Ontario Heritage Trust / Fiducie du patrimoine ontarien
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  • BECOME A VOLUNTEER

June 06, 2015 - June 07, 2015

The City of Ottawa is proud to present Doors Open Ottawa, a free annual event that celebrates our community’s built heritage. This year, over 120 of the city’s historically, culturally and functionally significant buildings will open their doors for the public’s viewing pleasure.

Since its inception in 2002, over 770,000 visitors have discovered some of the city’s most prestigious buildings during Ottawa’s largest architectural event. Some of these buildings include Earnscliffe – the Official Residence of the British High Commissioner, the Royal Canadian Mint, the National Gallery of Canada, and the Connaught Building.

Walk, drive, cycle or ride your way around the city! Ride the free Doors Open Ottawa Shuttle Bus, operating within walking distance of nearly 50 participating buildings, or take the Doors Open Ottawa Cycling Tour (fees apply) offered by Ottawa Cycling Tours … not to be missed!

Join us for the 14th annual Doors Open Ottawa, and pay homage to 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.

Since 2002, the growth and success of Doors Open Ottawa can be attributed in part to the dedication and interest of new and returning volunteers.

As a Doors Open Ottawa volunteer, you will be asked to assist building participants in a variety of tasks, including – but not limited to – greeting visitors, giving tours and protecting building grounds.

All potential volunteers will be asked to attend an information and registration session prior to the event, and must fulfill all provincially mandated volunteer requirements in order to be accepted as a Doors Open Ottawa 2015 volunteer.

For more information on how to apply, contact daniele.hamonic@ottawa.ca.

Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
National Historic Site (Canada)

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 from 1827 to 1829. Learn about the architectural details while touring from basement to attic, and hear about the evolution of the property over the past 185 years.
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
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.
Cumberland Heritage Village Museum is made up of historical and reproduction buildings, clustered on picturesque grounds, and depicts 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

Diane A. Gagné Financial Services

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
5 Blackburn Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario
Year built: 1905
Style: Queen Anne
Building type: Commercial
Sunday only: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Constructed in 1905, this building once housed First World War aviator Billy Bishop and has been offices for the Italian Embassy and headquarters for the Victorian Order of Nurses and the Heritage Canada The National Trust. Queen Anne revival details include the steep, cross-gambrel roof, decorative brickwork, classically inspired porches and slate, stone and corbelled chimneys.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
National Historic Site (Canada)
Guided tours available

Diefenbunker, The

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 Canadian 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 bit.ly/doo15 to reserve. Food and merchandise for sale (cash only).
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 used the house as campaign headquarters during the 1887 general election.
Washrooms
National Historic Site (Canada)
Self-guided tours available

Earnscliffe, Official Residence of the British High Commissioner

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
140 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
Year built: 1855-57
Architect: John MacKinnon
Building type: Historic landmark, Private residence
Saturday only: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This National Historic Site is best known as the home of Canada’s first Prime Minister, Sir John A Macdonald. Built of local limestone between 1855 and 1857 by John MacKinnon, this Victorian manor is nestled between the Ottawa River and Sussex Drive. It has been home to successive British High Commissioners to Canada since 1930.
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.
This house was designed in the domestic Gothic revival style in 1875. Many dignitaries lived here, including Frederic Toller, Auditor General of the Dominion’s Currency in the 1880s. In 1999, after an award-winning restoration, it opened as the Embassy of Croatia. Guided tours available on ground level only.
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms

Embassy of the United States

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
490 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
Telephone: 613-688-5335
Year built: 1999
Architect: David Childs
Saturday only: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The American embassy in Ottawa was completed in 1999, replacing the original Wellington Street facility. Designed by the American firm Skidmore Owings and Merrill, the building has a distinctive architectural style featuring a central atrium. The building also has distinct exterior themes reflecting the architecture of the Byward Market, Major’s Hill Park and the York Steps.
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.
Full wheelchair access
French services available

French Embassy in Canada

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
42 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
Style: Art deco
Building type: Private residence
Saturday only: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
A prime example of 1930s art deco architecture, built primarily of materials from Quebec and France (Bourgogne and St. Quentin), this embassy features tapestries, bronze doors, the Birch Room, decorations by André Bizette-Lindet, a mural by Alfred Courmes, and historical wall engravings. No strollers, backpacks or metal objects. Photography limited.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
French services available

Heritage Building and Ottawa City Hall

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
110 Laurier Avenue West, Elgin Street entrance
Ottawa, Ontario
Telephone: 3-1-1
Architect: R.W. Strickland and Kivas Tully
Style: Victorian
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Designed by R.W. Strickland and Kivas Tully, the Heritage Building features high Victorian design. Formerly a teachers’ college, it became Ottawa City Hall after municipal amalgamation, with the new complex behind. On Saturday only (10 a.m. to Noon), Mayor Jim Watson will welcome visitors for tea and coffee.
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
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 is located in the original Nepean Library building; it celebrates the history of the local community. Join us for a rare behind-the-scenes tour of the collections area and experience the thrill and challenge of identifying objects. Don’t miss the exhibition War Craft: Art and Memorabilia of the Great War.
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
Washrooms

Studio of Canadian Landscape Artist Gordon Harrison

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
67 Rideau Terrace
Ottawa, Ontario
Telephone: 613-746-6853
Year built: c. 1800
Style: Georgian
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Gordon Harrison’s studio was in two previous locations until 2012. The Georgian-style property the studio now occupies was owned by a convent and vacant until 1987. The building received an award for urban infill development and offers a spectacular view of the city and Parliament Hill.
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.
The permanent exhibit of the Vanier Museopark, located on the second floor of the Richelieu-Vanier Community Centre, focuses on the development of Eastview Township, which later became Vanier. During Doors Open, the museum will offer free 20-minute bilingual interpretation sessions at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.