Top five Doors Open venues in the east end

The historic Don Jail — located on the new Bridgepoint Active Healthcare campus — has been restored from a place of incarceration to one of innovation.  Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail

The historic Don Jail — located on the new Bridgepoint Active Healthcare campus — has been restored from a place of incarceration to one of innovation. Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail

Back again for its 16th year, Doors Open Toronto returns this weekend on Saturday May 23 and Sunday May 24. The annual event gives the public a chance to explore inside some of the city's most culturally, historically and socially significant buildings.

In honour of the Pan Am Games, this year's theme — Sports, Recreation and Leisure — features more than 155 venues including a handful participating here on the east side. Here's our pick for the top five Doors Open venues to check out.

Bridgepoint Active Healthcare

Built in 1864 as a reform prison and designed by William Thomas, Bridgepoint has a 150-year history in Riverdale and has recently completed a redevelopment of its site. The new purpose-built hospital facility, which opened its doors in April 2013, connects by a glass bridge to the historic Don Jail, transformed as Bridgepoint’s Administration Building. Free tickets will be given out at 9:40 a.m. same day on a first-come, first serve basis, and visitors will get the chance to explore preserved cells and gallows, as well as the soaring rotunda. 

14 St. Matthews Road
Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

St. Matthew's Clubhouse

The St. Matthews Lawn Bowling Club House was designed by City of Toronto architect Robert McCallum, and built in 1906 south of the Old Don Jail along Gerrard St. In 2010, the club house moved to the south end of Riverdale Park at Broadview Avenue, opposite Langley Avenue.  It's a classic example of early 20th century architecture found in the Riverdale neighbourhood. Visitors are invited to try their hand at vintage bowling balls and tour through the building. Opportunities to engage with local historians on the origins of the Clubhouse and its place as a social and recreation centre in the Riverdale neighbourhood, will be offered. 

450 Broadview Ave.
Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Rock Oasis

The Rock Oasis is an indoor rock climbing and bouldering gym on Carlaw Ave. During Doors Open, visitors can observe experienced climbers and boulderers climbing various walls in the facility and are welcome to try climbing themselves. In order to climb it is necessarily to sign a liability waiver and a parent must be present for youth under 18. Climbing experiences will be on a first come, first served basis. A professional climber will demonstrate lead climbing on the massive overhanging wall at 12 pm and 3 pm.

388 Carlaw Ave.
Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

TTC Greenwood Complex

Opening in March 1965, the 31 acre TTC Greenwood Complex is celebrating 50 years of service. Greenwood Complex is both a rail yard and service shop of subway vehicles on the Bloor-Danforth line. Tour the various workshops within the yard highlighting the major overhaul work and component rebuilds performed on-site to the TTC's fleet. Kids and adults alike will enjoy a train ride through the car wash and the yard, where the trains that operate on the Bloor-Danforth line are stored overnight. 

400 Greenwood Ave.
Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Toronto Fire Station 227

With its grand clock tower serving as a popular landmark in the Beach, Toronto Fire Station 227 dates back to the horse era when it was built in 1905. Although significant interior and exterior renovations have been undertaken over the year, the building still features distinctive presence of stepped gables referred to by architectural historians as crow-step or corbie-step gables. Visitors will see an active fire station and the pumper fire truck when it is not on an emergency call.

1904 Queen St. E
Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.