Sunday, May 30, 2010

Doors Open Toronto 2010

What fun!

Woke up early Saturday morning and left around 9:30 hoping to get to our first stop, the Archives of Ontario, by 10 am. It was Hell and gone, at Steeles and Keele, we missed a turn, and got there a few minutes before 11 but it worked out as they had a tour starting at 11. The tour quide was so energetic and knowledgable, looked a bit like Alan Cummings in the movie Circle of Friends.

As we enter, we're greated by a wall with a sampling of photos and documents:

Moving along, we see a photograph found under floorboards from 1912. This was the world's largest photograph at the time, an 18-foot panoramic, and had two shots of Niagara Falls in winter and summer.

This place was really great, I'm glad we went.

As we headed back downtown I knew Toronto had a holocaust memorial and I've wanted to see it for a long time. When you Google "Toronto Holocaust Memorial" though you get this building. We pulled in there, the whole place was shut up tighter than a drum. Luckily this woman happened to be walking past, we asked her, and she advised where to go. The memorial is actually in a park on the south east corner of Bathurst and Sheppard.
Not bad, I'm glad I saw it.

From there it was off to Artworks Wychwood Barns, an old TTC streetcar storage building:

And is now a community greenhouse, amongst other things.
Love this baby pineapple!

Back on the way home with the car, a stopoff at Coach House Press, which used to be a Coach House, and I've always wondered how books were made. I know now. I also saw my friend Sasha there, whom I hadn't seen for a long while, so that was also nice.

Back to home to leave the car, then a quick walk over to the Canadian Music Centre.

This is a place which collects Canadian sheet music and consults with choirs on selections, licences music for Canadian composers, etc.
The guy giving the tour was I think the closest I came all weekend to someone I could actually see myself dating but I worry the constant fascination with classical music would put me off. Or maybe he gets enough of it at work and listens to disco at home???

Up on Sunday morning and we crossed the street to the National Ballet School only to find it was closed on Sunday.
From there a quick walk to the Arts and Letters club.
Now this place isn't something I would have picked but it did have some cool things, I met a friend there who works with the Archives, the stage and main room were quite nice:

The place is like a community centre for artists and writers. They have life drawing, lunches, skits, guest speakers. Could be something to look into when I retire.
From there a subway over to Campbell House museum:

I've walked past this place a million times but I've never gone in. Turns out it is the oldest brick building in Toronto.
Amazing interiors, notice the turquoise bath:

The bed seemed quite small for people that owned a mansion. The guide said they were terrified of drafts and used to draw the curtains on the bed at night. Stuffy!
This picture hung in the room and was sold to Europeans as a painting of Canadians hunting beavers. You can click on the photo to enlarge it. The guide pointed out it's not that accurate, as beavers don't actually live in condos.

The kitchen was really cool:

The guide said something which makes sense but I've never thought of before. They only turn on the oven like once or twice a week. You can't just make a batch of brownies and shove them in, when you turn on the oven you have to have prepared like 4 loaves of bread and then cakes and then cookies, it's an assembly line. You don't go to all the bother of turning it on unless you're really ready to cook.
This was the dry sink:

Plumbing had been invented 30 years before but was so expense only royalty could afford it.

The entrance way:

From there back home for the car and over to Inglenook Community School:

This is an alternative school with classes like "queer studies" and where all the students go out in the community and volunteer every Wednesday rather than go to school. It's only for grade 11 and 12's. The classrooms had couches. I love the idea that people who are true individuals can express themselves in a non-traditional setting and meeting the students and seeing the school was amazing.
As I left I saw this painting:

And asked if it was Rocky and Dr. Frankenfurter.

No comments: