The prettiest site was Knox College, which is a part of the University of Toronto. I've always wanted to take a peek inside this building; it always looked so majestic when I walked through the University campus. The beautiful architecture inside of the chapel and library was impressive, reminiscent of old European buildings, and the courtyard was absolutely stunning. The chapel still holds Sunday services, open to the public and offers photo permits and rental options.
The coolest site was Patcher Hall and Moose Factory, the home and studio of famed Canadian Artist Charles Pachter. The studio space use to be a Jewish Funeral Home built in 1901. After converting the Funeral Home to the Moose Factory studio space, Patcher then added a new building with living quarters and more studio space in front. This house is my dream home. It has so much character in the decor, art pieces are strewn everywhere, and it has an amazing rooftop patio with a breathtaking view of downtown. Charles Patcher was also on site to answer any questions about his home and artwork. He was also very gracious and signed a postcard I bought featuring a hilarious painting he gifted the Queen of England.
The most interesting site was The Vault at One King West. The old bank vault, which was built in 1913, has been converted into a space that can be rented out for private meetings or parties. The old bank deposit boxes and large vault door are still present and gives this space a very unique appeal.
One of the most historic sites I visited was the old Bank of Upper Canada building, now the home of the My Planet company. It's one of the oldest financial buildings in Toronto (built in 1827-34) and has a long and sordid past. It's actually several buildings connected to make one. What's interesting about this building is the old architectural details have been preserved and is surrounded by a modern workplace. Also, My Planet itself is a cool place to work. There were Foosball tables, a mini bar complete with kegs and beer taps, and a cosy nook converted into a Rockstar play area. I'm wondering if they are hiring.
And the most surprising and informative site was the Hare Krishna Temple. I wasn't planning on visiting this site, but happened to walk by, so I decided to stop in. This is one of the sites I actually participated in the tour. I usually don't do the tours, they usually are too long and drawn out. This tour was great. It was less than 15 minutes, the guide was informative and just gave the main points of the building and the Hare Krishna religion, and there was free food at the end.
Did you attend Doors Open Toronto? What were your favourite sites?
P.s!: Doors Open is an annual event held across Ontario running from May to October. Doors Open Toronto is usually the weekend after Victoria Weekend, but if you are planning to visit another city this summer, check out Doors Open Ontario to see the full schedule for Ontario cities participating.
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