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Books and buildings

The City of Toronto’s Lit City initiative comes to a close this weekend, culminating with the 10th annual Doors Open Toronto city-wide open house, featuring close to 175 sites of architectural, historical, cultural, or social significance.

This year local authors will be reading from their works at the locations around the city that inspired them. Anthony De Sa, author of the 2008 Giller Prize shortlist nominee Barnacle Love, will read from his collection of short at the Factory Theatre and then lead a walking tour of Little Portugal (May 24, 1 to 2:15 p.m.), where his book is set. Robert Rotenberg will read from his best-selling mystery Old City Hall (May 23 and 24, 1, 2, and 3 p.m.) at the venerable building itself. Vincent Lam, author of the 2006 Giller Prize winner Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures, will read at the S. Walter Stewart branch of the Toronto Public Library (May 24, 2 to 2:30 p.m.), which is near the Toronto East General Hospital, where he works as an emergency room physician. And that’s just a few of the bookish events “ roughly a quarter of the venues have a literary connection.

Publishing houses Coach House Books and McArthur & Company will both be participating in the event. Coach House promises to show visitors how its books are printed on two Heidelberg presses, while McArthur will have a host of authors in and out of its office all weekend. Ten branches of the Toronto Public Library, including the newly opened Jane/Sheppard Branch, are also hot lit spots this weekend with many scheduled readings and tours.

Doors Open is presented by The Toronto Star, and an official pull-out guide to the event is part of today’s paper. The guide is also available online.