Search

  • General information
  • Community information
  • BECOME A VOLUNTEER

June 04, 2016 - June 05, 2016

The City of Ottawa is proud to present Doors Open Ottawa – a free annual event that celebrates our community’s built heritage!

Explore over 100 of the city’s historically, culturally, functionally and architecturally significant buildings. From Carp to Cumberland, buildings across the city will open their doors and invite the public to discover the secrets that lay within.

Celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2016, Doors Open Ottawa continues to be one of the largest Doors Open architectural events in North America, witnessing over 850,000 visitors since its inception in 2002.

Come and explore Ottawa’s history, culture and stunning architecture. It’s free, it’s fun and it’s the perfect way to discover how Canada’s capital has become the beautiful city it is today!

Ottawa boasts a population of 870,250, making it the 4th-largest city in Canada and one of the country's most culturally diverse places to live.

Millions of visitors are drawn to the nation's capital on an annual basis. Home to seven national museums, five city museums and six community museums, Ottawa's rich history is readily available to those who wish to seek it.

Ottawa also boasts a vibrant nightlife, featuring a number of annual music festivals, lively nightclubs and some of the best fine-dining to be had in the country.

Blending Ottawa's rich history and vibrant culture, Doors Open Ottawa offers residents and visitors alike the opportunity to experience it all in one shot ... for free! So, don't miss the chance to experience a weekend like no other during Doors Open Ottawa 2016.

The success of Doors Open Ottawa can be attributed in part to the dedicated volunteers that return year after year to assist building participants by greeting visitors, giving tours and helping site staff.

If you're interested in becoming a Doors Open Ottawa volunteer and would like more information about how you can get involved:

Contact: Daniele Hamonic
Email: Heritage.volunteering@ottawa.ca

Get involved in your community! Become a Doors Open Ottawa volunteer!

Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly

Barry Padolsky Associates Inc. Architects (Mercury Court Building)

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
377 Dalhousie Street, Suite 202
Ottawa, Ontario
Telephone: 613-241-7198
Year built: 1923
Building type: Commercial
Saturday only: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Originally built in 1923 as Larocque’s Department Store, Mercury Court was renovated and expanded by Barry Padolsky Associates Inc. Architects from 1989 to 1993. It is now home to this architectural firm. Features include the “flying Mercury” weathervane, which adorned the Sun Life Building at Bank and Sparks streets until 1949.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly

Bethany Hope Centre

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
820 Woodroffe Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario
Telephone: 613-725-1733
Building type: Commercial
Saturday only: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Bethany Hope Centre is a reinvention of an old barracks-type building, now a space full of light, colour and beauty designed by Barry Hobin and Associates. In conjunction with Doors Open Ottawa, take part in the centre’s annual Community Day festivities and see how the site supports young-parent families in the Ottawa area. Visit their website for more information.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Guided tours available

Billings Estate Artifact Collection Storage

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
172 Guigues Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario
Building type: Museum
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Billings Estate National Historic Site’s collection of artifacts, listen to the stories these treasures tell and learn how the City of Ottawa cares for historical artifacts. See what secrets you can unlock as you examine objects from the past!
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
National Historic Site (Canada)
Guided tours available

Billings Estate National Historic Site

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
2100 Cabot Street
Ottawa, Ontario
Telephone: 613-247-4830
Year built: 1827-29
Building type: Attraction, Historic landmark, Museum
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Braddish Billings, the first settler of Gloucester Township, built Ottawa’s oldest wood-frame house, now a National Historic Site, from 1827 to 1829. While touring the home from basement to attic, learn about the architectural details and evolution of the property. Photography permitted. Guided tours available.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms

Britannia Yacht Club

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
2777 Cassels Street (north side of the tennis courts at the end of Cassels Street)
Ottawa, Ontario
Telephone: 613-828-5167
Year built: 1887
Building type: Commercial
Sunday only: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The beautiful Dragon Lounge in the newly renovated clubhouse, established in 1887, has a unique bar fashioned out of a dragon sailboat. Visitors will notice a large stone tower that is part of the original structure. Despite additions, the clubhouse has retained its historical appearance and offers a magnificent view of the Ottawa River for members to enjoy year-round.
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available

Bytown Museum (The Commissariat)

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
1 Canal Lane
Ottawa, Ontario
Telephone: 613-234-4570
Year built: 1827
Building type: Museum
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Explore Ottawa’s oldest stone building – the Commissariat. Home to the Bytown Museum, the building was commissioned by the British military and completed in 1827 as a storehouse during the construction of the Rideau Canal. Explore the museum’s largest artifact and discover its history inside and outside the walls. Tours are offered in English and French throughout the day.
Parking
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available

CanmetENERGY, Natural Resources Canada

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
1 Haanel Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
Saturday only: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Discover the exciting research taking place at Canada’s most diverse clean-energy science and technology facility. View the power of renewable energy, discover how to be energy efficient, learn about improving the iron-making process, witness a mining drop test, and much more. Visitors must wear closed-toed shoes, and children require supervision.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
French services available
Kid-friendly
Ontario's medical science and innovation

Central Experimental Farm (CEF)

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
960 Carling Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario
Landscape type: Garden
Sunday only: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Saunders Building holds a complete collection of all plants found in Canada. In the state-of-the-art greenhouse, you can see how crops are grown indoors. In addition, outdoor exhibits will focus on the agricultural research done at the CEF, the many crops grown there and work being conducted on soils and the environment in general.
Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly

Cumberland Heritage Village Museum

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
2940 Old Montreal Road
Cumberland, Ontario
Telephone: 613-833-3059
Building type: Museum
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Cumberland Heritage Village Museum is made up of historical and reproduction buildings, clustered on picturesque grounds, that depict rural life in the 1920s and 1930s. Tour an operational sawmill and blacksmith forge, a one-room schoolhouse, a train station and telegraphy office, a 1927 Imperial Gas garage, a 1904 church and family homes.
Parking
Full wheelchair access

Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat, The

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
199 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
Architect: Fumihiko Maki
Saturday only: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Designed by Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki, this award-winning building represents the Ismaili Imamat, reflecting the wide-ranging humanistic and humanitarian agenda of the Aga Khan Development Network and its associated institutions. Visitors can also see an exhibit on Canada’s role in supporting global development.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
National Historic Site (Canada)
Guided tours available

Diefenbunker - Canada's Cold War Museum

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
3911 Carp Road
Carp, Ontario
Year built: 1959-61
Building type: Attraction, Historic landmark
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Diefenbunker – Canada’s Cold War Museum is a four-storey bunker built during the Cold War to protect the government from a nuclear attack on Ottawa. Once top-secret, this underground facility is now open year-round. Free tours in French and English by reservation only. Visit their website in early May to reserve your space.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available

Dickinson House

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
1127 Mill Street
Manotick, Ontario
Telephone: 613-692-2241
Year built: 1863
Building type: Museum
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Dickinson House was built by M.K. Dickinson, the founder of the village of Manotick. From 1870 to 1972, the house was the residence of the Dickinson, Spratt and Watson families, the owner/operators of the gristmill across the square. Sir John A. Macdonald visited the house during the general election of 1887.
Parking
Washrooms
French services available

Embassy of Algeria (Fleck-Paterson House)

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
500 Wilbrod Street
Ottawa, Ontario
Year built: 1901
Architect: J.R. Booth
Saturday only: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This house was built in 1901 by J.R. Booth for his daughter, Gertrude Fleck. The house remained Mrs. Fleck’s private residence until her death in 1940. It was then purchased by Senator Norman Paterson, who lived in it until his death in 1983. The house was bought by the Algerian Embassy in 2002 and is now used as a chancery.
Washrooms
Guided tours available

Embassy of the Republic of Croatia

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
229 Chapel Street
Ottawa, Ontario
Telephone: 613-562-7820
Year built: 1875
Architect: Henry Horsey and J. Sheard
Style: Gothic revival
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Known as Toller House, this building was designed by Henry Horsey and J. Sheard in the domestic Gothic revival style. Many dignitaries lived here, including Frederic Toller, Auditor General of the Dominion’s Currency in the 1880s. In 1999, it opened as the Embassy of Croatia following an award-winning restoration. Guided tours on ground level only.
Parking
Washrooms

Fairfields Heritage House

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
3080 Richmond Road
Ottawa, Ontario
Telephone: 613-723-7936
Year built: 1800s
Style: Gothic revival
Building type: Museum
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Fairfields Heritage House, a 19th-century Gothic-revival farmhouse, was the first heritage property designated by the former municipality of Nepean. Five generations of the Bell family, who prospered in farming, law and politics, lived in this house. Photography permitted. Guided tours available.
Parking
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available

HI-Ottawa Jail Hostel

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
75 Nicholas Street
Ottawa, Ontario
Telephone: 613-235-2595
Year built: 1862
Building type: Commercial, Courthouse
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Located in the former Carleton County Gaol, the HI-Ottawa Jail Hostel is steeped in history. Opened as a hostel since 1973, this building has become an international hub for backpackers and travellers in the nation’s capital.
Parking
Washrooms
French services available
National Historic Site (Canada)
Kid-friendly

Laurier House National Historic Site

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
335 Laurier Avenue East
Ottawa, Ontario
Telephone: 613-992-8142
Year built: 1879
Style: Second Empire
Building type: Historic landmark
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Laurier House commemorates two of Canada’s most notable prime ministers – Sir Wilfrid Laurier and the Rt. Hon. William Lyon Mackenzie King. For over 50 years, from 1897 to 1948, the house occupied a central position in the political life of Canada as the residence of Laurier and, after his death, of Mackenzie King.
Full wheelchair access

Library of Parliament - Former Bank of Nova Scotia

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
125 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario
Architect: John Lyle
Building type: Library
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
John Lyle, Canada’s leading beaux arts-style architect, designed this former bank, incorporating Canadian motifs into the carved frieze. Two architectural firms collaborated to complete an innovative renovation in 2001. Access will be limited to certain areas, and guides will be available to answer questions. Photography allowed.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Ontario's medical science and innovation

National Research Council Canada (NRC), Temple of Science

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
100 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
Telephone: 613-993-9101
Year built: 1932
Architect: Henry Sproatt
Saturday only: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The NRC celebrates its centennial in 2016. Visitors can take in both the architecture and special science and technology exhibits on display at this heritage building. The construction and care lavished on the fittings of sculptured bronze and Italian travertine marble demonstrate that the building was not only intended to be a laboratory facility, but also a work of art.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Guided tours available
Self-guided tours available

Nepean Museum

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
16 Rowley Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario
Telephone: 613-723-7936
Building type: Museum
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Nepean Museum, which is located in the original Nepean Library building, celebrates the history of the local community. Come for a behind-the-scenes tour of the collections area and experience the thrill and challenge of identifying objects. Photography permitted.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
French services available
Kid-friendly
Ontario's medical science and innovation

Ottawa Paramedic Service Headquarters

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
2495 Don Reid Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
Telephone: 613-580-4771
Year built: 2005
Building type: Green building
Sunday only: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Opened in 2005, the 100,000-square-foot (9,290-square-metre) Ottawa Paramedic Service Headquarters is a state-of-the-art facility that houses all paramedic operations (except for medical dispatching), a vehicle depot and administrative area. The building is the first in Ottawa to be LEED certified.
Parking
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available
Site is protected by the Ontario Heritage Trust

Pinhey's Point Historic Site

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
270 Pinhey's Point Road
Dunrobin, Ontario
Telephone: 613-832-4347
Year built: 1820-49
Style: Georgian
Building type: Museum
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Pinhey’s Point Historic Site depicts upper- and middle-class rural life in the 19th century. Built in four stages from 1820 to 1849, the Georgian-style house has many original features, including the imposing entrance and staircase, servants’ quarters and 1860s wallpaper. Photography permitted.
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
French services available
National Historic Site (Canada)
Guided tours available

Rideau Hall (Official Residence of the Governor General of Canada)

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
1 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
Architect: Thomas McKay
Building type: Historic landmark
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Rideau Hall, with its picturesque buildings and grounds, is a National Historic Site and has been the official residence of the Governor General since 1867. It has been a stage for Canadian history for nearly 200 years. Visit the staterooms and learn about the history and role of the Governor General.
Parking
Full wheelchair access

Supreme Court of Canada, The

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
301 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario
Architect: Ernest Cormier
Style: Art deco
Building type: Courthouse
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The massive scale and commanding grand entrance hall emphasize the court’s distinction, and the art deco design enhances the natural beauty of the exquisite woods and marble inside. After wartime construction delays, the court moved into the building in 1946. Grand entrance and courtroom open. Photography restricted.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
French services available
Kid-friendly

Vanier Museopark

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
300 Pères-Blancs Avenue
Vanier, Ontario
Telephone: 613-580-2424, ext. 32001
Building type: Museum
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Vanier Museopark is located on property that was once called Richelieu Park and belonged to the Society of Missionaries of Africa. The society built an important seminary on the site in 1938 and over the years tapped the nearby sugar bush. A new sugar shack was built in 1998.