Sunday, 26 May 2013

Doors Open Toronto [city adventures]

My husband and I are big into having fun, adventurous, and cheap family days. One of our favourite ways to enjoy family time is during the Doors Open program.

{the basic idea behind Doors Open is that various buildings in a city or town open their doors to the public for the weekend. People from all over Ontario drive to visit some fantastic historic sites, all for free}

Today we checked out Toronto's Doors Open. In my honest opinion, I was a bit disappointed. Toronto is not the ideal destination for Doors Open for a growing family.

>> parking is expensive. Even on a Sunday, we paid $7
>> traffic is bad
>> there were way too many people, which made visiting sites difficult. Some places required up to an hour wait. Don't ask about the time we waited in line for 30 minutes outdoors, only to be taken to a basement to wait an unforeseen amount with no way of getting out. I may have had a bit of a panic attack and used my baby as a reason to request the elevator to take us out of there.
>> the city is huge, and there were over 100 different sites to choose from. It made visiting even a few overwhelming. Most of the places we checked out also had big tours, rather than a self-guided tour.

Overall, if you do choose to attend Doors Open Toronto, I would recommend planning in advance. Choose one or two sites if you have a young family. I didn't realize until later that Black Creek Pioneer Village was open to the public, and we would have done that instead if we'd known.

Even though the day didn't end up how I'd hoped, I had so much fun just being with my family. I've also started keeping the pamphlets from each site we visit and writing little notes about what we saw and funny anecdotes. I plan on keeping them in a shoebox for Penelope. That way she can't say we never took her anywhere!

Enoch Turner Schoolhouse (1848)

Enoch Turner Schoolhouse (1848)

Little Trinity Anglican Church (1843)

waiting in the epic line

Old City Hall (1899)

Old City Hall (1899)

Abe Lincoln

Shortly after taking a picture with Abe Lincoln at Dundas Square a middle-aged woman behind me said to her other middle-aged friend, "Abraham Lincoln was from a long time ago. That's not the real guy, he's just dressed up like him."

Uhmmm. Yeah.

How did you spend your weekend?

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