Doors Open Toronto 2019: New Buildings To Discover

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Ashbridge Estate, By I, SimonP, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2405332
Ashbridge Estate, By I, SimonP, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2405332

Doors Open Toronto is an annual festival that provides free access to public and private buildings in the city. It’s a wonderful way to become a tourist in your own city. Each year, new buildings are added to the roster so there is always something fresh to explore. Below are several of the new buildings on my radar that will be open to the public during Doors Open Toronto 2019:

Ashbridge Estate, By I, SimonP, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2405332
Ashbridge Estate, By I, SimonP, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2405332

Ashbridge Estate

1444 Queen St. E.
Open Saturday, May 25 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., last admittance 4:30 p.m. and Sunday, May 26 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., last admittance 4:30 p.m.

The Jesse Ashbridge House and grounds is significant for its simple Regency design with Neo-classical elements. The original five-bay cottage had a hipped roof and decorated chimneys. The arcaded treillage verandah is still intact, as is the front entrance’s eight panelled door with moulded pilaster casing, the tooled limestone lintels, and six over one double-hung sash windows. In 1900 Elizabeth Ashbridge added a second storey, giving the cottage a Second Empire mansard roof, and in 1920 a two-storey addition to the north wall gave the home its current appearance. The grounds are also home to an urban farm, overseen by Building Roots.

Mercer Union – A Centre for Contemporary Art

1286 Bloor Street West, 416-536-1519
Open Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Mercer Union is a non-profit, artist-run space, presenting exhibitions by diverse Canadian and international artists. Its current space at 1286 Bloor Street West was constructed in 1913 in the Beaux Arts style and originally served as an entertainment complex housing a theatre on the main floor, and billiard and bowling halls on the upper floors. Today, the former cinema now includes Mercer Union’s two large white cube galleries, administrative offices and an outdoor billboard space.

Visitors to Mercer Union can view the current exhibition of two new films by Franco-British artist Beatrice Gibson. The films are approximately 20 minutes and are presented in custom cinema spaces built specifically for the works. Limited seating will be available but there is plenty of standing room in each cinema. The films on view play continuously throughout the day.


stackt

28 Bathurst Street
Open Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., last admittance 5 p.m.

stackt is a culture + community hub made entirely out of shipping containers. The modular space is sustainable and can be easily erected and dismantled. stackt delivers programming and events for the community.

The Nest at Falcon SkyBar at Hotel X Toronto
The Nest at Falcon SkyBar at Hotel X Toronto

Hotel X Toronto, Exhibition Place

111 Princes’ Boulevard, 647-943-9300
Open Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26, last admittance 5 p.m.

Hotel X Toronto is now open at Exhibition Place and features a cinema, screening room, museum, art gallery, 3-level SkyBar, indoor tennis, squash, golf simulator, ping-pong, basketball, children’s play centre, hot yoga studio, spin studio, Pilates Reformer studio, and heated rooftop pool open year round.

Guests visiting Hotel X Toronto during Doors Open Toronto 2019 will be able to access New Fort Hall, a museum, showcasing the foundations of the East Enlisted Men’s Barracks. Guests at Doors Open Toronto will also be able to see the work of photographer Neil Dankoff at Kandy Gallery.

Toronto Humane Society

11 River Street
Open Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Toronto Humane Society is home to over 3,000 animals needing care and support. Additionally, the Toronto Humane Society provides care to another 9,000 animals through their public clinic. The Toronto Humane Society promotes the humane care and protection of all animals while preventing cruelty and suffering and adheres to no kill principles.

What a great opportunity during Doors Open Toronto 2019 to take a tour of the Toronto Humane Society, read to the animals, make toys for the animals in need, enjoy treats from their bake sale stand and more. Tours run every 30 minutes.

First Nations House, University of Toronto

563 Spadina Avenue, 416-978-8227
Open Saturday, May 25, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., last admittance 4:30 p.m. and Sunday, May 26 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., last admittance 4 p.m.

First Nations House has been serving the University of Toronto’s Indigenous community for over 25 years. First Nations House, located in the Borden building, provides culturally relevant services to Indigenous students at the university. They offer learning opportunities for all students to engage with Indigenous communities within the University of Toronto and beyond.

Visitors will be able to view their artwork collection, as well as explore Indigenous knowledge by Indigenous people. They can also learn about the true history of Turtle Island, its colonization, and a future based on mutual respect and sharing of resources for the next generations.


Olga Korper Gallery

17 Morrow Avenue, 416-538-8220
Open Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Morrow complex was originally part of the Canadian Hanson & Van Winkle Company Ltd. that worked with electro-plating and polishing equipment and supplies, electro-chemicals, lacquers and enamels. The Morrow Complex is home to commercial art galleries, Olga Korper Gallery and Christopher Cutts Gallery, custom framer The Gilder, art restorer Restorart, Halkiw & Manning law firm, as well as other businesses and private residences.

Enjoy an exhibition of photographs by American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, presented in conjunction with the CONTACT Photography Festival. Robert Mapplethorpe: The Outsiders, celebrates the relevance of Mapplethorpe’s photographs in the current political climate, exploring strength, vulnerability, beauty and expression and addressing preconceived rules about what it means to be male, to be female and to belong. The show will feature a selection of images including Patti Smith, female bodybuilder Lisa Lyon, male and female nudes and flowers to name a few. Exhibit may not be suitable for children.

Visitors can take self-guided tours of the grounds, and see the beginning of the growing season at the urban farm on site. In the house, visitors can see the main hall and front parlour room.