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

June 07, 2014 - June 08, 2014

This year, over 120 of Ottawa's historically, culturally and functionally significant buildings will open their doors for the public’s viewing pleasure.

Since its inception in 2002, over 700,000 visitors have roamed through some of the city’s most prestigious buildings, including: Rideau Hall, the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia to Canada, the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat and the Royal Canadian Mint.

Experience Ottawa’s history, culture and stunning architecture for free during Doors Open Ottawa. It’s the perfect way to discover Canada’s Capital Region!

Originally founded in 1826 as Bytown, the City of Ottawa was incorporated in 1855 and was officially named the capital of Canada by Queen Victoria in 1857.

Today, Ottawa has a population of close to 900,000 people and is known as a vibrant city that embraces culture, sports and lively entertainment for people of all ages.

The success of Doors Open Ottawa is due in part to the dedicated volunteers that assist each year.

Interested candidates can apply to become a 2014 volunteer to perform such duties as, but not limited to, greeting visitors, giving tours and helping site staff. As a volunteer, you will be required to attend an information and registration session. The first session on May 22, 2014 is reserved for returning volunteers only.

Returning volunteers:

  • Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. – Councillors’ Lounge, City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West

New volunteers and Returning volunteers:

  • Saturday, May 24, 2014 at 10 a.m. – Accueil Hall, Centre Richelieu Vanier, 300 des Peres Blancs Avenue
  • Monday, May 26, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. – Room 1A, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive
To sign-up for an information and registration session, please visit the Doors Open Ottawa Volunteer Portal. For more information, contact daniele.hamonic@ottawa.ca.

Parking
Washrooms

Andrex House - Heritage Canada The National Trust Headquarters

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
190 Bronson Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario
Telephone: 613-237-1066
Year built: 1889
Style: Queen Anne revival
Building type: Commercial
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
A superb example of decorative Queen Anne revival architecture, this house was built in 1889 for Robert J. Davidson of Davidson Lumber Co. as a wedding gift for his wife. He hired his best craftsmen to install ornate oak walls, doors and ceilings. Today, it is the headquarters of Heritage Canada The National Trust and Andrex Holdings Ltd.
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 as you tour the house from basement to attic, and hear about the evolution of the property over the past 185 years.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
First World War

Cartier Square Drill Hall

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
2 Queen Elizabeth Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
Year built: 1879
Building type: Historic landmark, Military
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The drill hall at Cartier Square, a military training facility, has been a local landmark since its construction in 1879. The hall is located on the bank of the Rideau Canal just south of Laurier Avenue. The area to the west was once a large open field used for drilling, now the location of City Hall and the provincial courthouse.
Parking
Washrooms

Crichton Lodge (Official residence of the Norwegian Ambassador to Canada)

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
160 Lisgar Road
Ottawa, Ontario
Year built: c. 1887
Style: Gothic revival
Saturday only: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Crichton Lodge was built around 1887. It is one of a handful of Victorian stone houses in Rockliffe Park built to a Gothic revival design. It formed part of the large estate of the honourable Thomas Mackay. The house was acquired in 1949 by the Government of Norway and is now the Norwegian ambassador’s residence.
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 comprises historical and reproduction buildings, clustered on picturesque grounds, that depict rural life in the 1920s and 1930s. Tour an operational sawmill and blacksmith’s workshop, a one-room schoolhouse, a train station and telegraphy office, a 1927 Imperial Gas service station, a 1904 church and family homes.
Parking
Full wheelchair access

Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat

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 is the headquarters of Aga Khan Foundation Canada and the temporary home of the Global Centre for Pluralism. The complex engineering approaches and design details result in a remarkable architectural experience. Visitors can also see an exhibit on health in the developing world.
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, the building was home to First World War aviator Billy Bishop, was used as office space by the Italian Embassy, and was national headquarters of the Victorian Order of Nurses. Queen Anne revival details include the steep, cross-gambrel roof, decorative brickwork, classically inspired porches, and use of slate, stone and corbelled chimneys.
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.
M.K. Dickinson, the founder of the village of Manotick, built this house. The Dickinson, Spratt and Watson families, owner/operators of the grist mill across the square, lived here at various times in the period from 1870 to 1972. The house is furnished in a way that gives visitors a sense of how life was during the Dickinson residency.
Washrooms

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.
Henry Horsey and J. Sheard designed this house in the domestic Gothic revival style in 1875. Known as Toller House, it has been home to many dignitaries, including Frederic Toller, Auditor General of the Dominion’s currency in the 1880s. After an award-winning restoration, it opened in 1999 as the Croatian embassy. Guided tours are of the 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 U.S. Embassy in Ottawa was completed in 1999 and replaced the original Wellington Street facility. The American firm Skidmore Owings and Merrill designed the embassy, which features a central atrium. The distinct exterior themes of the building reflect the architecture of the Byward Market, Major’s Hill Park and the York Steps.
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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, a 19th-century Gothic revival farmhouse, received the first historical designation by the former municipality of Nepean. Five generations of the Bell family lived in the home and prospered in farming, law and politics.
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, this building features high Victorian style. Formerly the teachers’ college, the building became Ottawa City Hall after municipal amalgamation, with the new complex behind. Saturday only: Tea/coffee hosted by Mayor Jim Watson from 10 a.m. to noon. And learn more about city services all day in the foyer and on Marion Dewar Plaza.
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Washrooms

Hydro Ottawa, Chaudière Falls No. 2 Generating Station

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
Mill Street, Amelia Island
Ottawa, Ontario
Telephone: 613-738-6400
Year built: 1891
Building type: Commercial
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Built in 1891, Chaudière No. 2 Generating Station is believed to be the oldest operating hydroelectric generator in Canada. Guided tours depart every 20 minutes. Spaces are limited. Visitors must wear closed-toe shoes and children must be accompanied by an adult. This facility is not wheelchair or stroller accessible.
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 architect in the beaux arts style, designed this former bank building, incorporating Canadian motifs in 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. Visitors may take photographs.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms

Ottawa Jewish Archives, The

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
21 Nadolny Sachs Private
Ottawa, Ontario
Telephone: 613-798-4696
Year built: 1998
Architect: Barry J. Hobin & Associates Architects Inc.
Sunday only: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Ottawa Jewish Archives operates as an agency of the Jewish Federation of Ottawa, located in the Soloway Jewish Community Centre. The archival collection – currently over 25,000 records and 8,500 photographs – details the history of the Jewish community in Ottawa, starting in 1880s Lowertown.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms

Ottawa Police Service Professional Development Centre

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
1385 Woodroffe Avenue, Building P
Ottawa, Ontario
Building type: Commercial
Saturday only: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Ottawa Police Service Professional Development Centre (PDC) is located at Algonquin College. In 1999, the police service and the college formed a partnership to share training facilities. The PDC provides all in-service academic training, as well as physical intervention training, for members of the Ottawa Police Service.
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 still has many original features, including the imposing entrance and staircase, servants’ quarters and 1860s wallpaper. Photography will be 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 that 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.
Vacant until 1987, this property was owned by a convent. The architecture of this residence and studio is in the Georgian style, built circa 1800. The property received an award for urban infill development. It 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 court’s distinguished presence is emphasized by its massive scale and commanding grand entrance hall. Architect Ernest Cormier’s art deco design enhances the natural beauty of the exquisite woods and marble interior. After delays during the Second World War, the court finally took possession of the building in 1946. Only the grand entrance and courtroom will be open. Photography restrictions.
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 Vanier Museopark is a non-profit organization dedicated to the development, preservation and dissemination of both the tangible and intangible heritage of the Quartier Vanier, Richelieu Park and the French-speaking population of Ottawa. It is the only francophone museum in Ottawa and one of the rare Canadian museums outside of Quebec dedicated to the French-speaking community.