Toronto is a city that’s still being built. This is the theme of this weekend’s Doors Open, an annual opportunity for the public to explore important buildings and sites. While some old favourites – Queen’s Park, the old Don Jail – will open as usual, the 2019 Doors Open also features a number of walking tours, public talks and open houses at architectural studios. This year’s event foregrounds Indigenous architecture, including a Friday-night discussion (Royal Ontario Museum, 6 p.m.) by curators with the UNCEDED exhibition at the Venice Biennale. Otherwise, it’s a chance to explore the city’s built history and its future. Here is what I’m looking forward to:
Walking tour: Women of the Ward
Learn about the Ward, Toronto’s first immigrant neighbourhood, by meeting four women from its history. Myseum Toronto will present dramatizations of the lives of locals, including Chinese-Canadian activist and businessperson Jean Lumb. 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Church of the Holy Trinity, 19 Trinity Square.
As I wrote in 2017, this small hospital “is a place for life.” Casey House cares for people living with HIV/AIDS and the institution has made a huge difference for thousands of Torontonians; its new facility provides a dignified and comfortable place for that to happen. The complex includes a grand 1875 house with an addition by Hariri Pontarini Architects that provides light, greenery and sumptuous stone. (Hariri Pontarini are also opening their studio on Sunday.) Saturday and Sunday, 10-5, 119 Isabella St.
The studios of LGA and AM_A
Among the architecture firms opening their doors, this single space in a Chinatown loft building now houses the established firm LGA and the smaller firm Anya Moryoussef Architect. Architects from each firm will be there to discuss their work, such as LGA’s Stackt Market and Scarborough Civic Centre library. Sunday, 10-5, 310 Spadina Ave.
Junction Craft Brewing “Destructor Building”
This place is an architectural gem with an unlikely history: The complex was designed in the 1930s by city architect J.J. Woolnaugh as a garbage incinerator. Yet, it’s a gorgeously ornate deco structure and now it has new life. Junction Craft Brewing’s space, renovated by PLANT Architect Inc., welcomes visitors for a tour and a beer sample. Sunday, 10-5, 150 Symes Rd.
Seneca Newnham Campus – Odeyto Indigenous Centre
This learning and cultural space is the centre of Indigenous life on this Seneca College campus in North York. Designed by the Indigenous-led firm Two Row Architect along with Gow Hastings Architects, the curvaceous wood-framed building reflects some contemporary thinking about Indigenous architecture. Saturday and Sunday, 10-5, 1750 Finch Ave. E., Room E1401.
Alex Bozikovic is The Globe’s architecture critic and co-author of Toronto Architecture: A City Guide.
The 20th-annual Doors Open Toronto runs May 25 and 26. For more information see toronto.ca.