Sunday 28 May 2017

Doors Open - Basecamp Climbing, Toronto, ON

It's Doors Open weekend here in Toronto and this afternoon I checked out Basecamp Climbing (on Bloor Street W at Manning Avenue).

The 18th annual Doors Open Toronto returns on Saturday, May 27 and Sunday, May 28, 2017, offering free and rare access to 150 architecturally, historically, culturally and socially significant buildings across the city. 

Doors Open Toronto 2017 is part of TO Canada with Love, the City of Toronto's year-long program of celebrations, commemorations and exhibitions marking Canada's 150th birthday. Doors Open Toronto is presented by Great Gulf and produced by the City of Toronto in partnership with the Province of Ontario and the broader community.

Year: 1938
Style: Contemporary (1995-Present)
Original Architect: Kaplan and Sprachman

Building Description
Basecamp Climbing is housed in the historical Metro Theatre building. Built in the 1930s, this space was used as a second run and B-movie theatre. After roughly 35 years, the building was sold and transitioned into an adult movie theatre. Primarily due to the invention of the VCR, the theatre began a steady decline and closed its doors in the early 2000s. In 2013, a full renovation process began to transform the theatre into a rock climbing gym. Basecamp Climbing is now fully operational and tries to keep some of the history alive by showing mock movie posters and utilizing their marquee to display the names of climbing routes as the old theatre used to for movies.

Visitor Experience
Visitors will be sent upstairs to the mezzanine area where there will be photographs showing the construction process from old theatre to rock climbing gym. Each photo will have a small description of what was happening during the process. Likewise the gym will be open for regular climbing and guests will be able to watch live rock climbing from the mezzanine area. Basecamp is offering one free climb to visitors on a first-come, first-served basis. Visitors who are interested in climbing will need to sign a waiver prior to entering the climbing floor.

I remember this place as a porno theatre for many years (I've walked and driven by it a lot).  I went to the mezzanine level.

They have pictures showing what the place used to look like.

It's amazing what they've done with the place!  They completely gutted and renovated it.  It's so colourful!  This is looking from the mezzanine level.

This is from the main level.

There was an area for Doors Open attendees to try it out.

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