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UTSC opens its doors for Doors Open Toronto

Guides will bring visitors on an interpretive walk along UTSC's ravine path featuring animals and plants of the area and their importance in the ecosystem as part of Doors Open Toronto. (Photo by Ken Jones)

Toronto’s annual event is one of the world’s largest

The 16th annual Doors Open Toronto returns this weekend, with several University Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) buildings and spaces among the line up of 155 architecturally, culturally and socially significant places chosen for the event.  Toronto’s Doors Open is Canada’s largest and one of the three largest in the world.

On Sunday May 24th, UTSC hosts will give visitors insider access to the century-old Miller Lash House, the Canadian modern architecture icon known as The Andrews Building, and a guided walking tour of the campus’ Ravine Path, one of the 14 walking tours offered across the city and sponsored by U of T.

UTSC’s Ravine Path

Bookended by Morningside Park to the west and Col. Danforth Park to the south, the Highland Creek Ravine recalls the natural history of the University of Toronto’s original 300-acre purchase and the wildlife corridor that extends from Markham to Lake Ontario. Development has been carefully managed to preserve this setting while allowing access for recreation as well as teaching and research on projects that include wildlife protection and conservation, water quality monitoring and recreational opportunities.

UTSC guides will bring visitors on an interpretive walk featuring animals and plants of the area and their importance in the ecosystem—the White Pine, Ontario’s provincial tree, and its importance to British ship building, White Spruce as a food for red squirrels, the Ashes that are under threat, and the Walnuts that indulge in chemical warfare, as well as troublesome invasives, rare species, and the salmon that swim up Highland Creek each fall.

The Miller Lash House
A classic example of the Arts and Crafts Movement, and nestled into the Rouge Valley, the Miller Lash House is a hidden retreat surrounded by hundreds of acres of natural beauty. The house opened in 1913 and was the summer retreat for Toronto lawyer and industrialist Miller Lash and his family. It is one of the first homes in Ontario to have poured concrete walls faced with river stone collected from the Highland Creek bed that meanders by the house. The heavy beams and truss work that support the ceilings and roofs were milled on the property.

Visitors can enjoy the stunning English-style gardens and grounds. Inside, tours of the building will be offered and historic photographs presented.

The Andrews Building

The Highland Creek Valley landscape inspired Australian-born John Andrews to sculpt his bold, megastructural vision for what was originally known as Scarborough College. The building quickly became an international destination for architecture students and architects.  The high-image design branded Scarborough College and became one of Canada’s most important modern buildings, considered by some to be one of the two iconic works of 20th-century Canadian architecture that continue to resonate internationally.  It also propelled Andrews—designer of the CN Tower—to national and international spotlights.  The Globe and Mail’s Alex Bozikovic, talking about the building, says it “…turns concrete into poetry.”

Registration is required for all Walking Tours. View the full Doors Open program here or the U of T Doors Open program here.

© University of Toronto Scarborough