Saturday, May 26, 2012

DOTO 2012: Doors Open #Toronto

#Doors_OpenTO is back during the May 27-28, 2012 weekend with over 135 attractions open to the public for free! The range of available places to visit include some tall ships on the waterfront, historical locations and other architectural, socially or culturally significant properties that are usually closed to the public or would normally charge admission.
The DOTO Doors Open Toronto banner flies at the participating attractions
The Pathfinder steering wheel
Welcomed aboard the Empire Sandy

It is an excellent opportunity to view places that you might never had thought you would see, or to visit familiar places that deserve further exploration. See more of DOTO after the jump.

Historic Fort York
Soldier tour guide at Fort York with a flint lock rifle
At Fort York you could tour the fortifications and barracks, see the soldiers and listen to the drum and fife band.
Fort York kitchen historic cooking demonstrations and some tasty samples
Tent encampment goes up in the courtyard for the upcoming Luminato Festival. "The Encampment" is designed by Thom Sokoloski and Jenny-Anne McCowan and features a public participatory installation of 200 tents.

I got a chance to hop aboard tall ships Empire Sandy and Pathfinder and took in War of 1812 points of interest  within historic Fort York, saw the Distillery District, listened to bells and saw the beautiful windows of St James Cathedral.

Historic Distillery District
Gooderham & Worts at the Distillery District

Surviving the years as Toronto grew around the industrial Victorian heritage site the brick filled site has become a beacon for artistic and community connections. The Opera Winfrey Network was back asking questions of willing participants while a magician practiced his craft in a busy pedestrian intersection. You could visit several buildings as part of DOTO 2012 including; milling, distilling and aging equipment, the Cooperage, the firefighting equipment, the bottling and canning operation as well as the malting building.
Visitors to the Distillery District
Australian visitors to the Distillery District

The Pathfinder
Brigantine Pathfinder, a sailing school
Pathfinder is part of a two ship fleet Toronto Brigatine: A tall-ship adventure for kids. "Come aboard as a kid, leave as a sailor." 

Flying signal flags - and a pirates flag

The Empire Sandy
On the cruise tall-ship Empire Sandy
Originally built as a deep sea tug with service during World War II this vessel was converted to a replica 19th century tall ship by Norm Rogers and christened The Empire Sandy. Toronto's largest sailing ship is a charter vessel ready for your next event.

Tall-ship Kajama

The formidable Great Lakes Schooner Company ship named Kajama also helped to promote Toronto Doors Open on the weekend. The ship cruised by with sails up as it headed west in the harbour. Not only could you explore the ship they did take some people out for short cruises.

St James Cathedral
St James Cathedral is a quaint little place, ready for worship and light shines in the building through a series of painted windows. The 12 large bells are played by separate individuals working hard to swing the bells into a clanging melody of beautiful music. The church and the adjacent parkland was much in the news last year when Occupy Toronto took over St James Park.

The many beautiful detailed windows at the Cathedral

The organ pipes
A visitor waits to go up to the bell tower
The spiral staircase to the bell tower
The bells revolve and are hand pulled from these ropes

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