But Doors Open is still happening, and the overview had a puzzling entry: Regis College at 100 Wellesley and Queen's Park. Puzzling because that's St Joseph's College, once the Catholic women's college at UofT and then the Catholic women's residence where my mother and aunt lived in the 30's. So what's this Regis thing?
Regis is the Jesuit theological school that used to be on St Charles where, I now recall, yet another goddamned condominium is going up to turn that once pleasant narrow street into a canyon corridor and also to cast its blighting shadow on various UofT colleges. The Jesuits bought out the Sisters of St Joseph because priests have money and nuns do not. And so the Jesuit proselytizers now own the very fancy former residence of the Biscuit King, Mr. Christie ('ware PDF), which was once the women's residence, and the soulless annex that was put up in the 50s, and have joined them together with a concrete thing in the latest style. And no one greeting and informing inside the building knew that the place had once been St Joseph's. Pfui to them.
Mr Christie however did things in the best 1900 robber baron style. Huge rooms, conservatory, carved panelling everywhere, and a ballroom that's a *ballroom.*
Then went over to a tiny synagogue on Brunswick that (like everybody, evidently) I've always wanted to see inside of but would never ever ask to enter. Had a quarter hour's tour from one of the congregation, from whom I learned that Yiddish is written in Hebrew letters and that the congregation is now overflowing the synagogue again. And I see from the webpage that "Keeping in step with the times and its egalitarian mandate, the First Narayever has recently voted to allow same-sex life-cycle events to be recognized and is in the process of voting on offering same-sex marriage ceremonies at the Synagogue." Go them.
To be secular for a bit, I went down and over to George Brown's house. 1867, but not at all fussy Victorian. In fact, a pleasant middle between Campbell's Regency simplicity and Christie's excessive 'I got money!' (There are 70 stairs all told between the basement and the third floor of the Christie mansion, and the servants were expected to run up and down all of them.) The dining room is huge, but Brown was a mover and shaker who had to entertain in the grand style; his own study is a modest size. And the servant's quarters below stairs are bright and (such is modern taste) homier than the rooms up. The second and third floor bedrooms might have been different, but those are now rented out as offices and closed to the public.
And then over to St Thomas, the Anglican church up the street from where I work. Rather a nice place with rather nice people. Has a veg garden in back whose produce goes to the food bank they run. I might drop in on their services some time, rather than those of the other downtown CofE congregation, St Mary Magdalene, which is clearly a bastion of high church splendour. I see that this Friday they're celebrating the feast of John XXIII of Rome, B(isho)p-- who, the last I looked, was a Pope. Somehow I hadn't realized how much high church Anglicanism out-Catholics the Catholicism of my youth.