Six east end buildings to see at Doors Open Toronto

Back again for its 19th year, Doors Open returns to Toronto over the weekend of May 26-27. The annual event gives the public a chance to explore inside some of the city's most culturally, historically and socially significant buildings.

This year, Doors Open Toronto shines a spotlight on the city’s film and television industry. Visit historic cinemas, film and television studios, post-production houses, digital media studios, artist-run centres as well as buildings that have been featured in film and television.

Here's our pick of Doors Open buildings to check out in the east end.


This historic theatre was built in 1914 and was originally called the King's Royal Theatre. It soon became the Classic Theatre and has served the community as a public theatre, cinema, and cultural hub for over 100 years. Now known as The Redwood the building has been reborn as a theatre, mixed-use open performance space, cinema, and technology hub. It remains one of Toronto's most original independent entertainment centres and meeting spaces for the community.

1300 Gerrard St. E
Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.


Shaftesbury is an award-winning creator and producer of original content for TV, film, digital, and brands. The head office, a 10,000 square foot turn-of-the-century warehouse space in the city's ever-expanding Studio District, features an indoor park under an impressive clerestory and reclaimed shipping containers that have found new life as meeting rooms. A multi-functional office, studio, and event venue designed to inspire, encourage collaboration, and foster creativity, the space also features artwork and larger-than-life props from some of Shaftesbury's best known TV series including "Murdoch Mysteries", "Life with Derek", "ReGenesis", and "The Listener". Its current slate includes 12 seasons of Canada's #1 drama "Murdoch Mysteries", 2 seasons of "Frankie Drake Mysteries", two seasons of thriller series "Slasher", and global phenomenon "Carmilla".

18 Logan Ave. 
Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.


The Fox opened in 1914 as the 'Pastime Theatre', built and owned by Arthur Brooks Webster. After less than a year, the name was changed to the 'Prince Edward', the name it would use until 1937, when it was changed to the Fox Theatre. A stained glass panel with the Prince Edward name, over the doorway from the lobby, remains from the Prince Edward period. It is the second oldest movie cinema in Toronto after the Revue Cinema, which opened in 1912.

2236 Queen St. E
Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.


Built in 1905, Filmport Studio is a pioneer in the emerging film industry of Toronto. Filmport has housed and helped facilitate countless productions, enabling the growth of many small and large scale local productions as well as major Hollywood efforts. This impressive facility is equipped with two 10,000 sq ft active sound-proofed stages and executive office spaces housed in a handsome building with the architectural charm to tie it all together.

65 Heward Ave. 
Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.


Originally built by the Standard Bank of Canada in 1913, the neoclassical bank building at 324 Broadview has seen many uses, from the Saint George Romanian Orthodox Church to retail shops and restaurants for the East Chinatown community. Today it is home to the offices of Building Arts Architects, after an extensive renovation in 2014 that restored the street-front façade by removing layers of paint, signage and dirt. Preserving the integrity of the masonry and stonework, Building Arts restored the original detailed wood trim, and added operating custom wood windows designed to match the original pattern. Inside, existing historic masonry and steel beams are exposed and contrasted with modern design elements. Solid timber and steel details speak to the design sensitivity and use of natural materials that exemplify the design ambitions of Building Arts Architects.

324 Broadview Ave.
Sunday, 10 a.m. - 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. - 4 p.m.

Visit Doors Open Toronto for more information and a full listing of buildings taking part in this year's event. 

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