Five east end buildings to see at Doors Open Toronto

Back again for its 18th year, Doors Open returns to Toronto on Saturday, May 27 and Sunday, May 28. The annual event gives the public a chance to explore inside some of the city's most culturally, historically and socially significant buildings.

Doors Open Toronto 2017 is part of TO Canada with Love, a year-long program of celebrations, commemorations and exhibitions marking Canada's 150th birthday, and features 150 venues. Here's our pick of the top five Doors Open buildings to check out in the east end.


Founded in 1891, the Royal Canadian Bicycle Club dominated bicycle racing, winning the Ontario Dunlop Trophy race nine times. The club first rented space at Dingman's Hall, now the Broadview Hotel. In 1906, a permanent home was built at 131 Broadview Ave., and a rink was added at the back of the clubhouse in 1929 with skating, hockey and curling competing for ice time. Gradually, the ice became used exclusively for curling and in 1953 the club changed its name to the Royal Canadian Curling Club. Visitors will see the exhibits on the history of the club including the Dunlop trophies. As the ice is out for the summer, floor curling will be available for children and adults to try the sport. Curling videos will be shown in the lounge.

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


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.


A perennial favourite of Doors Open, The R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant — named after Toronto's former Commissioner of Public Works — is one of Toronto's most opulent buildings and one of the city's finest examples of Art Deco architecture.. The facility operates 24/7, is environmentally sustainable and cost-efficient, provides clean water for 36 per cent of the city, and has been a national historic civil engineering site since 1992. Explore the architectural features of the two largest buildings at the R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant — the Pump House and the Filter Building — with a self-guided tour.

2701 Queen St. E
Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


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.


Todmorden was once a small industrial community that provided lumber, flour, beer and bricks to the growing city of Toronto. Today, this City of Toronto Heritage Site consists of four in situ structures: two historic houses, the former brewery building, as well as the renovated and fully accessible Papermill Theatre and Gallery. Adjoining the site is a 9.2 hectare wildflower preserve with a walking trail that winds through a number of natural habitats, including upland and bottomland forests, dry and wet meadows, swamp lands and a pond.

67 Pottery Rd.
Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

What buildings do you plan to check out this year? Let us know the in the comments section below.