Doors Open Toronto showcase more than 135 buildings and districts and covers 200-plus years of Toronto's rich architectural history. So where do you start?
Here are six choices for you to enjoy.
Humber Arboretum Centre for Urban Ecology
205 Humber College Boulevard (at Humberline). (416) 675-6622. Open on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. See listing.
This new addition to Doors Open Toronto fuses together nature and technology, modeling environmental sustainability at its finest. Located on the West Humber River, this award-winning LEED Gold certified complex boasts 250 acres of garden areas for the public to enjoy. Since its grand opening in 2007, the site (home to Humber's photography, media arts, landscape and design students) has drawn national and international acclaim from green thumbs and architects alike. Photography is more than encouraged.
Canadian Turkish Islamic Heritage Association Inc.
336 Pape Ave (at Gerrard) (416) 469-2610. Open on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. See listing.
One of the city's oldest mosques, this cornerstone of the Turkish community has served as a place of worship since the early '80s. Mosque leaders will speak to how the community came together to build the mosque, which serves the diverse Muslim population. Turkish desserts will be provided for guests, who are welcomed to tour the mosque and learn more about Islamic practices and Turkish history.
Native Child and Family Services of Toronto
295 College Street (at Yonge) (416) 928-2295. Open Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. See listing.
Aboriginal culture and values are beautifully preserved and presented at the Native Child and Family Services of Toronto building. The front entrance extends an invitation to First Nations traditions, as an Ojibwa drum greets visitors of all walks of life. Complete with a jaw-dropping modern interpretation of First Nation's lodges, this building adds unique historical elements to the downtown core. Spiritual and medicinal practices, as well as traditional pieces of artwork, will also take stage this weekend, as guests will be presented with detailed booklets guiding their tour of the building.
The Boys and Girls Club of East Scarborough
100 Galloway Rd E (at Morningside and Kingston). (416) 281-0262 . Open on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. See listing.
Thirty years ago, this east-end cornerstone was built to engage a growing youth population. Toronto police officer Fred Gregory initially drafted the idea in 1956 to encourage community involvement programs with young locals. After undergoing renovations in 2010, the building is just as vibrant as ever. The updated building has a modern touch, with unusual designs that make a statement as bold as the initiatives offered by the centre.This weekend, the Boys and Girls Club welcomes visitors of all ages to partake in different athletic and artistic activities alongside youth and children that call the centre their own.
Toronto Botanical Garden
777 Lawrence Avenue E (at Leslie) (416) 397-1340. Open Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. See listing.
For the lover of organic farmers' markets, city-sized garden and all things horticulture related, the Toronto Botanical Garden is the perfect place to be this weekend. This city oasis is home to 17 gardens, and a 5,000 square foot glass pavilion, crowned with a stunning green roof. If that doesn't get you, the beehives just might.
1 Meadowcliffe Dr. ( off Kingston east of Brimley). Open on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. See listing.
Celebrated Canadian artist and former President of the Ontario Society of Artists Doris McCarthy spent 75 years creating thousands of paintings. Her former Scarborough Bluffs home, known as Fool's Paradise, served as her studio, and in 1998 was was donated to the Ontario Heritage Trust. Tours led by the OHT will bring visitors across McCarthy's 12-acre estate, while art instructors will provide landscape painting sessions for all to enjoy.