He Said. She Said. The Architecture Version.

I’ve been holding onto this post for a while, writing and rewriting it to help me to understand my relationship to architecture. Time to stop thinking, and commit to a final version before I’m lapped by Doors Open 2011.

Architecture was the theme of Doors Open 2010. My visit to the McKinsey & Company office was an unusual opportunity to hear both sides of an architectural story, through the

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Rail in a Muted Tone

I know, I’m in Las Vegas, I should be writing about glitz and glam (with a side of sleaze). That’s Vegas after dark. This is about Vegas and the intense desert sun.

I think it was 104ºF today, for us Canadians that translates to 40ºC, or stifling hot. Surprisingly, the sidewalk of the eight-lane road, better known as The Strip, was still scattered with pedestrians. My walking strategy for the day was to escape the sun by making detours through the cool, dark casinos.

My plan fell apart when I reached a major intersection; there was no way to dodge the

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Room for Debate – Part 2

The mayoral debates have opened a door into some interesting gathering spaces in the city. Today I attended one held on the Trading Floor at the Design Exchange. I have been here before for various lectures and events, but never a debate.

The five candidates sat at a raised table, visible to all in the audience. Well circulated, cool air filled the old home of the Stock Exchange. The air quality was far superior to the stuffiness I experienced during a previous debate at Trinity-St. Paul’s. I left that debate drained, after struggling to concentrate. Today, I was

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Room for Debate – Part 1

This is my first time in Trinity-St. Paul’s even though I have lived in the neighbourhood for many years. I have always been curious to see inside the heavy stone walls. I am here for the local mayoral debate. As one would expect, there is lots of talk, some of it interesting. Most of the thoughtful words are spoken by the poet candidate, Howard Gomberg.

The acoustics are great, but it is stuffy and I am finding it difficult to concentrate. Audience faces look tired, yet there is not too much

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Arabians in Arizona

In 2000, Toronto began a program called Doors Open. Every year since, on a weekend in May, countless buildings have opened their doors to the public for tours. Los Cedros, a horse facility in Scottsdale, Arizona, has taken this idea a step further. Their door is open to visitors everyday, letting you see not only the dramatically situated architecture, but also the day to day workings of the facility.

Visitors are welcome to wander through Los Cedros as long as they adhere to the straight forward rules posted at the entrance. My mom, my sister, her kids and I were the only visitors there that Tuesday morning. We saw the giant

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Washroom Large Enough for Ballroom Dancing

I swear the women’s washroom outside of theatre number 6 at AMC Yonge & Dundas is large enough for ballroom dancing. Not only are there many stalls, but the space between them is incredible. There is room for a long line of patiently waiting women, with enough left over on either side to walk from the stalls to the sinks and mirror.

Where does the ballroom dancing fit in? The washroom was empty both before and after the film. So much space to fill. Maybe the Grease soundtrack playing provided the inspiration to dance.

Ugly Proves Functional

New Years celebrated in a cozy little house. Ugly linoleum covers the floors. As the night continues, linoleum becomes a better and better idea. Dancing and the resulting spilled drinks make the floor feel like that of a movie theatre. I suppose a comparison to a sticky club floor is more appropriate, just out of my usual.

Daylight Softens Harsh Medical World

I have had many medical tests in the last 2½ years, but this was the only one with a view. I was treated to a clear blue sky and random rooftops. The technician said she appreciates the window after many years working in a basement. Even if the weather is miserable, she has a connection to the outside world. As an experienced patient I second the notion.