Doors Open Toronto is back for the first time since 2019. Explore more than 100 of Toronto’s most notable buildings and rediscover our city in a new way, all for FREE. You can also dig deeper into Toronto’s architectural legacy with engaging tours, an online film series and other virtual experiences.
Many favourite family spots are on the list of available venues. As always, for the younger set, a trip to a fire station is a popular choice.
Family-friendly locations and activities include:
Museums & History
- Toronto History Museums — It was recently announced that these museums now offer free admission, permanently! Find out more here.
- Aga Khan Museum — Despite its location in the bustling Eglinton & DVP area, the Aga Khan Museum has a quiet stillness with its modern yet classic design. During Doors Open, enjoy special tours and activities, as well as performances throughout the Museum and Park.
- Bata Shoe Museum — Visit all the public areas of the museum, including exhibits and museum’s newest exhibition, “Future Now: Virtual Sneakers to Cutting-Edge Kicks.”
- Black Creek Pioneer Village — While exploring the Village, visitors go beyond the heritage buildings, historical gardens, farmyard animals and exhibits to encounter the past and discover how it relates to our present.
- Campbell House Museum — This year, Campbell House is 200 years old! Unsurprisingly, it is the oldest surviving building from the Town of York and an outstanding example of Georgian architecture.
- Enoch Turner Schoolhouse — This small Gothic Revival schoolhouse opened in 1849 and was the first free school in Toronto.
- Lambton House — Visit the only public building remaining from the milling era on the Lower Humber River. There will also be morning and afternoon live veranda concerts.
- Royal Ontario Museum — During Doors Open, visitors will have free access to the Daphne Cockwell Gallery, the Weston Entrance and the iconic Rotunda. (Paid admission required to see the rest of ROM.)
- Scadding Cabin — Visit Toronto’s oldest surviving building, built in 1794 for John Scadding, assistant to Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe.
- Toronto Railway Museum — Join a guided tour or do a self-guided audio tour. You can also explore a rolling stock, locomotives and model railway showcase. Or, try your hand at driving a locomotive yourself on the simulator! (Note: Masks and proof of vaccination required)
- Bay Lower Subway Station — This decommissioned subway station is not only used for emergency training but has also been featured in numerous films, TV shows and music videos. Films include Suicide Squad, Total Recall and Resident Evil.
- R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant — This picturesque art deco building set on Lake Ontario in the east of the Beach neighbourhood may look familiar, as it shows up regularly as a backdrop in film & TV productions. However, the R.C. Harris also still acts as the largest of the City’s four water treatment plants.
- Stackt Market — Designed and built out of shipping containers, stackt is an ever-evolving cultural marketplace featuring a mix of onsite shops, a brewery, art installations and container murals.
Arts & Media
- ArtworxTO Hubs — Toronto Year of Public Art’s ArtworxTO Hubs are spaces for artistic and community activity led by the next generation of curators, collectives, and artists. Hubs North is located at Downsview Park plus three more at Union Station, Cloverdale Mall and Scarborough Town Centre.
- Artscape Wychwood Barns — Artscape Wychwood Barns hosts the weekly Farmers’ Market, and an Arts Market on Sunday.
- Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre — During Doors Open Toronto, visitors can bask in the gilded elegance of this magnificent National Historic Site, such as the leafy ceiling of the Winter Garden Theatre, seven storeys above the Elgin.
- Meridian Arts Centre — The 2022 Doors Open theme of renewal is explored in this family-friendly exploration of the arts. Take a guided tour through the building and explore areas that are rarely accessible to the general public, including backstage spaces.
- TIFF Bell Lightbox — Join a behind-the-scenes tour of multi-use space that hosts the Toronto International Film Festival and participate in artist-led activities.
- UrbanArts — Originally a Transportation Services sign shop, this site has been transformed into a bustling community arts centre. Explore the roots of Toronto’s Hip-Hop music scene through dance and live music performances.
- The ZoomerPlex — Tour the The ZoomerPlex, a 2.6-acre media, event and production complex in Liberty Village, including the MZTV Museum of Television.
- Legislative Assembly of Ontario — Visitors enjoy numerous exhibits featuring parliamentary history and art collections on a self-guided tour that includes the Legislative Chamber. Plus, an outdoor scavenger hunts for kids will be available!
- Toronto City Hall — Tour Toronto City Hall to see the Mayor’s Office and Council Chambers and learn more about how our city is run. Outside, Nathan Phillips Square hosts visitors with a hub of exhibits, plus live music and family-friendly activities.
- Toronto Humane Society — Explore Toronto Humane Society on a guided tour by knowledgeable volunteers. Bring a camera and take photos of their adoptable animals and learn about what goes on behind the scenes. (Note: Proof of vaccination required)
- Argonaut Rowing Club — Try out a free rowing lesson on Lake Ontario! (Advance reservation required here.)
- The Bentway — The Bentway is located under the Gardiner Expressway on the lands of Fort York National Historic Site. During Doors Open, it launches its summer programming that takes the street as its subject.
- Children’s Garden and Teaching Kitchen — In the south end of High Park, visitors can learn about the various green technologies and features that were incorporated into the building.
- Guild Park & Gardens — Located in Scarborough, Guild Park is home to architectural features preserved from buildings that were demolished in downtown Toronto.
- The Ismaili Centre — Situated (together with the Aga Khan Museum) within a 6.8-hectare landscaped park, it includes a place of prayer (Jamatkhana) for the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslim community as well as spaces for cultural activities.
- #131 (Yonge Street, Toronto)
- #231 (Markham Road, Scarborough)
- #334 (Queens Quay West, Toronto)
- #415 (Kipling Avenue, Etobicoke)
Doors Open Toronto
When: May 28—29, 2022
Time: 10:00am — 5:00pm
Where: Various locations around Toronto
Looking for more Freebies & Cheapies in Toronto? Find them here!