Doors Open

Yesterday Blee and I did a whirlwind tour of a couple buildings on this year’s Toronto Doors Open program – the new George Brown College Chef School; Commerce Court North and the Cathedral Church of St. James, which is today Canada’s highest spired church, and was first established in what was then York (now Toronto) way back in 1797.

Doors Open is now a national phenomenon which allows citizens free access to a bevy of buildings of every ilk in major Canadian cities (often including buildings that normally do not permit public access – our visit to the TTC Ghost Station last year during Nuit Blanche, for example).

1) George Brown Chef School: the new restaurant on the ground floor, a training ground for up-and-coming chefs to replace Seigfried’s; 2) a classroom upstairs in the renovated 1914 former paint factory

3) the spire of St. James, complete with interfering streetcar wires; 4) the Chancel and High Altar

5) part of the organ and its 5000 pipes; 6) some of the exquisite stained glass windows

7 & 8) the gorgeous interior of Commerce Court North with its wonderful ceiling

9) the ceiling reminds me of the interior of The Dome of the Rock (Quabbat as-Sakhrah) in Jerusalem

As a quick aside here, I spoke some time ago about my stint with Harvard University digging at the archaeological site of Tel-beth Shemesh back in 1993 (see: 8 May 2006 post). I often headed into Jerusalem on weekends and visited the Temple Mount (Haram es-Sharif). To this day I will never forget first entering The Dome of Rock and literally being overcome by its staggering beauty. So much so that I in fact cried when I entered and saw not only the famous rock it houses (reputedly where Abraham prepared to sacrifice Isaac and where Mohammed ascended to heaven on his winged horse with the Angel Gabriel at his side) but its magnificent ceiling. It actually took my breath away. Should you ever have the opportunity to visit, take that chance.

Blee and I also visited St. Lawrence Market and lunched al fresco in the park to the west of the north market. Heading down to St. James we came across the latest – strangest – art installation going into the wee art park at King/Church … this gigantic mushroom.

10 & 11) the gigantic mushroom begins to take shape, previously it was a crazy spider’s web

12) inside the North Market yesterday; 13) a perfect day for lunch in the park

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7 Responses to Doors Open

  1. That’s really cool. Hmm sounds like you learned a lot and had a fun experience. :]

  2. youniversl says:

    the mushroom, oh.   Oh!, you mean the mushroom with the large brown speckled top?  Well, sure;  I mean, whatever gets the job done.  You know, the NSA doesn’t want its junk just hanging out anywhere, and it’s nice to see a little aesthetic sense of humor.  And anyway, you’d be amazed at the amount of electronic pickup technology you can fit in one of those mushroom domes.    BTW, if you’re travelling in France or Turkey, or, well almost anywhere this summer, and you see another one of those mushroom thing-ies, you might want to power down your cell phone….. and your laptop……. and maybe put on some dark glasses and kind of speak down toward the ground…..

  3. ElusiveWords says:

    Grr.. I missed it again this year. I also missed out on Madonna tickets. *snort, grumble*The mushroom building looks so intriguing.

  4. christao408 says:

    What a fascinating program.  Wish there was something like that here in BKK, as there are some great buildings that are not open to the public but are gorgeous examples of neo-colonial architecture in a country that was never colonized.

  5. that mushroom is AWESOME!!!

  6. I missed it this year – weather was good too.The church is very nice. and ya, last year i went to bay/ghost station which was the most popular. Was the turnout good this year?

  7. Fatcat723 says:

    Quite a tour. I like the idea of the open house for cameras. There is a walking tour of some of the more spectacular homes in the area here. I have been on it twice. Went to the farmers market this morning –yummy fresh fruits and veggies.

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