Search

  • General information
  • Community information
  • BECOME A VOLUNTEER

September 30, 2017

Join the celebration as Orillia turns 150 alongside both the province and nation!

To mark this milestone, the City of Orillia has partnered with its surrounding townships to honour the history and to showcase the many historical and heritage sites found throughout the region.

Please view the following participating sites for information and times.

The City of Orillia is a city of 31,000 people in the heart of Ontario’s Lake Country on the shores of Lake Couchiching and Lake Simcoe.

Founded in 1867, the City of Orillia is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year – alongside the province and the nation. A year-long celebration is underway in Orillia, and visitors are encouraged to participate in our series of 150 events.
  • Participating Doors Open Sites can be found in Orillia, Oro-Medonte, Severn and Rama. Please continue to visit this website for updates.
  • Doors Open Orillia and Area | Culture Days 2017 itineraries and listings can be found at www.orillia.ca/dooculture, while information on Orillia150 can be found at www.orillia.ca/150.

To become a volunteer, or to participate in this event, contact eross@orillia.ca with "DOO volunteer” in the subject line.

Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available

1923 LaFrance Fire Truck

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
20 Mississaga Street West
Orillia, Ontario
Telephone: 705-325-5201
Saturday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Orillia's first gas-operated 1923 American LaFrance chemical and ladder fire truck, which replaced horse-drawn equipment, operated for 30 years. Today, it is owned by the Orillia Heritage Centre in partnership with the fire department. This rare vehicle, along with historical photographs, will be on display outside the Orillia Opera House, next to the Downtown Farmers' Market.

Parking
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available
Self-guided tours available

Bandstand, The

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
140 Canice Street (Couchiching Beach Park)
Orillia, Ontario
Telephone: 705-325-2011
Building type: Attraction, Theatre
Saturday: TBC

In the 1800s, it was common to gather at Civic Park (now Couchiching Beach Park) and listen to the Orillia Citizens’ Band, now known as the Kiltie Band. In 1909, Town Council approved the construction of a bandstand suitable for musical performances. This historical structure can be rented for weddings and wedding photographs, as well as other events.

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

Carley Community Hall

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
396 Warminster Sideroad (between Lines 8 and 9)
Oro-Medonte, Ontario
Telephone: 705-487-2171
Year built: 1912
Landscape type: Garden
Building type: Attraction
Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

This beautiful century building in the Oro-Medonte countryside was once a one-room schoolhouse. Today, it maintains the look of its former self with original flooring, a stage, blackboard , large windows and a fully equipped kitchen. Visit during Doors Open Culture Day and meet local artists and enjoy treats. The Carley Hall Cookbook and mementoes will be available for sale.

Parking
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
Ontario 150

Coldwater Mill

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
1 Mill Street
Coldwater, Ontario
Year built: 1833-34
Architect: Capt. George Philpotts, Royal Engineers
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Coldwater Mill offers visitors a peek into the area's long-standing history. As part of the Doors Open theme this year, they will also honour Canada’s 150th birthday. Local artisans will be onsite displaying their crafts, along with the Farmers’ Market and activities for children. Visit downtown Coldwater, too, before heading over to the Canadiana Museum.

Full wheelchair access
Washrooms

Geneva Event Centre

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
16 West Street South
Orillia, Ontario
Telephone: 705-330-4815
Year built: 1939
Style: Art deco
Saturday: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This hall, a rare example of art deco architecture, was home to the city’s first cinema. Although renovated, it contains remnants of the old cinema, particularly in the entrance, where guests are welcomed by the concession stand as they were in the early 1900s. A part of history itself, the building’s neon sign was recently restored.

Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Guided tours available
Trails

Grant's Woods Conservation Centre

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
1485 Division Road West
Orillia, Ontario
Telephone: 705-326-1620
Landscape type: Conservation area
Building type: Attraction
Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The Couchiching Conservancy is a non-profit land trust that helps to protect thousands of hectares of land in the area. One of the conservancy’s properties is Grant's Woods, just outside of Orillia, which has public trails for walking, snowshoeing and nature appreciation. Ambassadors will be available to share information about the trails and the work of the conservancy.

Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available

Hobart Memorial Church

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
4590 Line 6 North (700 metres south of Mount St. Louis Road West, on the west side)
Oro-Medonte, Ontario
Year built: 1857
Landscape type: Garden
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

This little brick church, first constructed in 1857 as a log building with no windows, has endured the test of time. Despite various renovations, the original planed wide pine boards in the floor remain intact today. While no longer an active church, an anniversary service is held every year on the third Sunday in September.

Parking
Washrooms
National Historic Site (Canada)
Guided tours available
Self-guided tours available
Site is protected by the Ontario Heritage Trust

Leacock Museum National Historic Site

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
50 Museum Drive
Orillia, Ontario
Telephone: 705-329-1908
Year built: 1928
Architect: Kenneth Noxon
Landscape type: Garden
Building type: Historic landmark, Museum
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This summer home of Canadian humorist Stephen Leacock is near the shore of Lake Couchiching. Guests are welcome to wander through the home and grounds, and have lunch in the Leacock Café (food and drinks available for purchase).

Partial wheelchair access
Kid-friendly
Site is protected by the Ontario Heritage Trust

Manticore Books

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
103 Mississaga Street East
Orillia, Ontario
Telephone: 705-326-7776
Year built: 1870
Architect: Athenias King
Building type: Commercial
Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

This two-storey building stands at the centre of what is known as the King Block. Constructed by Athenias King circa 1870, the building received historical designation in 1992. The fine brick façade dominates Orillia’s historical downtown commercial district.

Parking
Guided tours available

Mariposa Arts Theatre Foundation

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
12 Brammer Drive
Orillia, Ontario
Building type: Theatre
Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This is community theatre at its best! The Mariposa Arts Theatre Foundation – a not-for-profit foundation that presents quality theatre to the greater Orillia area – opens its doors and provides hands-on experiences and demonstrations of what goes into making a theatre production. Learn about set design and construction, lighting and stage direction, while getting a tour of the theatre itself.

Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly

Orillia Farmers' Market

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
Market Square, 36 Mississaga Street West
Orillia, Ontario
Building type: Attraction, Commercial, Food and drink
Saturday: 7 a.m. to Noon

The Orillia Farmers’ Market predates the establishment of Orillia as a village in 1867, and is one of the longest running in Ontario. In its early days, the market enjoyed a busy trade in hay, firewood and livestock, as well as farm-fresh produce, baked goods and handicrafts – products still available to market visitors today. Stop by for some local fare!

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

Orillia Heritage District Walking Tour

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
Start at 36 Mississaga Street West (Orillia Public Library)
Orillia, Ontario
Telephone: 705-325-3261
Building type: Commercial
Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Explore Orillia's unique, historical downtown through these revamped, self-guided tours. Be sure to pick up a pamphlet at the Orillia Public Library and enjoy the rich heritage, unique architecture and beautiful shops in town, many of which are also participating sites for Doors Open Orillia and Area/Culture Days 2017.

Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available
Site is protected by the Ontario Heritage Trust

Orillia Museum of Art & History (Sir Sam Steele Memorial Building)

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
30 Peter Street South
Orillia, Ontario
Telephone: 705-326-2159
Year built: 1894
Architect: Thomas Fuller
Style: Neoclassical
Building type: Attraction, Museum
Saturday: TBC

The Orillia Museum of Art & History is housed in the landmark Sir Sam Steele Memorial Building, which was originally a customs house and post office, built between 1892 and 1894. The museum is a hub of culture and heritage, with 12,000 artifacts in their collection – ranging from artwork and textiles to metal and woodwork.

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

Orillia Opera House

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
20 Mississaga Street West
Orillia, Ontario
Telephone: 705-326-8011
Year built: 1895; reconstructed after 1915 fire
Architect: Burke, Horwood and White
Style: Gothic revival
Building type: Attraction, Theatre
Saturday: TBC

Since it opened in 1895, the Orillia Opera House has been a focal point for the cultural life of the city. With its unique Victorian architecture – including two soaring towers – it remains easily recognized from across town. The Opera House continues to attract big-name performers and professional productions. During the year, it also attracts local community events and activities.

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

Orillia Public Library

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
36 Mississaga Street West
Orillia, Ontario
Telephone: 705-325-2338, ext. 211
Year built: 2012
Architect: Acuqicon
Building type: Library, Green building
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Spend some time at the library and enjoy their robust programming schedule during Doors Open – including how to: code with the Codemobile, write a song, program “Hobots,” do kindergarten readiness at home, do five-minute makeup, barbecue, spin wool, repair drywall, bird watch, garden in small spaces, quilt, repair your bicycle, and more!

Parking
Partial wheelchair access
National Historic Site (Canada)
Kid-friendly
Self-guided tours available

Oro African Church

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
Corner of Line 3 North and Old Barrie Road West
Oro-Medonte, Ontario
Telephone: 705-487-2171
Year built: 1849
Landscape type: Natural heritage
Building type: Place of worship, Historic landmark
Saturday: TBC

The Oro African Methodist Episcopal Church, built 1846-49, is a designated National Historic Site. It is one of the oldest African log churches still standing in North America. This church stands as a testament to both the Black settlers who carefully maintained it for nearly 75 years and the passionate community volunteers who have worked diligently to preserve it.

Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
Guided tours available
Self-guided tours available

Peter Street Arts District

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
Peter Street, between Mississaga Street East and Colbourne Street East
Oriliia, Ontario
Telephone: 705-326-2159
Building type: Commercial
Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The Peter Street Arts District, in the heart of Orillia’s historical downtown, is a unique neighbourhood community featuring art and related businesses. Whether you are seeking a unique gift or a distinctive experience, this is the place to be. Enjoy the festive Doors Open atmosphere!

Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms

Rugby Community Hall

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
1911 Old Barrie Road East
Oro-Medonte, Ontario
Year built: 1902
Building type: Historic landmark
Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Come and explore Rugby Hall – a former one-room schoolhouse erected in 1902. Learn the history of this quaint historical hall right in the heart of Rugby. You will be greeted by members who will guide you through the various displays of local historical interest. Light refreshments will be served.

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

St. George's Anglican Church - Fairvalley

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
66 Fairvalley Road
Oro Medonte, Ontario
Telephone: 705-686-3663
Year built: 1843
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

First established as a log church in 1843, this building (with its intact artifacts) still connects to the Sir Sam Steele legacy. The warmth of today’s parishioners reminds one of the simplicity and charm of early pioneer days. Explore the Steele memorials of the old Steele home in Fairvalley – a short distance from the church and cemetery.

Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Guided tours available
Self-guided tours available
Site is protected by the Ontario Heritage Trust

St. James' Anglican Church

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
58 Peter Street North
Orillia, Ontario
Telephone: 705-325-2742
Year built: 1891; rebuilt after 1905 fire
Architect: W.H. Croker
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Chief Yellowhead (born in 1789, and served with the British during the War of 1812) donated the site for this church in 1841. The current church replaced the first stone one, built in 1891, after it was destroyed by fire in 1905. Author and humorist Stephen Leacock was baptized here.

Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms

St. Luke's Anglican Church

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
9160 Highway 12 West
Orillia, Ontario
Year built: 1851
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The original church, now the parish hall, was built in 1851. The current church building was built in 1855. Unique windows depict the apostles and St. Cecelia. View altar hangings, pictures, historical memorabilia and decorative kneeler pads that depict scenes from the Psalms, hand-crafted in needlepoint by the ladies of the church.

Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Ontario 150

St. Paul's Centre

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
62 Peter Street North
Orillia, Ontario
Building type: Attraction, Place of worship, Historic landmark
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; concert by Michael Jones at 4:30 p.m.

This multi-use centre seeks to be at the heart of Orillia. Tour the newly renovated Great Hall and hear about the history and future plans for St. Paul’s, while listening to local musicians. Visit the St. Paul’s History book launch and sale, make your own Dream Star, or enjoy an Orillia 150-themed children’s painting workshop with artist Robyn Rennie.

Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms

St. Thomas Shanty Bay

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
28 Church Street
Oro-Medonte, Ontario
Telephone: 705-722-7111
Year built: 1838
Landscape type: Garden
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Shanty Bay is a village that arose from a collection of shanties that comprised a fertile farm community. Its local church is one of the few surviving structures in Ontario built of “rammed earth.” This method of construction used wet clay mixed with chopped straw, compacted into forms and covered, when dry, with plaster or siding for protection against weather.

Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available

Willis Presbyterian Church

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
3265 10 Line North
Coldwater, Ontario
Telephone: 705-835-5733
Year built: 1865
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The history of Willis Presbyterian Church goes back many years to the first settlers who came to this part of Oro-Medonte in 1825 or 1826.This quaint country church, dedicated in 1865, has a red brick exterior with a vaulted ceiling interior. The ceiling construction of tongue and groove is a unique architectural