Doors Open Toronto. It’s a magical time of year in which doors around Toronto are open to the public. DOORS! Who doesn’t love doors? It’s even more magical when those doors lead to a variety of interesting places usually hidden from the public eye. Have you ever wanted to see what goes on in an unused subway station that’s instead been relegated to space for film shoots? I HAVE. Too bad the fuckers didn’t open the doors to Lower Bay Station this year. I kid, the event is excellent. It’s free and there’s a massive range of places across the city. Maybe up to 100 buildings ranging from governmental, scientific and media institutions. Where did we go? What did we do? Well that’s exactly what I’m gonna write, so maybe keep reading?
We started out at the MaRS Discovery District. It’s basically a place where a bunch of scientifically inclined start ups go to work out neat ideas for the advancement of their dreams. Oh, we saw things. A robot made me tea. YOU HEARD THAT GODDAMN RIGHT. My good pal teaBOT asked me exactly what I wanted out of a cup of tea and made that goddamn tea. What a good dude! It’s super cool, you can utterly customise the type of tea you want. You use a tablet to specify which teas you want (a combination of up to three. It lists caffiene content), the ratios of each tea to one another. You then choose how hot you want it to be. You put the cup in and it does your devious bidding. It was miraculous. My dark cherry chocolate tea was everything dreams of tea should be. We strolled around seeing many other wonderful burgeoning future products. There was an at home vagina testing kit to save time and the need to visit a doctor for check ups. A foot pedal operated mini washing cube seemed a neat green alternative to putting on large loads (heh, loads). There was some long exposure camera you could leave in a place for up to three months without charging, while operating the thing from your smartphone. Best of all, we tried out these little foldable electric bikes. Kind of weird, the pedals were next to the wheels, so balance took a minute or two to grasp. Soon enough we were zipping about. Using the battery was excellent, but as soon as you tried to pedal they got goofy as shit. Given that your handlebars were connected to the front wheel, pedalling messed with your inherent balance.
We visited the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, which was a lot neater than the droll name suggests. Like most governmental buildings it was a plush building stacked with portraits of old white men with questionable sideburns. We saw inside some fancy offices and saw the Autobot mace of leadership, which gives the incumbent government power to discipline the opposing elected officials with old school federal punishment. It’s brutal shit. The tour took us through a bunch of rooms with fancy, fancy furniture and some snazzy art. Very governmental.
The Yonge street Ryerson campus was a head trip. It’s a monolithic eight story building in which each floor has been designed with a different environmental theme. In short: Captain Planet, the building. It’s way less tacky than that sounds, actually a hugely tasteful confluence of functionality and comfort. The place oozes money and the seating is without exception, supremely comfortable. I know this because being borderline hungover, I fought the allure of naps in every structure I leant/sat/lay on. It would’ve been a magical place to study, but instead we marvelled at everything. Of note was the “beach” themed level, which boasted a tiered gradient of beach themed beach bags and chairs, including creepy human silhouette seats. Seriously, these things were nightmarish, while also being irresistibly comfortable. Given the amount of natural light in the place, snoozing was an ever-present threat. We saw someone studying in a strange little cubical fortification that seemed like it’d rise up with defensive weaponry in the event she was disturbed. The place was wonderfully accessible in most places too, like they actually gave a shit about creating somewhere people could come together in the pursuit of learning. If that wasn’t enough, the stairwells hosted an array of embarrassingly cringe-worthy mashups of motivational and meme culture. I was sorely tempted to give up my current accommodations and simply go lurk as the Phantom of Ryerson. My house doesn’t have creepy silhouette seats. Why do I even live there?
Everything closed around 4-5pm, so we ran out of time to check out some of the other places on display. The event runs tomorrow too, so if you’re keen to see what a streetcar sleepover palace looks like, check out TTC Leslie Barns.
Now don’t mind me, I’m gonna go concoct a heist to steal all the furniture from Ryerson. They had chairs that’d make Professor X jealous.