Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Doors Open 2011

Doors Open is always a great time and I usally get to spend it with my mom.
We started out early and went to the Evergreen Youth Shelter place, formerly the Yonge St Mission. Lots of great photos of the mission work during the depression and a tour of the expansive facility. At one point a man joined us and said he had used their services in the past when he was homeless and was now a missionairy and made millions, which he obviously did not.  Also the man giving the tour was great except for a couple points, one when he said "Aren't you the guy who lives down the street from me and is always walking his dog Princess?" and the other when he said "We did a study and found 95% of the people who use our services have been physically or sexually abused and we think the other 5% are lying" which is obviously not true.  People leave home for a number of reasons, mental health issues, lack of respect for authority, tons of issues, so I felt it was irresponsible to quote as statistics things you made up.
From there on to the King Edward Hotel.  Their ballroom had an orchestra which was nice but had fallen into severe disrepair:
I liked the rugged exterior but my mom not so much.
From there we went to Osgoode Hall which was amazing.  Walking in the door I saw someone I know, Paul, who lives in my complex and also volunteers for the archives. The tour was great including court rooms:
And a fantastic library:
I really liked the World War I memorial at the end of the hall.  More memorials should use nude men.
From there across the street to the Canada Life building.  I had wanted to find out what the symbols meant on the beacon on top of the roof.  I knew it had something to do with weather but I had no idea how complex it was:
Green - clear weather
Red - cloudy weather
Flashing red - rain
Flashing white - snow
Also if the lights are running up it's going to get warmer.
If the light are running down it's going to get cooler and if the lights are steady then no change.
Finally day signals are for the balance of the day, night signals are for the following day and the signals are updated four times daily.
Well no wonder I couldn't remember it off the top of my head.  Sheesh!
From the top we had some great views of Osgoode Hall across the street with the two city halls, old and new:
Old city hall again:
From there we took the streetcar to Queen West to see 36 Chambers, the former site of Usher's Grocery store.  Now a Parkdale artist's studio, there wasn't too much to see set up here.  It was cool to see the conveyor belt they used to bring up groceries from the basement into the store, and also the had a photo display set up where a professional took your picture:
I love this shot. I got it framed and put it on my desk at work.
We were next to the Drake Hotel so we stopped in and saw some pastel 3D art with mostly naked ladies.  Then since we were right there I took my mom to the Fred Herzog exhibit and finally my mom wanted to go to the Clothing Show on the CNE grounds.
Not very many men's clothes and no clothes for people that weren't sticks.  My mom browsed the jewelry and I took a photo of a handsome gay fellow painting t-shirts:

Home after a very long day.  Slept well.

Sunday morning we were back up at it again and got to the Flatiron Building a few minutes before it opened at 10 am.  Here it is taken from the King Edward ballroom window:

We went in and heard a great lecture on the history of the building, then got to climb to the top and have a look around.

We were a little early for the next stop on our trip, the Toronto Harbour Commission Building.  We waited about 45 minutes, the line was short as there was a misprint in the Star which said the building was closed on Sunday.

Once we entered we had a great tour and saw a photo from when the building was built right on the water.  As you can see in the photo above the water has since been replaced with landfill.

Apparently the employees used to be able to skate on their lunch hours.  That sounds like the life!

No comments: