Discovering North York as a Student: Doors Open Toronto 2017

Posted by Rebecca Denyer on June 2, 2017

Goings-On around York | Inside Perspectives | Journey to the Centre of York

On May 28 and 29, Toronto celebrated its annual Doors Open Toronto event where more than 150 landmark buildings citywide hosted free tours for incoming visitors.

image of Doors Open sign in front of Archives building

Archives of Toronto sign at York University with the Doors Open event flag hanging underneath.

As a student at York University, I enjoy discovering new locations on campus. Doors Open Toronto gave me the opportunity to explore new and old buildings such as the York University Subway Station, the Archives of Ontario, the Bergeron Centre and the Aviva Centre.

York University Subway Station

I started off the day attending a tour of the long-awaited subway station on campus! The new York University subway station is full of beautiful artwork with a modern architectural design and impressive set up. This TTC station will be operational in December 2017, connecting the Keele campus directly to the University-Spadina subway line. Who else is excited to skip those 196 Rocket lines from Sheppard-West station?

The outside of the York University Station building with visitors entering to tour the building.

The outside of the York University Station building with visitors entering to tour the building.

A set of stairs leading down to the second floor of the York University Station.

A set of stairs leading down to the second floor of the York University Station.

A view of the windows and amphitheater-style landscaping from the inside of the York University Station.

A view of the windows and amphitheater-style landscaping from the inside of the York University Station.

A group of visitors walking down a set of stairs to view the TTC track and boarding area.

A group of visitors walking down a set of stairs to view the TTC track and boarding area.

A look at the subway track at York University Station and unadorned walls.

A look at the subway track at York University Station and unadorned walls.

A musician playing a set of steel drums inside the York University Station subway.

A musician playing a set of steel drums inside the York University Station subway.

Two pins with “York University” and “Line 1” on them which were being handed out at the event.

Two pins with “York University” and “Line 1” on them which were being handed out at the event.

The outside of the exit to the York University Station where TTC workers provided visitors with pins, cardboard subway trains and more information on the new subway extension.

The outside of the exit to the York University Station where TTC workers provided visitors with pins, cardboard subway trains and more information on the new subway extension.

The Archives of Ontario

The Archives of Ontario has been around since 1903 and moved to York University in the spring of 2009. It is the second largest archive in all of Canada and specializes in familial history. Members are able to access records from as far back as the 16th century and the collection includes documents, photos, maps, letters and more. Although the archives are accessible at 134 Ian Macdonald Boulevard (beside the Kaneff Building), people can also research documents from the Archives collection on their website. What a great resource the Archives will be for students looking into their family history and for research to support course work.

The entrance to the Archives of Ontario.

The entrance to the Archives of Ontario.

The Alexander Fraser Reading Room located on the main floor of the Archives of Ontario building.

The Alexander Fraser Reading Room located on the main floor of the Archives of Ontario building.

A wall of historical photos and letters which can be found inside the Alexander Fraser Reading Room.

A wall of historical photos and letters which can be found inside the Alexander Fraser Reading Room.

The research seating area inside the Alexander Fraser Reading Room where desks and chairs are provided. Pictures of historical figures are displayed on pillars.

The research seating area inside the Alexander Fraser Reading Room where desks and chairs are provided. Pictures of historical figures are displayed on pillars.

Tour guide showing visitors a historical photograph and explaining the restoration process.

Tour guide showing visitors a historical photograph and explaining the restoration process.

Black and white panoramic photos covering the wall on the second floor of the Archives of Ontario.

Black and white panoramic photos covering the wall on the second floor of the Archives of Ontario.

Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence

The Bergeron Centre is the new addition to the engineering department at York University. It’s a unique set-up with small classrooms, collaborative learning spaces and state-of-the-art labs instead of lecture halls. For the Doors Open Toronto event, the Centre demonstrated two 3D printers and provided tours of the building hosting the space for future Renaissance Engineers. At the Lassonde School of Engineering, Renaissance Engineers are students of the modern age who “think in big systems not little silos, design with people in mind and embrace ambiguity” (Lassonde website).

The Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence, LEED Gold certified building.

The Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence, LEED Gold certified building.

The sign for the Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence looks like a mini version of the building.

The sign for the Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence looks like a mini version of the building.

A MakerBot 3D printer working on creating replicas inside of the Bergeron Centre.

A MakerBot 3D printer working on creating replicas inside of the Bergeron Centre.

A photo of a MakerBot 3D printer in use where it is creating blue nuts and bolts.

A photo of a MakerBot 3D printer in use where it is creating blue nuts and bolts.

A view of an incoming storm and scenery around North York from the balcony of the Bergeron Centre.

A view of an incoming storm and scenery around North York from the balcony of the Bergeron Centre.

Aviva Centre

Prior to the event, I had only personally known the Aviva Centre as the cavernous room where I wrote final exams for classes with large lecture classes. For Doors Open, the Centre had free tennis lessons set up on the court to allow visitors to learn the sport in one of Canada’s top tennis venues. The Aviva Centre is home to Tennis Canada, and once again, this summer, will host the prestigious Rogers Cup tennis tournament which will include legendary athletes such as Maria Sharapova and Canada’s own Eugenie Bouchard. For more information, visit their website!

The Aviva Centre, just on the edge of the University campus.

The Aviva Centre, just on the edge of the University campus.

The tennis court and seating inside the Aviva Centre. Visitors are being instructed about the rules of the game.

The tennis court and seating inside the Aviva Centre. Visitors are being instructed about the rules of the game.

A close-up of two tennis chairs placed on the outside of the court near a net.

A close-up of two tennis chairs placed on the outside of the court near a net.

A closer shot of the tennis court where there are visitors playing tennis and sitting on the outskirts of the court.

A closer shot of the tennis court where there are visitors playing tennis and sitting on the outskirts of the court.

The York University chapter of Doors Open Toronto also included Black Creek Pioneer Village which is located just down the road from the University. This historic site, which was home to a Victorian village in the 1860s, hosted events which included a tour of heritage gardens, a demonstration of trades equipment as well as a gallery exhibit. Due to time restrictions, I was unfortunately not able to visit Black Creek Pioneer Village during the Doors Open Toronto event. Luckily for me, the village is a perfect way to spend an afternoon after class and is simply a 15-minute walk away from campus!

The Doors Open Toronto event at York University opened up new opportunities for me to learn about the unique sites and attractions held on campus. I was able to try my hand at tennis (and determine that I’m not very good at it), watch a 3D printer create objects and explore different historical documents. When you have spare time this summer, I encourage you to get to know our campus better and explore the surrounding community.

Did you take advantage of Doors Open Toronto to visit the new subway station or the other locations on campus? Send me your comments below, or tweet us at @YorkUStudents.

Rebecca Denyer
Rebecca Denyer

Rebecca Denyer is a fourth year Political Science and Communications Studies double-major at York University. She lives on coffee and Broadway soundtracks and is often found strolling the aisles of second-hand bookstores.

See other posts by Rebecca Denyer

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