Sunday, May 29th, 2005

Just Lookin'

This weekend was the annual Doors Open event wherein scads of buildings of “architectural, historic or cultural significance” in Toronto open their doors foro free tours to the public. I’d meant to check this out every year since it started but have never gotten around to it. This year, I found the time to check out a couple of nearby buildings, the CBC headquarters, the Ontario College of Art & Design and the Church of the Holy Trinity, which is famous for being where the Cowboy Junkies recorded their seminal The Trinity Session album.

The CBC tour had two components – a CBC radio drama soundstage and a couple of television soundstages. The lineup for the radio one was at least an hour so I opted to just check out the television studios. They showed us the soundstages where they shot The Royal Canadian Air Farce and The Red Green Show – since nothing was in production, they were really just big empty rooms. Which is fair – they let us in but they didn’t really have to entertain us. Similarly, the OCAD building is far more impressive (or at least distinctive) from the outside. Easily one of the most controversial pieces of architecture added to the Toronto skyline in years (I don’t really mind it), the inside is very spartan and utilitarian. It is a classroom, after all. The Church of the Holy Trinity was on my way home, hence my stopping in. It’s a church. I’d like to think they let people in to look around whether it’s Doors Open or not. Still, nice acoustics though.

Because of time and a general lack of planning on my part, I only chose buildings that were close to home. There are other pieces of architecture father afield in this town that I’d like to take a closer look at next year. I’m a little dismayed that neither of T.O.’s city blogs said anything about Doors Open. BlogTO mentions it in passing in the context of Bike Week and Torontoist ignores it completely. Bad show.

I took a handful of photos while looking around. It’s sad that I’ve gotten fairly proficient at taking photos in really dire lighting conditions – ie, concerts – but when it comes to something simple like a building, I’m quite hapless. I really have to learn to use my camera properly.

Also sort of on the topic of getting to know the ins and outs of Toronto – is a very cool site/service that has assembled a wallet-sized guide to the layouts of all 74 subway platforms in the TTC. It points out locations of stairs, elevators and escalators relative to where subways pull into the station so if you’re anal like me, you can optimize wher you get on and off the cars for maximum time efficiency. I actually already do this and it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who thinks about this stuff. The guide is available to download free as a PDF or you can order one of the print versions. There’s also a neat subway station trivia section. Between efforts like this and Spacing magazine’s TTC station buttons, it’s nice to see our much-beloved/maligned transit system getting some love. Just a shame that it’s coming from the private sector and not from the transit commission itself.

Joe Pernice and his brothers from different mothers will be touring their new album Discover A Lovelier You – out June 14 – through Toronto on July 18 at a venue to be determined – probably Lee’s Palace. They always play Lee’s Palace.

And that’s all for today.

np – Son Volt / Trace

By : Frank Yang at 10:09 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. thomaus says:

    Doors Open is one of the best unknown Toronto events. I’ve tried to get to it most of the years they have had it. http://…/ are the photos from some of this year’s stops.

  2. Rachel says:

    Hung over?

  3. jeremyw says:

    Doors Open events are very cool. I did Doors Open Winnipeg three weekends ago. Quite interesting.