Thursday Doors: It’s More Than A Tent

When is a tent more than just a tent?  When it’s a yurt.

While hiking on one of Toronto’s urban trails a few months ago, Helen and I discovered a yurt at the popular Evergreen Brick Works.  We were compelled to investigate – even though it was located in a cordoned off area – and found that it was being used simply for storage.


I found it rather curious at the time that such an interesting door would be installed on what is basically a tent, so I filed this away knowing I would want to revisit it again some day.

Well, that *some day* arrived a lot sooner than I expected.

While playing tourist at the zoo a few weeks ago, I was surprised to encounter another yurt.  What are the chances? Toronto is not exactly the place where I would expect to encounter these portable round tents originating from Central Asia.

Zoo - yurt2

While I’m aware of the existence of semi-permanent yurts built on wooden platforms in many North American parks, I’ve never seen any that came close to these beauties.

I learned that the yurt just might be the ultimate mobile home and among its many features, including a spacious interior, it can handle high winds and heavy snow loads.

There it was! … finally a potential explanation for finding a temporary storage yurt in the final days of winter in Toronto.

Zoo - yurt4
A peek inside the yurt on display at the Toronto Zoo.  I wonder if the guys would mind setting up one of these for me every night of the Bike Rally?  We could leave the spinning wheel behind though.

… but I still haven’t figured out why these two have such beautiful decorative doors.  Everything I’ve read suggests the typical yurt has plain doors and the decorative patterns are inside.  Could it be as simple as making it easier to find the door in bad weather? Maybe it’s a sign of welcome.

Either way, I thought these were perfect inclusions for this week’s Thursday Doors.

Zoo - yurt

Hope you liked them too … and if you would like to see more interesting doors, visit Thursday Doors at Norm 2.0.

Zoo - yurt3






  1. An interesting Idea! One of my creative friends made a plan for a round house, and that is what this reminds me of. Mongolia – severe temps! I would have to get used to the idea. But the doors are beautiful!


    • I’m guessing the severe temperatures are what makes the yurt work so well. There are no corners for air to get trapped in so there’s better air circulation.
      I love the idea of a round house. It would be pretty amazing!


  2. Joanne, this is great! Our younger daughter at one point wanted to live in a yurt at some point, so we’d seen photos of lots of cool ones. Not sure she ever will, but they are great.



    • Living in a yurt would definitely be minimalist living … but it sure would make camping a lot more interesting for those of us with an aversion to crawling on our hands and knees to get in and out of a tent!


  3. Well that is indeed an unusual finding in Toronto. Do you suppose I should be on the lookout here in Calgary? Love the doors no matter what the reason for them. I shall await further investigation on your end. 🙂


    • I read that all those patterns and symbols actually have a meaning, but I wasn’t able to decipher what exactly.

      I was thoroughly surprised by the photo of the interior. I couldn’t see through the window very well and it was quite dark inside, but the camera managed to capture it. I figured nothing ventured, nothing gained. What a surprise to see the end result!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I watched a documentary a few nights back about a guy who lived with a nomadic family in Mongolia for a while. It showed them dismantling their yurt and setting it up again in another location. Amazing life, not one I would be quick to jump into but I admire their tenacity and energy. Brilliant horsemen, too.


        • I don’t think I would make a good nomad … although I guess it depends on how often you pack up your roots and move on. I would need a sense of familiarity for at least several months at a time.
          … I would be happy to exit Toronto in winter though 😉

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice! I’ve still only seen them via screens, and am jealous you got to have a looksee inside. What lovely painted details. Gorgeous doors, I love the blue! 🙂


  5. You know I love doors don’t you? Now I sit here drooling. What a beauty. I have seen tents like that in Asia, the are remarkable. Never saw one from the inside. I enjoyed your pictures. Good to have you back.


  6. Those doors are beautiful works of art! Great find for this week.

    I’ve been a yurt only once and so surprised by how spacious it was inside. I spent a whole day there in and out of it an wished I was spending the night.


  7. Wow, well I never even knew what a yurt was until today but what an awesome…um… thing. Kind of odd as it seems completely portable other than the ornate doors. I can just picture travelers carrying around the lightest materials to make their yurts if not for the heavy doors uncomfortably sticking out of their backpacks, ha, ha! BTW, back from NY which was cool but definitely organic yuppied and priced out so I think it’s only a matter of time before these organic yuppies start setting up yurts to live in on 2nd Ave when they’re priced out of their homes as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • BWAHAHAHAHA!! Thanks for that visual! I can picture an upscale yurt neighbourhood 😀

      Your thinking was similar to mine. If these were meant to be mobile, the doors rather defeat the purpose.
      … but they are lovely 🙂

      Welcome back from NY. I hope we will hear about your adventures 🙂


  8. What an interesting spin on Thursday Doors! Who knew you could find a yurt in the big smoke!!! Perhaps that is why they have such fancy doors!


    • That’s how I felt about it too. It’s finding something unusual in an unexpected place …. TWICE!

      If it wasn’t for Norm’s Thursday Day, I might not have given them a second glance. Now however, I feel like I’ve found something special 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Coolness. I love this door challenge, but never would have thought that I’d see one on a tent. Don’t you love it when a photo taken for no specific reason becomes a perfect blog post?


    • I have to admit that a stunningly beautiful door found on a tent is a spectacular find! 🙂

      You are right though – I didn’t know what I was going to do with that first photo, but as soon as I saw the 2nd yurt, I knew I had a post 🙂


  10. Great finds! Those doors are just gorgeous works of art; way too fancy for the typical yurt.
    At some point I would like to try spending a few nights in a yurt – kinda like high-end camping I’d think.


    • One yurt with a fancy door was a great find – but two?! There has to be an explanation there I’m still missing.
      I think the doors look even more amazing because they’re installed on a plain white tent.

      I could happily go camping if I stayed in one of these – elevated beds, sitting area, DOOR! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. The yurts are really interesting. I have not heard of these before. They would make great camping tents and I think you should find yourself one for the bike rally. Very cool doors, Joanne, and nice post.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. The door are really beautiful Joanne great photos 🙂 With the current tiny house movement going on in the USA a lot of people are choosing these to live in. Of course they do so in the warmer climates.


      • I would say communities but I have seen some here and there in my travels and some of the Tiny House show that are broadcast in the USA are saying its a cheap and viable option for people who want to go tiny. For a couple of years now my wife and I have thought about selling our home and going tiny (not with a Yurt) but the problem is if you go mobile (build a home on a trailer) most building codes in the USA will not allow you to claim it as your permanent home even if it is on your own property. Even if you were to build a tiny home on a foundation most states require you to build at least 1000 square feet. I guess they do this because most states base your property taxes on how big your home is.


        • hmmm – it never occurred to me that there might be bylaws on the minimum size of a house.
          Recently I’ve attempted to send up a trial balloon on the topic of moving. It didn’t fly. Didn’t even get off the ground. I just love it when we have these open-minded, blue sky kind of conversations :/

          Liked by 1 person

          • One of our favorite TV shows is Tiny House Nation which show various builds and people who buy Tiny Homes. In the states its on HGTV but I think its also available on Netflix Joanne.


  13. Beautiful! When I was looking for work in 2008 I had to choose between Mongolia and Tanzania – and I almost chose Mongolia because I so badly wanted to live in a yurt (even though I know that people in Ulaan Bataar generally don’t live in yurts 😉 ). Turns out it wasn’t a compelling enough reason to move to Mongolia, but I do still love yurts! And the doors are marvelous.


  14. I live this amazing tent, Joanne! In this case, Joanne, it is like a piece of Arabian nights, magical and mysterious!
    I was just reading about suspension tents with ladders that look like beehives, high above the ground. Strange but safe from critters and bears. . . Tents were on my mind since then! Have a fun adventurous weekend, whatever you pursue. . . Happy trails to you!


      • I am excited you looked this up, Joanne. We are lucky to have the internet to keep us up to date. 🙂 The British engineer was featured in an article I read and he included understanding of hot air balloons and parachutes. I showed my grandson who took the article and put it in his summer reading backpack. He is 7 and heading towards second grade, Joanne. He also grabbed some LeBron James photos my Mom was saving since she likes the Cavs! Lol
        I meant to tell you this morning that there is a safari area in Southern Ohio, called, “The Wilds.” You can rent yurts and they have a nice circle of them with a fire pit, which encourages socialization among the yurt visitors. My good friend and her hubby rented one for a night last fall and they said the noises emitted by animals could be heard all night! She swears there were some animals “rutting” but this was September; so not sure if this would be on the wild animal’s mating calendar?


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