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Leslie Barns, other transportation sites,
open doors for Doors Open, May 28, 29



Several transit-related sites are open to the public Saturday, May 28 and Sunday, May 29 during Doors Open Toronto, the one weekend, once a year, when more than 130 buildings of architectural, historic, cultural and social significance open their doors to the public for a city-wide celebration.

The City of Toronto program allows visitors free access to look inside properties that are usually not open to the public.

The TTC is participating in the event at just one site — the new Leslie Barns streetcar storage and maintenance site — but other venues that have played significant roles in Toronto’s public transit and transportation history are also opening their doors.


Toronto Transit Commission


Leslie Barns

1165 Lake Shore Boulevard East

Open — Saturday, May 28: from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Last admittance: 4:30 p.m.

Leslie_Barns_300px.jpg> Staff of the TTC’s new 2415.47-square-metre (26,000-square-foot) streetcar maintenance and storage facility repair and maintain the TTC’s new fleet of streetcars. The structure includes decorative walls beside greenery to reduce noise and a vibrant ‘green roof’ that is one of the largest in the city.

You can take a tour of the facility on a new streetcar. Go through the car wash and maintenance bays to see how the cars are kept clean and in working condition. Check out the evolution of streetcars in the city through the interactive�TTC vehicle display. Families can participate in children’s activities, listen to music and buy refreshments at the barbecue to support the United Way.

The chair of the Toronto Transit Commission, Councillor Josh Colle and the Member of the Provincial Parliament for Beaches - East York, Arthur Potts, will officially open the state-of-the-art facility. Getting there by public transit

  • TTC buses operating along the 83 Jones route to Leslie Street and Lake Shore Boulevard. Cross at the signals to the southeast corner, then walk south to the main entrance.

Other transportation- or transit-related sites


Artscape Wychwood Barns

601 Christie Street

Open — Saturday, May 28: from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Last admittance: 4 p.m. Sunday, May 29: from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Last admittance: 4 p.m.

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An excellent example of early 20th century industrial architecture, the City of Toronto built the former Wychwood streetcar barns between 1913 and 1921. The barns were the hub of the City-owned Toronto Civic Railway. From 1921 to 1978, it was one of the TTC’s seven carhouses. Since 2001, Artscape, in partnership with the City, has redeveloped the facility into the Artscape Wychwood Barns - a multifaceted community centre that brings together arts and culture, environmental leadership, heritage preservation, urban agriculture and affordable housing.

Open since 2008, Artscape Wychwood Barns is now home to 26 artist live/work spaces, programming and administrative facilities for 14 not-for-profit organizations, indoor and outdoor growing areas, a community-run gallery and a 713.5-square-metre (7,680-square foot) “Covered Street” for farmers markets, art exhibitions, festivals and events. The facility embraces environmentally sustainable design and was the first designated heritage site in Canada to seek LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Canada certification.

Throughout the weekend, Artscape Wychwood Barns artists, organizations and the Community Gallery will open their doors to visitors. Self-guided tours are available all weekend.

Getting there by public transit

  • TTC buses operating along the 126 Christie route from Christie or St Clair West Stations to Benson Avenue. Walk west one block.
  • TTC streetcars operating along the 512 St. Clair route from St Clair or St Clair West Stations to Wychwood Avenue. Walk three blocks south.

From the Transit Toronto archives, read:


DeRAIL

1900 Dundas Street West

Open — Saturday, May 28: from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Last admittance: 4 p.m. Sunday, May 29: from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Last admittance: 4 p.m. One-hour tours: 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

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The West Toronto Railpath is a 2.4-kilometre (1.5-mile) active mobility route for cycling, jogging, and walking in the Lower Junction beside the active UP Express and GO Transit train corridor. The linear park — on an abandoned railway bed — supports a growing community of year-round users.

DeRAIL launches as a new platform for contemporary art and architecture in the vibrant landscape of the railpath. For its opening commission, DeRAIL presents Jason Logan of Toronto Ink Company. Educational, playful and participatory, his work draws attention to biodiversity and the inherent colours of the railpath and celebrates new ways of understanding a familiar place beyond its usual functionality. Landscape architect Victoria Taylor and designer Gelareh Saadapajouh curate DeRAIL.

Enter from Dundas Street West at Sterling Road, the southernmost point of the West Toronto Railpath.

Getting there by public transit

  • TTC streetcars operating along the 505 Dundas and 506 Carlton routes to Dundas Street West at Sterling Road.

Photo by Gelareh Saadatpajouh.


John Street Roundhouse - Toronto Historical Railway Society

255 Bremner Boulevard.

Open: Saturday, May 28, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Sunday, May 29, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

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This national historic site is a low semi-circular brick structure built to accommodate railway engines on a massive turntable. The Toronto Railway Historical Association operates **The Toronto Railway Museum in stalls 15, 16 and 17 of the former Canadian Pacific Railway John Street Roundhouse and in Roundhouse Park. The Museum displays locomotives, rolling stock and artifacts. The association has refurbished the three stalls so that it can repair locomotives and cars.

Visitors can experience the Railway Village, Cabin D, the 1896 interlocking tower, Don Station — an 1896 CPR station — Canadian National Railway steam locomotive #6213, a real locomotive simulator, a miniature train in the park and the exhibit of railway artifacts.

Getting there by public transit

  • TTC subway trains operating along the 1 Yonge - University line or GO Transit trains and buses to Union Station. Walk south along York Street and then west along Bremner Boulevard.

or

  • TTC streetcars operating along the 509 Harbourfront or 510 **Spadina routes to Lower Simcoe Street. Walk north to Bremner Boulevard.

John Street Roundhouse - Steam Whistle Brewing

255 Bremner Boulevard.

Open: Saturday, May 28, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Sunday, May 29, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

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The Canadian Pacific Railway’s former John Street Roundhouse, now home of Steam Whistle Brewing, is steps from the CN Tower. The CPR build the roundhouse in 1929. It originally served more than 50 locomotives a day from Union Station. At its centre, a rotating turntable moved trains into bays for repair. The roundhouse was the first to use a new clean-air and energy conservation system, “the direct steaming system”, which improved train maintenance, fuel consumption and working conditions. The ‘John Street Polish’ was a term for the renowned gleam of the mighty engines that rolled out from here.

Over the decades, passenger rail service declined and the facility closed in 1988. In 1999, Steam Whistle Brewing breathed new life into the building, renovating with an eye to preserve the original post and beam construction. The brewery opened its doors to the public as part of Doors Open Toronto 2000. Inside are the Brewery’s manufacturing facilities and a retail store / gallery and events venue. The building’s exterior walls are almost entirely made up of multi-paned windows, filling the vaulted 30-foot interior with natural light. The original Douglas fir posts support the sloped cedar roof. Throughout the roundhouse, catwalks and exposed brick retain the feel of the building’s original use.

Tours highlight the building’s history as a rail facility and its adaptive re-use as a brewery and event venue. The Toronto Railway Historical Association will host Doors Open Toronto at the Roundhouse. Refreshments for sale and musical entertainment on the brewery’s patio.

Getting there by public transit

  • TTC subway trains operating along the 1 Yonge - University line or GO Transit trains and buses to Union Station. Walk south along Bay or York Street and then west along Bremner Boulevard.

or

  • TTC streetcars operating along the 509 Harbourfront or 510 **Spadina routes to Lower Simcoe Street. Walk north to Bremner Boulevard.

[Lambton House]

Lambton House

4066 Old Dundas Street

Open — Saturday, May 28: from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Last admittance: 4 p.m. Sunday, May 29: from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Last admittance: 4 p.m.

Lambton_House_200x200.jpg

Originally a stagecoach stop on the old Toronto-to-Dundas Highway (the Weller Stage Coach would pull up to it to deliver the Royal Mail), the hotel also has a public transit association. Streetcars on the former Toronto Suburban Railway Company’s Lambton carline ended their trips near the hotel in Lambton Park. From 1917 until 1935, they could also wait in the hotel for the next interurban radial streetcar to Guelph.

A mid-Victorian two-story red brick hotel with yellow coins and diamond inserts, Lambton House has a two-story wooden veranda with white trillage. The interior has the original hall and stairs, built for Sir William P. Howland, later Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. To the right of the entrance is the entrance to the men’s beverage room with its two fireplaces and to the left is the entry to the smaller parlour room heated with a single fireplace. Most of the doors to the travellers’ rooms on the second floor are original, as is the exposed pine floor in one room. The second floor hall is offset with three front rooms to the east and one to the west of the door opening onto the upper veranda. A door gives access to this feature. This is the last remaining public building from Lambton Mills, and also from the historic milling period on the lower Humber River.

A classic William Tyrrell design, it was built for Father of Confederation Sir William P. Howland and his brothers and served as a mid-point stagecoach and Royal Mail stop on the Dundas Hwy. Originally, it was an L-shaped centre plan, two-storey red brick building with white coins and decorative diamond inserts. The floor of the first level veranda extends on either side of the entrance steps, providing two small and convenient roadside platforms at stirrup height for mounting a horse or bicycle. A course of saw-tooth brick work is a Tyrrell trademark feature easily viewed from the second floor wooden veranda covering the front of the building. The drive shed roof line is visible on the east wall.

Visitors can enjoy a guided tour of the building and ask the local historian on-site for information about the house and its former inhabitants. See historic displays about Lambton Historic Hotel and the Village of Lambton Mills, including Home Smith’s re-purposing of the Mill as an entertainment centre. You can also view videos about Hurricane Hazel, the architectural features and restoration of Lambton House and of the district. Outside the building, you can experience the flora of the neighbouring Humber River - Canada’s 26th Heritage River - in the wildflower specimen garden.


Getting there by public transit:

  • East- and westbound buses operating along the 30 Lambton route to Dundas Street West and Humber Hill Avenue walk south to Old Dundas Street and then west two blocks.
  • Northbound buses operating along the 55 Warren Park route to Lundy Avenue at Warren Crescent. Walk one block north along Lundy to Old Dundas, then west.

From the “Old Time Trains” site:

  • A history of radial and streetcar lines in the Junction, including a history of the Toronto Suburban Railway and its Lambton and Guelph lines, by Raymond L. Kennedy, here.