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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!

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.
Once a private residence from the turn of the 20th century, Almost Home now operates as a home-away-from-home for families with sick children. Extensive renovations have preserved the charm and detail of the original house, while providing a modern residence for up to 11 families. Almost Home has welcomed more than 3,300 families since opening in 1992.
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.
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
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
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 – 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
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.
This museum houses three of 20 plaster moulds of original clay figures designed by Canadian sculptor Walter Allward (1876-1955), including Grieving Man and Grieving Woman. Allward won a competition to design a Canadian war memorial to be placed on a battle site in Europe. In the summer of 1922, the commission selected Vimy Ridge as the site for Allward’s memorial.
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: 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
Ontario 150

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.
This building has been home to the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery Brigade Association (RCHA) since 1947. A dedicated supporter of the International Hockey Hall of Fame and Museum's Historic Hockey Series, the RCHA also houses artifacts that tell the story of hockey. In addition, there is a licensed lounge on the third floor with live entertainment on weekends.
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
Guided tours available

W.D. Jordan Special Collections Library

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.
The W.D. Jordan Special Collections and Music Library is a treasure house of printed materials dating from the 15th century to the present. A selection of rare, unique and interesting items will be on display during Doors Open. Guided tours of the vault will occur on the hour.