Friday, May 28, 2010


DOORS OPEN TORONTO is this weekend.

I live in the best city in the world: rich in history and tradition and I am SUPER STOKED that once a year the city's most historic buildings fling open their doors to welcome in the fresh spring air and hundreds of eager visitors ---for FREE.

I have been to DOORS OPEN in other Canadian Cities --like Ottawa ( I think it is a fabulous ritual and everyone should adopt something similar to inspire engagement with home and surrounding and a sense of pride ) but never EVER have I been in Toronto during Doors Open here.

Luckily, being the obsessed Torontonian I am, I have spent hundreds of hours rambling throughout some of the city's best neighbourhoods ( Cabbagetown; Liberty Village; Roncesvalles; Swansea (where LM Montgomery lived in Journey's End during the last years of her life); Bloor West Village and the Distillery District ( the largest collection of Victorian Era Architecture in Canada, if not North America and you've seen it in the film Cinderella Man where it was shot).

It is nice, however, to go back to some great haunts and peek at them again.

I intend to visit the following sites this weekend:

Toronto is full of diverse literary stories. From world-famous authors visiting our city ( Twain and Dickens descended upon Toronto) to stories of our own best and brightest ( think Morley Callaghan working alongside Ernest Hemingway at the Toronto Daily Star ), Toronto is world-class.

If you want to learn more about my city's literary connections, read Greg Gatenby's excellent map of all things Literary Toronto in Toronto: A Literary Guide

St. James, Corktown and the St.Lawrence sections of the city are widely represented in Victorian-Era Toronto in Maureen Jennings' bestselling Murdoch Mysteries

I hope you have something similar in your town or city. If not, map out a historic or literary walk of your own!

I often pick a neighbourhood or popular walk, research popular buildings and then try to track them down--- take lots of photos--- drink lots of water and walk for miles. I'll even stop and try a pint at a pub I may never have stumbled upon before.

Next month I leave for a grand vacation in Austria and Switzerland. For now, I am more than happy to be a tourist ( yet again ) in my own town.

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