19 June 2015

Doors Open Toronto 2015

Apparently, Toronto runs an event every summer where a lot of historically-relevant buildings that are either closed to the public or cost $$ to get in are actually opened up to the masses. While some places still don't allow photography of any kind, most do and it was an awesome opportunity to work with mood lighting and architectural details.

I didn't end up with a lot of photos that I loved, and even most of these needed to get heavily colour-corrected to account for the awful lighting indoors.

My "hitlist" for the day included about 20 places scattered around downtown Toronto and the Junction. I ended up only getting to 10, after creating a shortlist of my shortlist. Old churches are one of my favourite places to be, even if they're nearly impossible to photograph once there's a few people inside. So while there aren't any photos of the three churches I visited, I have a few photos from a couple of places.

The first photo above is just a restaurant I passed on my way to the Riwoche Buddhist Temple. At 10am, there wasn't much going on, but it was definitely cute. #aesthetic?

Elgin Theatre

Winter Garden Theatre

Winter Garden Theatre
These next photos are from the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatres. It's definitely a beautiful place. The Winter Garden really gives off the A Midsummer Night's Dream vibe and I'm so into it. Elgin, on the other hand, is just layers and layers of intricate carvings.

Osgoode Hall Rotunda

Osgoode Hall Archive Room

Osgoode Hall Library
Finally, my last few photos are from Osgoode Hall. I'm not sure when it was designed and built, but it's definitely got neo-classic style all over it. While the white columns and intricate ceilings of the library are definitely swoon-worthy, one of my favourite things was definitely the archive of casebooks. I think someone told me that the oldest book that they'd found that day was from the late 1700s! I continue to lament the poor condition of so many of those books, and the fact that having so many people just breathing and walking around will cause so much more damage.

Other places I got to visit were the Heliconian Hall, Old City Hall, St. Andrew's Church, Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, and the Toronto Rail Museum (though I only played in the train cars outside). Next year, I really want to go into the lighthouse on the Toronto Islands, as well as a whole bunch of other places. And there's really so many buildings that I wouldn't repeat any!


  1. I was sad when I missed Doors Open this year! I love visiting historical sites and learning about history! I really liked going to Black Creek Pioneer Village when I was younger for Doors Open :)

  2. Those lanterns are so pretty! I've never been to the Elgin Winter Garden Theatre but i've seen so many pretty pictures!

  3. For me, it wasn't so much the history of the place. I love art history and architectural styles, so that's really what I focused on! And I love visiting churches because they're so pretty and because I still feel calm whenever I'm in one.

  4. I really recommend a visit if you get the chance! It's really gorgeous. ♥

  5. Damn Osgoode library and the Elgin + Winter theatres *-*

    UGH, I know what you mean about indoor lighting. Sure, it's nice when you're on-site, but once you find out the colours aren't that great in the photos, you're like "WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY". It's also why I usually end up black and whiting those kinds of photos. I never cared much for Doors Open, but I might participate next year just so I see more of Toronto's architecture.

  6. I thought about turning it B&W, but I love how ~warm~ the yellow light is in that shot.
    If you go, definitely flip through which buildings are participating so you can come up with a list/route. Aaand double check which ones allow photos. :( Someone told me off for trying to take photos in Old City Hall. It was so pretty thoughhhhh. I'm kinda an art/architecture history geek even though I'm awful at it, so all the old buildings = l♥ve