daniels building exterior

10.05.24 - Explore the Daniels Building during Doors Open Toronto 2024

Ever wondered what's inside 1 Spadina Crescent? Curious about the history of the revitalized neo-Gothic building at its centre? Whether you have always wanted to wander the halls or simply haven’t visited in a while, there is something for everyone to discover during Doors Open Toronto 2024.

More than 150 buildings and sites are on the roster of this year’s instalment of the popular annual event, which sees local landmarks throw their doors open to the public. The Daniels Building at 1 Spadina Crescent will be open for self-guided tours on Sunday, May 26 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Originally built as a prospect to the lake, the historic structure was the first site of Knox College in 1875, a military hospital during the First World War and the place where Connaught Laboratories manufactured insulin in the 1940s. Today it’s home to the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto, which reimagined the complex for the 21st Century.

A striking contemporary addition, designed by NADAAA and completed in 2018, combines the Knox College structure with cutting-edge facilities, from versatile new studios to a digital fabrication lab. In addition to taking in the architectural splendours and storied history of the revitalized 1 Spadina hub, visitors will have plenty of current work to take in as well.

Here’s a glimpse at what will be on view:

End of Year Show 2023/2024 

A Daniels Faculty tradition encompassing a wide range of projects, this exhibition showcases student work from across the Faculty’s degree programs in Architecture, Forestry, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design and Visual Studies. Student work can be seen on all three floors of the Daniels Building. 

Outer Circle Road by Seth Fluker 

Outer Circle Road by Seth Fluker is a collection of Toronto photographs depicting a city’s energy in constant flux. On view in the first-floor Larry Wayne Richards Gallery and presented in partnership with CONTACT Photography Festival, the series reflects the dynamism of our urban context, a landscape of abundance, waste and regeneration.  

Robotics in Architecture and Design  

Throughout the building you will encounter robotic arms as well as a variety of installations and objects created with their help. Many of these were produced over the past week as a part of workshops run during ROB|ARCH 2024, an international conference centred on robotics in architecture and design. Outside, don’t miss Geosphere, a larger, immersive display by the faculty’s John Nguyen, Nicholas Hoban, Paul Kozak and Rahul Sehijpaul, that is installed at the south entrance.

Building Black Success through Design Showcase 

Head to room DA240 on the second floor for a celebration of the outstanding design achievements by the young designers who recently completed the Building Black Success Through Design (BBSD) program. BBSD is a free mentorship program at the Daniels Faculty for Black high-school students that inspires them to pursue excellence and innovation within design industries and academia, enhancing diversity in the fields. 

Eberhard Zeidler Library 

The library is open to the public, offering students, researchers, urban planners, design professionals, journalists and design aficionados access to art, architecture, landscape architecture and urban design collections unrivalled in Toronto.  

Admission to the Daniels Building and to all Doors Open venues is free. A dedicated brochure with map of the Daniels Building will be available for visitors.

Visit the Doors Open Toronto website for a full list of participating sites.