As highlighted in our current “Weekend Roundup,” May 23 and 24 offer perhaps your best chance to really get to know Toronto, by exploring its most hallowed halls (and revered contemporary edifices) as part of the 10th annual Doors Open Toronto. The immensely popular event allows visitors to enter 175 buildings of historical, cultural and architectural significance free of charge. Among this year’s participating structures are the über-hip Drake Hotel, the spectacular BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir—a Hindu temple built from more than 6,000 tons of hand-carved marble, limestone, sandstone and wood—the Mies van der Rohe-designed Toronto Dominion Centre and, open to the public for the first time in more than 30 years, the Don Jail. Adding to the interest: many buildings offer informative guided tours and excellent photo opportunities.
Obviously, one can’t expect to view 175 buildings in a single weekend. Your best course of action? Peruse the full list of Doors Open venues and stay within one or two city districts. Not only will you maximize the number of sites you’re able to see, you’ll get a nice neighbourhood walking tour to boot!