Adventures in architecture @ Doors Open Toronto

It’s Doors Open Toronto weekend here in the Big Smoke, so if you’re in Toronto this is the perfect time to get out and see some amazing architectural sights (and sites) in the city. Most sites are open till 5 p.m., but check the Doors Open Toronto website for details:

I ventured out early this afternoon, heading out on the streetcar to New City Hall for the Faces on Places: Gargoyles and Other Architectural Ornament walking tour. I got there early, so took some time to grab a street dog from a vendor just outside in Nathan Philips Square, and have a wander around the City Hall green roof and make a pit stop before making my way to the lobby.

The 1:30 p.m. tour was already full! And the extra tour that guide Terry Murray arranged to do at 3:30 p.m. was already filled with waiting list folks. This meant I was S.O.L. for today (and I won’t be able to make it out tomorrow, so that’s a shame). On the upside, it means that this is an extremely popular tour this year, so if you’re thinking of checking it out tomorrow (Sun, May 27), you’d best get there early and get yourself signed up.

Roof of the stairwell near entrance of rooftop space
Gathering area on rooftop
Rooftop sweat lodge – exterior
Rooftop sweat lodge – interior
Self-care structure near the lobby – interior detail
Waterfall near the lobby
Words of greeting & welcome in various native languages – down the hall from the lobby

The other space I really wanted to see was Native Child and Family Services of Toronto (30 College St.), which the organization moved into in 2008. The building incorporates the four elements in such a way that reflects native culture in a non-stereotypical way – and it is modern architecture at its most gorgeous. The organization hosts suggested starting on the rooftop, then making our way down. This was an excellent idea and I think I’d like to just show instead of tell.

Check them out here:


Author: life with more cowbell

Arts/culture social bloggerfly & Elwood P. Dowd disciple. Likes playing with words. A lot. Toronto

2 thoughts on “Adventures in architecture @ Doors Open Toronto”

  1. Hi – nice pix. I’m sorry you missed out on the gargoyle tour(s). We just didn’t know it was going to be so popular. The level of interest was gratifying – overwhelming actually – but I felt bad that so many people were disappointed. I’m going to suggest if they want to repeat the tour next year, that we plan for two each day (one in the morning and one in the afternoon – the two back-to-back just about did me in!). Thanks for your interest – and I’m sorry you were disappointed.

    1. Hi Terry – Thanks! I would have come back out for today’s tour, but have a prior commitment. That would be great if Doors Open Toronto could do the gargoyle tours again next year – I’ll be sure to look out for it.

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