Toronto's out-of-bounds attractions [Toronto Star article]

The star has a article about closed public spaces in the city, it presents a view fully endorsed by this blog.

Despite the triumph of Doors Open, there are important spaces that are off limits in Toronto – architecture created for the public that is, unfathomably, locked up tight.

from the article…

The Sunnyside Bathing Pavilion says as much about the Toronto of today as of yesterday.

Built in the early 1920s, this once-marvellous lakeshore structure speaks of a time when swimming in public still entailed some modesty, not to mention formality. With its fortress-like walls and neo-classical architecture, it evokes a sense of grandeur; swimming here was not simply fun, it was ennobling.

Keep in mind that this was the place where men and women went to change into their bathing costumes, not where they went to swim. It was also a place to enjoy the scenery, read a newspaper and meet friends.

Today, it is a shadow of its former self. Semi-renovated, half-closed, it remains clearly popular. But there’s a tackiness to the pavilion now that belies its builders’ intentions. On a sunny evening, the café is full of Torontonians enjoying hotdogs and beer. Beach volleyballers fill the space between the building and Lake Ontario.

Look a little more closely, however, and the pavilion reveals itself as a warren of locked doors, chained gates, closed stairwells and unused spaces. Worst of all, what might be the most attractive feature of the complex, the raised balcony level that wraps around the complex, is closed. link to full article

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