Appreciate the architecture and history of the city’s “Palace of Purfication” during Doors Open Toronto.
Take a tour inside Toronto’s Palace of Purification
For one weekend each year, Doors Open Toronto gives the public a chance to explore historically and culturally significant buildings that are normally off limits. One especially popular attraction is the R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant, located at the east end of the Beaches neighbourhood. Opened in 1941, the cathedral-like art deco structure, adjacent to a marvelously underused public beach, makes nearly a third of Toronto’s water supply safe to drink, earning it the nickname “Palace of Purification.” The plant is considered one of the city’s architectural gems, and appears regularly in film and TV, usually as a hospital or prison (it was also a brewery in the Bob and Doug McKenzie flick, Strange Brew). Author Michael Ondaatje paid tribute in his 1987 novel,
In the Skin of a Lion: “The architect… modelled its entrance on a Byzantine city gate, and the inside of the building would be an image of the ideal city.” Just because a building is useful doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful. doorsopenontario.on.ca