Our Stories

Doors Open Toronto: Your backstage pass to the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute

Toronto, May 22, 2013

Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute. One of the architectural highlights of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael's Hospital is this wishbone staircase.

This Sunday, May 26, the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital is opening its doors to reveal many of the amazing things that happen here every day.

This is the institute’s third year participating in Doors Open Toronto, an annual, free event organized by the city of Toronto that provides the opportunity to explore architecturally, historically, culturally and socially significant buildings across the city, many of which are not usually open to the public.

Comprised of the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute is one of the first buildings in the world specifically designed to bring together researchers, educators and clinicians to brainstorm ideas across professions and to quickly take best practices and research discoveries to patient bedsides.

Doors Open will give visitors the opportunity to tour the building, view art and photo exhibits and learn more about the cutting-edge research and education taking place in this unique facility. For example:

  • Multitasking drivers are invited to drop by to try their hands at a challenging driving simulator. St. Michael’s researchers use the simulator to better understand how the brain works – and doesn’t work – while driving, especially while doing more than one thing at once.
  • Armchair scientists can get up close and personal with the world our researchers see through their microscopes, including zebrafish at various stages of development and cells from human blood vessels.
  • Architecture and user-centred design aficionados may step inside an inpatient room for St. Michael's new patient tower (dubbed “St. Michael’s 3.0”) – years before it's built.

Guided tours will take visitors through some of the building’s unique facilities such as a circular, glass bridge connecting the hospital to the institute; an award-winning, wishbone staircase; and commissioned art installations. For the first time, St. Michael’s is also opening its wet labs for tours, to show visitors some of the breathtaking bioimages its researchers study to develop new treatments.

The interactive displays and guided tours will be ongoing between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., Sunday May 26. Last tour is at 4 p.m. Please note that the institute is participating on Sunday only.

See More of Our Stories in 2013