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June 17, 2017

Naturally, as the first capital of Canada, Kingston has some pretty strong historical ties that date back hundreds of years. Luckily for history buffs, it can be experienced up close and personal.

From walking in the footsteps of legendary Canadian greats to marvelling in awe at our military roots – there's a reason why Kingston is where history and innovation thrive.

We invite you to join us as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation. It's a special moment in our history and a great opportunity to explore our beautiful city!

History is alive in Kingston – known for being Canada’s first capital and home to its first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald.

Our limestone city’s charms include its lively and lovely downtown – jammed with excellent shops and restaurants – and its many museums and historical sites. Kingston also boasts an exciting arts community, family-friendly spaces and activities and a number of innovative businesses generated by its fine learning institutions – including Queen’s University, St. Lawrence College and the Royal Military College.

Doors Open Kingston provides a once-a-year opportunity for residents and visitors alike to experience a deeper look at Kingston’s storied past, vibrant present and promising future.

We are proud of our smart and livable 21st-century city and want to share it with you!

Coming soon!

Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
French services available
Guided tours available
Self-guided tours available
Ontario 150

Agnes Etherington Art Centre

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
36 University Avenue
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-533-2190
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This public gallery exhibits historical and contemporary art in gorgeous modern spaces – the elegant neo-Georgian home of its founder. Summer 2017 features the Canada 150 exhibit Road Trip: Across Canada with Alan C. Collier. Join the drop-in art program for all ages from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and enjoy impromptu talks in the galleries and at Etherington House.

Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
French services available
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available
Self-guided tours available

Almost Home

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
118 William Street
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-548-8255
Year built: c. 1895
Style: Victorian
Building type: Private residence
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This beautiful late-Victorian home, located between Hotel Dieu and Kingston General Hospital, operates as a home-away-from-home for families with sick children. Since opening in 1992, they have welcomed more than 5,000 families. During Doors Open, come and celebrate their 25th anniversary with music, food, face painting, a bouncy castle and more!

Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Guided tours available
Site is protected by the Ontario Heritage Trust

Benidickson House (Summerhill East)

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
Off Arch Street, north of Stuart Street, Queen's University
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-533-6647
Year built: 1839
Building type: Commercial
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Completed in 1839, Summerhill was the home of Anglican archdeacon George Okill Stuart. When Upper Canada’s first Parliament met nearby, the members stayed here. Queen’s College (Queen’s University) purchased Summerhill in 1853. The east wing (now called Benidickson House) served as the principal’s residence and is now used for formal dinners and principal’s events. Summerhill is a designated historical site.

Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
French services available
Self-guided tours available

Canada's Penitentiary Museum

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
555 King Street West at Sir John A. Macdonald Blvd.
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-530-3122
Year built: 1873
Architect: Henry Horsey
Style: Italianate
Building type: Museum
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Canada’s Penitentiary Museum is housed in Cedarhedge, once the residence of a Kingston Penitentiary warden. Built by convicts using local limestone, with Ohio sandstone accents, this home was first occupied in 1873. Eight rooms of the house have been converted into galleries that depict the history of Canada’s federal correctional system.

Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available
Self-guided tours available

Frontenac County Schools Museum

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
414 Regent Street
Barriefield, Ontario
Telephone: 613-544-9113
Year built: 1886
Architect: William Newlands
Building type: Museum
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Bring your family to explore this one-room rural schoolhouse from the early 20th century. The desks and artifacts were collected from schools that dotted the surrounding countryside. Sit at a wooden desk, write on a slate with a slate pencil and browse through old Ontario readers. Try to solve some arithmetic problems from the past.

Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available

HMCS Cataraqui

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
24 Navy Way
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-541-5010, ext. 6112
Year built: 1992
Building type: Military
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

HMCS Cataraqui, established in 1941, is the home of the Royal Canadian Navy in Kingston. Visitors will learn its storied history as they tour the building. They will also meet local naval reserve sailors, see small boats and other unique equipment and enjoy interactive displays.

Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
French services available
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available

Islamic Centre of Kingston

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
1477 Sydenham Road
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-542-9000
Year built: 1996
Architect: Dr. Gulzar Haider
Style: International
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Welcome to the Islamic Centre of Kingston – the only mosque in Kingston, which opened its doors in February 1996, during the month of Ramadan. It was designed to incorporate typical Islamic architecture with that of rural Ontario. Join them for guided tours, displays, refreshments and more!

Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available

Kingston Area Recycling Centre

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
196 Lappan's Lane
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-546-4291 ext. 2703
Year built: 1989
Building type: Commercial
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Since 1989, this recycling centre has been processing paper, plastic, metal and glass from homes in Kingston and the surrounding area. Recyclable materials are sorted here and then sold to companies that use them to make new products. Enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at this facility, which is not usually open to the public. Guided tours throughout the day.

Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
French services available
National Historic Site (Canada)
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available
Self-guided tours available
Site has blue and gold provincial plaque

Kingston City Hall

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
216 Ontario Street
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-546-4291, ext. 1154
Year built: 1841-44
Architect: George Browne
Building type: Historic landmark
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Kingston City Hall is one of the city’s most famous National Historic Sites. The building showcases a treasure chest of local and national artifacts, and a collection of historical portraits, including one of Sir John A. Macdonald, a Kingston resident and Canada’s first prime minister. The beautiful stained-glass windows and original jail cells will delight children of all ages!

Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
French services available
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available
Self-guided tours available

Kingston Police Headquarters

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
705 Division Street
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-549-4660
Architect: Rebanks Pepper Littlewood/Shoalts and Zaback
Building type: Green building
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Kingston Police have been proudly serving the community for 175 years. The design of their headquarters allows for natural light and views at all workstations. The building offers complete and effective security while being open, inviting and flexible to allow for future organizational changes. It was designed to be Canada’s greenest police building, and has received LEED Gold certification.

Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available

Kingston Theatre Organ Society Concert Centre

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
89 Kirkpatrick Street
KIngston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-386-7295
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Since 1981, people have come from afar to see and hear Canada's largest theatre pipe organ – a 3/28 Kimball, which is the showpiece of the Kingston Theatre Organ Society. Visitors will be treated to organ presentations and a short tour of the pipes and back-stage area. Mini concerts will take place on the hour and half hour.

Parking
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Self-guided tours available
Site is protected by the Ontario Heritage Trust

Kingston Yacht Club

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
1 Maitland Street
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-548-3052
Year built: 1896; rebuilt in 1935 after fire
Style: Georgian
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Located in the heart of Kingston's downtown, the Kingston Yacht Club (KYC) offers uninterrupted panoramic views of the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. Established in 1896, KYC has been a landmark on the Kingston shoreline for over a century.

Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available

Military Communications and Electronics Museum

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
95 Craftsman Blvd.
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-541-4675
Year built: 1995
Building type: Museum
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Military Communications and Electronics Museum celebrates the contributions of the members of the Communications and Electronics Branch to Canadian history. The collection emphasizes the themes of the troops, the times and technology from 1850 to present. Come visit the new vehicle area and the RCEME exhibit.

Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
National Historic Site (Canada)
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available
Self-guided tours available

Museum of Health Care at Kingston

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
32 George Street
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-548-2419
Year built: 1903-04
Architect: William Newlands
Style: Beaux arts
Building type: Museum
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The imposing, beaux arts-style Ann Baillie Building National Historic Site was a student nurses’ residence from 1904 to 1969. It now houses the Museum of Health Care and its extensive collection of artifacts. A historical re-enactment, the Children’s Gallery craft area, and behind-the-scenes tours of the collection storage areas combine to tell the history of health care in Canada.

Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
French services available
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available
Self-guided tours available
Ontario 150

Pump House Steam Museum

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
23 Ontario Street
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-544-PUMP (7867)
Year built: 1849
Architect: Joseph Power
Building type: Museum
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Pump House Steam Museum is a remarkable monument to Kingston’s industrial past. In 2017, come and celebrate all that Kingston has to offer during the country’s sesquicentennial with Kingston, Believe it or Not! – a new exhibition focusing on amazing, strange and truly bizarre objects from Kingston’s past. Great fun for the whole family!

Parking
Full wheelchair access
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available

Queen's University Solar Education Centre

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
244 Sir John A Macdonald Blvd.
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-583-5385
Building type: Green building
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Queen's Solar Education Centre (QSEC) is a model home used in the creation/testing of sustainable housing technologies. The QSEC is a fully autonomous home that will be equipped with solar panels, a rainwater collection system and an integrated mechanical system. As you tour the facility, educators and engineers will be available to discuss renewable and sustainable design.

Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available

Rogers K-Rock Centre

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
1 Tragically Hip Way
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-650-5000
Year built: 2008
Architect: Brisbin Brook Beynon
Building type: Attraction, Commercial, Green building
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Rogers K-Rock Centre is Kingston’s premier sports and entertainment venue and was designed to accommodate major concerts, family shows, ice shows and other world-class entertainment. Located on The Tragically Hip Way in downtown Kingston, the Rogers K-Rock Centre is only a short walk from some of the city’s finest hotels, restaurants and shops.

Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available

Royal Canadian Horse Artillery Brigade Association

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
193 Ontario Street
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-542-8152
Year built: 1848-49
Architect: William Coverdale
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The non-profit Royal Canadian Horse Artillery Brigade Association was established in 1947 to allow ex-members of the brigade to meet and socialize. Over the years, the Association has evolved, while continuing to honour Kingston’s history with displays of military artifacts. Membership reflects Kingston’s diverse community and the club has a licensed lounge, live entertainment and is open to the public.

Parking
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available

Royal Military College of Canada - Currie Building

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
15 Valour Drive
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-541-6000, ext. 3555
Year built: 1920
Architect: Richard C. Wright
Building type: Military
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Currie Building and Mackenzie Building are two of the most recognizable buildings at the Royal Military College. Mackenzie Building was opened in 1878 and contains the College's Memorial Staircase. Currie Building was opened in 1920 and houses Currie Hall, a memorial to the Canadian Corps of the Canadian Expeditionary Force.

Parking
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available

Royal Military College of Canada - Mackenzie Building

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
17 Valour Drive
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-541-6000, ext. 3555
Year built: 1878
Architect: Thomas Seaton Scott
Style: Second Empire
Building type: Military
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Currie Building and Mackenzie Buildings are two of the most recognizable buildings at the Royal Military College. Mackenzie Building was opened in 1878 and contains the College's Memorial Staircase. Currie Building was opened in 1920 and houses Currie Hall, a memorial to the Canadian Corps of the Canadian Expeditionary Force.

Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available

St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
130 Clergy Street East
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-546-6316
Year built: 1890
Architect: Joseph Power and Son
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The stories at St. Andrew’s are everywhere – in the steeple’s cross, stained-glass windows, memorial plaques and the signature that military cadet Billy Bishop carved into a pew. St. Andrew’s was the home congregation for Canada’s first prime minister and Queen’s University. At noon, the organ – played by Director of Music John Hall – will fill the sanctuary with music.

Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
French services available
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available
Self-guided tours available
Site has blue and gold provincial plaque
Site is protected by the Ontario Heritage Trust

St. George's Cathedral

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
270 King Street East
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-548-4617
Year built: 1825-92
Architect: Thomas Rogers (1825) and Joseph Power (1892)
Style: Classical revival
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The original 1825 building was a simple, rectangular stone church with a steeple designed by Thomas Rogers.The present cathedral, with dome and transepts added to the original, was designed by Joseph Power and completed in 1892. Three of the walls of the original church still stand, as part of the present cathedral’s nave.

Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available
Site has blue and gold provincial plaque

St. Mark's Anglican Church

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
268 Main Street
Barriefield, Ontario
Telephone: 613-546-3386
Year built: 1843
Architect: Alfred Brunel
Style: Gothic revival
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Government of Ontario recognizes St. Mark's, founded in 1843, as a historical structure. Constructed of native limestone, the church is a fine example of Gothic revival architecture. It was built with the aid of funds subscribed by the British Admiralty and by settlers of Barriefield, many of them employees of the Royal Navy dockyard at Navy Bay.

Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available
Site has blue and gold provincial plaque
Site is protected by the Ontario Heritage Trust

St. Paul's Anglican Church

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
137 Queen Street (at Montreal Street)
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-542-5870
Year built: 1845
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Built in 1845 as a garrison church, St. Paul’s is a place of worship and outreach, as well as a chapel for the Princess of Wales’ Own Regiment. This church has The Lower Burial Ground (1783-1863), one of the oldest consecrated cemeteries in Ontario. This is the resting place of most of Kingston’s original settlers, including Molly Brant (c. 1736-96).

Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
Guided tours available

W.D. Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
93 University Avenue (Queen's University, Douglas Library)
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-533-6320
Year built: 1923
Architect: Delano Dexter Calvin and Richard K. Shepard
Building type: Library
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This special collections library is home to printed materials dating from the 15th century to the present. A selection of rare and fascinating items will be on display during Doors Open. Guided, small group tours of the vault will occur on the hour.