One weekend a year, dozens of sites open their doors for Doors Open Toronto, a city-wide celebration recognized as one of Toronto’s most culturally significant events. The City of Toronto is excited to work with the community to showcase their sites to residents and visitors. This year, indoor, outdoor and virtual Doors Open experiences will be included in the program.

Site consideration for 2022 has now closed. Sign up for the Celebrate Toronto eNewsletter to receive email updates about all City-run festivals and events, including Doors Open Toronto.

Site Criteria

Preference will be given to sites that meet the following criteria:

  • Sites that are not usually open to the public or have areas not usually open to the public, but have some significant architectural features and/or have historical, social, or cultural significance to the city
  • Sites that are open to the public, but have some significant architectural features and/or have historical, social, or cultural significance to the city (ex: churches, banquet halls, theatres)
  • Sites that can commit to opening their doors for two full days, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Sites that are celebrating significant anniversaries
  • Sites recognized by heritage, urban design and/or architectural awards
  • Sites with significant original interior features and/or successful adaptive reuse features
  • Sites that feature contemporary design excellence and/or innovative green/sustainable/LEED elements
  • Sites in destination clusters (several venues in one area)
  • Sites representing the cultural diversity of Toronto
  • Sites located throughout Toronto, including Scarborough, North York, Etobicoke and East York, as well as downtown
  • Sites that can demonstrate enhanced or thematic programming

Theme for Doors Open Toronto 2022: Renewal

The world is emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic while simultaneously awakening to deep-seated social injustices, cultural imbalances and environmental inequity. How do we “build back better”? How do we create a community that is truly equitable, diverse and inclusive? How do we renew our personal relationships with institutional and economic structures, and how will we harness our built environments to realize a just and sustainable future?

How has your site renewed, and how will you build upon your relationships with the community you serve?

Developed as a millennium project in 2000, Doors Open Toronto has attracted more than two million visits since its inception. People of all ages and backgrounds have had the opportunity to learn about Toronto’s history, become involved, and celebrate Toronto’s built heritage for free!

Toronto was the first North American city to offer a Doors Open program, and has inspired similar events across the continent. Many participants organize guided tours, exhibits, displays and activities to enrich the visitor experience.

In 2002, inspired by the successful Toronto program, the Ontario Heritage Foundation (now the Ontario Heritage Trust) launched Doors Open Ontario.

Doors Open International

The inspiration for Doors Open Toronto came from Europe. France was the first country to launch its Doors Open program in 1984, followed by Glasgow in 1990. Currently, 48 European countries participate every September during European Heritage Month. In addition, Australia and the United States have also joined the highly successful Doors Open movement.