operating May 29th and May 30th, for information and directions.

Doors Open Toronto is proud to acknowledge the generous support of the Canada
Council for the Arts and the Province of Ontario and Granite Level corporate
sponsors Taylor Hazell Architects Ltd. and Trump International Hotel & Tower
Toronto. Doors Open Toronto also thanks title sponsor, the Toronto Star and
media sponsors CBC Radio One and CBC Television. Greektown on the Danforth BIA
and North Country Slate, as well as Program Partners, Doors Open Ontario,
Heritage Toronto, Toronto Society of Architects, Harbord Street Association BIA
and Bike Week are gratefully acknowledged for their contributions.

Doors Open Toronto is a Signature Program of the City of Toronto Culture
Division.

Media contacts:
Jane French, Project Manager, Doors Open Toronto, Culture Division, 416-338-0496
Kristen Juschkewitsch, Media Relations, Doors Open Toronto, Culture Division,
416-338-0495



 

 

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