Ontario Heritage Trust / Fiducie du patrimoine ontarien
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June 20, 2015

Kingston has a history of making sporting use of the city’s enviable freshwater harbour all year round.

While many know that Kingston boasts some of the best freshwater sailing in the world (it hosted 1976 Olympic sailing events), you may be surprised to learn the city also offers the best freshwater shipwreck diving in the world. An estimated 400 shipwrecks – from schooners to steamships dating back to the 19th century – are believed to be lurking under the waves in the Kingston region. Dive operators visit 15 popular sites as part of the Preserve Our Wrecks program, which safeguards heritage wrecks.

Hockey fans also know that Kingston lays claim to being the birthplace of hockey.  In 1886, teams from Queen’s University and the Royal Military College faced off in Kingston Harbour – an event memorialized each year during the Carr-Harris Cup.

Founded in September 1943, Kingston is home to the Original Hockey Hall of Fame – now known as the International Hockey Hall of Fame – the oldest sports hall of fame in Canada.

In addition to these notable sport claims-to-fame, Kingston has also produced its fair share of Olympians, including decorated triathlete Simon Whitfield, recent silver-medallist rowers Will Crothers and Rob Gibson, and hockey legend Kirk Muller.

Visit Kingston during Doors Open and discover the heritage behind the legends.

Welcome to the City of Kingston … where history surrounds us!

Kingston is the whisper of sails and the roar of crashing waves. It is the sound of cannon fire from high on a hill, and the rumble of a trolley crossing cobblestone streets. Even though Kingston is the oldest city in Ontario, we remain young at heart.

Doors Open Kingston provides a once-a-year opportunity for residents and visitors alike to experience a one-of-a-kind trip into the past, present and future. We are proud of our city and want to share it with you!

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

Agnes Etherington Art Centre

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
University Avenue at Bader Lane, Queen's University
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-533-2190
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Kingston’s public gallery since 1957, Agnes Etherington Art Centre exhibits historical and contemporary art in gorgeous modern spaces appended to the gallery founder’s elegant neo-Georgian home. Enjoy the fascinating array of exhibitions in the gallery and the drop-in art program for all ages in the Andre Biéler Studio. Guides will give impromptu talks in the gallery and Etherington House.
Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
French services available
National Historic Site (Canada)
Kid-friendly
Self-guided tours available

Bellevue House National Historic Site

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
35 Centre Street
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-546-8666, ext. 105
Year built: 1840
Architect: George Browne
Style: Italianate
Building type: Historic landmark
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Bellevue House was once the home of Canada’s first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald. Restored to the 1840s period, and staffed by costumed interpreters, the house and gardens are kept much as they would have been during the time when Macdonald lived here with his wife and infant son.
Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
French services available
Self-guided tours available
Ontario's sport heritage

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 occupies Cedarhedge, once the residence of a Kingston Penitentiary warden. Built by convicts of 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. Special exhibits include a display about prison sports programs.
Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
Guided tours available
Self-guided tours available

Chalmers United Church

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
212 Barrie Street
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-546-3263, ext. 222
Year built: 1888
Architect: Gillen and Gillen
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The current Chalmers United Church is a unique limestone heritage building constructed in 1888, surrounded by Barrie, Clergy and Earl streets. On entering the sanctuary, you will experience the intimacy and welcoming atmosphere of this “rebel” architecture (based on a semi-circle), beautiful richly coloured stained-glass windows, a soaring arched ceiling, ornate balcony and Casavant organ.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
French services available
Kid-friendly
Self-guided tours available
Ontario's sport heritage

CORK Sail Kingston, Portsmouth Olympic Harbour

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
53 Yonge Street
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-545-1322
Year built: 1969
Building type: Historic landmark
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
CORK (Canadian Olympic training Regatta Kingston) has hosted world-class events since 1969. This Olympic legacy sailing site will showcase sailing history and athletic excellence. Two hundred athletes will be competing in the Laser Standard National Regatta from June 20 to 21. This is an incredible opportunity to see the best Canadian and international sailors go for gold!
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 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
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. 1520
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
Washrooms
French services available
Ontario's sport heritage

Kingston Lawn Bowling Club

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
100 Napier Street
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-542-6693
Year built: 1933
Architect: E. Dener
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Lawn bowling began in Kingston in 1914 on property now owned by Queen's University. The current property was purchased in 1932 to accommodate the increase in membership when women were allowed to join the club. Everyone 10 and over will have an opportunity to learn the sport from an experienced coach. (To protect the green, please wear flat shoes.)
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.
Kingston Police Headquarters accommodates approximately 260 people on three levels. The design 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 the greenest police building in Canada and has received LEED Gold certification.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available
Self-guided tours available

Kingston School of Art and Window Art Gallery

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
647A Princess Street
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-549-1528
Building type: Commercial
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Kingston School of Art offers affordable, hands-on instruction in drawing, painting, sculpture, pastels, mixed media, and printmaking to hundreds of students, children and adults alike. The Window Art Gallery provides exhibition space to Kingston artists in a beautiful light-filled space. This Doors Open event will include art demonstrations, art activities for children, and tours of the school.
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: 613-544-2178
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
Self-guided tours available

MacLachlan Woodworking Museum

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
2993 Highway 2 East
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-542-0543
Year built: Log house 1853, exhibit building 1983
Building type: Museum
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; guided tours hourly from 11 a.m.; special "Meet the Animals" session at 1 p.m.
The MacLachlan Woodworking Museum is in an 1853 log cabin at the entrance to scenic Grass Creek Park. The museum contains woodworking tools and interesting wooden objects and art. Learn about biodiversity while viewing the travelling exhibit Hands on Nature, on loan from Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum. The new children’s forest will be open all day for exploration and play.
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 1904-69. Since 1995, the building has housed the Museum of Health Care and its extensive collection of artifacts. Gallery and behind-the-scenes tours will tell the history of health care in Canada. Free crafts in the Children’s Gallery.
Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
French services available
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available
Self-guided tours available

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.; guided tours every 30 minutes from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This museum, housed in one of Canada’s oldest waterworks, highlights steam power and is a testament to Kingston’s industrial past. Come and enjoy the model trains and Gordon C. Leitch Discovery Centre, or view the latest exhibition, Egypt, Gift of the Nile, and be transported to ancient Egypt.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Self-guided tours available
Ontario's sport heritage

Queen's Athletics and Recreation Centre

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
284 Earl Street
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-533-2500
Year built: 2009
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This recreation centre – home of the Gaels – offers fitness opportunities to the Kingston community. A state-of-the-art facility, it includes cardio and strength zones, aquatic programming in Kingston's largest pool, gymnasiums, dance studios, 10 racquet courts, meeting rooms and more. Come for a workout, have a swim in the pool, or take a self-guided tour during our Doors Open event.
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: None, 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: 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's sport heritage

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
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Self-guided tours available

Royal Tavern (Grimason House)

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
344 Princess Street
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-548-4351
Year built: 1851
Architect: V.A. MacDonald
Style: Victorian
Building type: Food and drink
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first prime minister, was a regular at this tavern and used it as his campaign headquarters when Kingston was the capital of the Province of Canada in the 19th century. See interesting historical artifacts, such as an 1880s stove, ceramic whisky jugs and official documents of sale signed by Macdonald, who owned the property until 1856.
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.
St. Andrew’s congregants, including the young John A. Macdonald, have been worshipping here since 1820. Stories are everywhere – the saltire cross on the steeple, the cannon outside, the dove perched atop the organ pipes, the amazing stained-glass windows and memorial plaques, and even the signature Billy Bishop carved into a pew when he was a Royal Military College cadet.
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available
Self-guided tours available

St. George's Cathedral

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
270 King Street East
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-548-4617
Year built: 1825-91
Architect: Thomas Rogers (1825) and Joseph Power (1891)
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 Kingston’s first practising architect. The present cathedral, with dome and transepts, incorporates the original and was completed in 1891. Three of the walls of the original church still stand, part of the present cathedral’s nave. Lord Sydenham, British North America’s first governor, is buried here.
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 serves as a centre for Christian worship and outreach and as a chapel for the Princess of Wales’ Own Regiment. Celebrating its 170th year in 2015, St. Paul’s invites visitors to join local dignitaries for an anniversary celebration beginning at 11 a.m. Enjoy live entertainment, a barbecue and a strawberry social.
Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available
Self-guided tours available

Sydenham Street United Church

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
82 Sydenham Street
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-542-9616
Year built: 1852
Architect: William Coverdale
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This building is home to the Sydenham Street United Church congregation, as well as various local cultural and social service groups, including Cantabile Choirs of Kingston, the Kingston Choral Society, the Reelout Queer Film and Video Festival, and the Kingston Association of Museums, Art Galleries and Historic Sites. Resident groups will be on hand to promote their activities.