Search

  • General information
  • Community information
  • BECOME A VOLUNTEER

June 24, 2017

St. Catharines – Let’s celebrate!

Doors Open St. Catharines is one of the city’s Canada 150 signature events. It is a day when local treasures are open to the public free of charge. The event has something for everyone: it features buildings, infrastructure, cultural centres and open spaces that have defined our community and that have helped to shape St. Catharines and secure its vibrancy.

A big thank you goes out to the participating sites for making it all possible. Some sites have limited hours and some require pre-registration. Check back regularly for updates.

Mark your calendar and plan your visit ...

Saturday, June 24 will be a great day to celebrate the best of St. Catharines! Please note that some sites have limited hours and some require pre-registration.

If you are interested in volunteering for Doors Open St. Catharines, please contact canada150@stcatharines.ca.

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

Bill Wiley Memorial Park and Mountain Locks Park

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
Meet at 343 Glendale Avenue (the northeast corner of Glendale Avenue and Mountain Street)
St. Catharines, Ontario
Landscape type: Landscape
Building type: Historic landmark
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Canadian Canal Society and the Niagara Bruce Trail Club have teamed up to offer outdoor tours of two parks in south St. Catharines. Tours begin in Bill Wiley Park with a discussion of the canals from 1825 to today, and then proceed across the street to Mountain Locks Park to see the remaining locks of the Second Canal.

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

British Methodist Episcopal Church - Salem Chapel

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
92 Geneva Street
St. Catharines, Ontario
Telephone: 905-682-0993
Year built: 1855
Building type: Place of worship, Historic landmark
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Salem Chapel was an important centre of abolitionist and civil rights activity, and was the cornerstone of a growing community of African-American refugees. Harriet Tubman, who attended the church, led many fugitive slaves to St. Catharines. The chapel has an auditory-hall design – which is typical of churches associated with the Underground Railroad movement – and displays many original artifacts.
Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available
Self-guided tours available

Brown Homestead, The

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
1317 Pelham Road
St. Catharines, Ontario
Telephone: 905-872-2116
Year built: 1796, 1802
Style: Georgian
Building type: Historic landmark
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Come and tour the grounds of The Brown Homestead during Doors Open! Have a bite to eat and learn from heritage professionals about the ongoing conservation and adaptive reuse of this oldest house in St. Catharines. They are building a vibrant community space that celebrates our agri-food heritage while forging meaningful connections with the present and the future.

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

FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
250 St. Paul Street
St. Catharines, Ontario
Telephone: 905-688-0722
Year built: 2015
Architect: Diamond Schmitt Architects
Building type: Attraction, Theatre
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre is an 8,826-square-metre (95,000-square-foot) cultural complex comprised of four unique performance venues that host signature presentations of international and local artists. The Centre plays a vital role in the renaissance of downtown St. Catharines, serving as the catalyst for modernizing the area and reinforcing the brilliance of Niagara Region’s diverse cultural cluster.

Washrooms
Guided tours available

Former Wellington House Hotel (Lock Street Brewing Company)

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
15 Lock Street (Port Dalhousie)
St. Catharines, Ontario
Year built: 1877
Building type: Historic landmark
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Wellington House Hotel opened in 1877. Since then, the building has served as a saloon, a hotel, an ice-cream parlour and now a brewery. The site features original brickwork, chalk signatures that have been written on the walls over the years, rare Douglas fir support beams and some of the oldest horse-shoe pits in Canada.

Kid-friendly
Guided tours available
Ontario 150

Historical Society of St. Catharines Downtown Walking Tour

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
Meet at the corner of St. Paul Street West and Yates Street
St. Catharines, Ontario
Building type: Commercial, Courthouse, Place of worship, Historic landmark
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; guided tours at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. (tours will be approximately 90 minutes)

Join one of the Historical Society of St. Catharines’ walking tours of the city’s historical downtown. Tours will highlight buildings and businesses that had important roles in 1867 town life. The tours begin and end at the Merritt House (Oak Hill), and will highlight the New Brunswick anchor, St. Paul Street, the original town hall, Alexandra Hall and Welland House.

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

Knox Presbyterian Church

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
53 Church Street
St. Catharines, Ontario
Telephone: 905-641-8868
Style: Gothic revival
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; organ performance at 1 p.m. by Kenneth R. Hutton, Knox Director of Music

Knox Presbyterian celebrated its 176th anniversary in May. During Doors Open, they welcome visitors to enjoy tours highlighting Knox’s history and the memorial stained-glass windows – which are dedicated to many local leaders, including lake captains, ship owners and shipbuilders, teachers, businessmen and more. Knox also participates in the Out of the Cold program, providing meals and accommodations for the homeless.

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

Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
15 Artists' Common
St. Catharines, Ontario
Telephone: 905-688-5550
Year built: 1884, 2015
Architect: James A McSloy, 1884; Diamond Schmitt Architects, 2015
Building type: Historic landmark, Theatre
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Brock University’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts opened in 2015 and is an architectural triumph of adaptive reuse of a 19th-century industrial site. This setting creates a compelling education environment and features a 235-seat theatre, digital media studios, photo darkrooms, music rooms and other specialized facilities that support students in dramatic arts, music and visual arts.

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

Meridian Centre - Sports Hall of Fame

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
1 IceDogs Way
St. Catharines, Ontario
Telephone: 905-684-8400
Building type: Attraction
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The St. Catharines Sports Hall of Fame recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of athletes and builders who have significantly contributed to the development of sport in the city. The current exhibit highlights the accomplishments of the city’s rowing community for the last 100 years. The Hall of Fame, which overlooks the ice arena, showcases historical sports-related artifacts and memorabilia.

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

Morningstar Mill

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
2714 Decew Road
St. Catharines, Ontario
Telephone: 905-688-6050
Year built: c. 1812, 1872, 1895
Landscape type: Natural heritage
Building type: Historic landmark, Museum
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; stone-ground flour-making demonstrations from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Morningstar Mill is one of the few Ontario mills with its original equipment, and that still operates its millstones using the original water source. It features a working gristmill (rebuilt in 1872) and the c. 1895 home that Wilson Morningstar had built for his family. The Friends of Morningstar Mill will be on hand to demonstrate the flour-making process.

Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available

Niagara Region - Decew Falls Water Treatment Plant

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
2100 Decew Road
St. Catharines, Ontario
Telephone: 905-980-6000, ext. 3319
Year built: 1875
Building type: Historic landmark
Saturday: guided tours only at 10 a.m., Noon and 2 p.m.; pre-registration required (SOLD OUT). More information: janet.rose@niagararegion.ca or 905-980-6000, ext. 3319

The Decew Falls Water Treatment Plant has been processing drinking water for local residents since 1875. As the region’s largest water treatment facility, it is designed to treat 227 million litres of water per day. The site is unique among water treatment plants in Ontario because it uses a gravity-fed distribution system. Learn more on one of the guided tours.

Guided tours available

Ontario Power Generation - Decew Falls Generating Station 1

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
Meet at Joseph L. McCaffery Sports Park (61 Vansickle Road) to catch the bus to this site
St. Catharines, Ontario
Year built: 1896
Building type: Historic landmark
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; pre-registration required (SOLD OUT)

Built in 1898, DeCew Falls Generating Station 1 is one of the oldest continually running hydroelectric power generating stations in Canada. Nearly 120 years after it was built, it continues to help Ontario Power Generation generate safe, clean, reliable and low-cost power for Ontario. Today, the plant is a working piece of Canada’s hydroelectric heritage.

Guided tours available

Power Glen Heritage District and Valley Walking Tour

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
Bottom/east end of Trail Race Road (off Power Glen)
St. Catharines, Ontario
Landscape type: Natural heritage
Building type: Historic landmark
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; guided tours at 10:45 a.m., 12:45 p.m. and 2:45 p.m.

Local residents will be providing walking tours of the Power Glen Valley from the Ontario Power Generation station to the Laura Secord Bridge. The history of power generation and early industry in St. Catharines will be discussed during the walk. Children must be accompanied by adults and we recommend wearing good footwear for hiking.

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

Ridley College

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
2 Ridley Road
St. Catharines, Ontario
Telephone: 905-684-1889
Year built: 1923, 1950
Style: Gothic revival
Building type: Historic landmark
Saturday: 10 a.m. to Noon

Established in 1889, Ridley College is an acclaimed co-educational boarding and day school (Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12) with a rich history in St. Catharines. Explore the architectural beauty of Memorial Chapel (1923), with its intricate pediment, stained glass, grand altar with organ, and vaulted ceiling, and the Great Hall (1950), with its stately beams and 34-metre (110-foot) clock tower.

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

Rodman Hall Art Centre - Brock University

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
109 St. Paul Crescent
St. Catharines, Ontario
Telephone: 905-684-2925
Year built: 1860s
Architect: Thomas Rodman Merritt
Landscape type: Landscape
Style: Victorian
Building type: Historic landmark
Saturday: Noon to 5 p.m.; guided tours of the house and exhibits every 30 minutes (starting at 12:15 p.m.)

During Doors Open, explore the historical Thomas Rodman Merritt House and its adjoining contemporary art gallery. Guided tours examine the building’s history and explore current exhibits. Visit the art studio and make some art. Then take a self-guided walk through the nearby Walker Botanical Garden and sculptures.

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

St. Barnabas Anglican Church

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
33 Queenston Street
St. Catharines, Ontario
Telephone: 905-684-6421
Year built: 1893
Architect: Charles T. Gibson
Building type: Place of worship, Historic landmark
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

St. Barnabas Anglican was designed by Toronto architect Charles T. Gibson. The foundation stone was laid in 1893. The exterior features local red-brown sandstone and a slate roof, while the interior boasts solid wooden beams with turned drop finials, intricately carved panelling and stained-glass windows dedicated to local citizens. Their collection of vestments and candelabra will also be on display.

Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available
Self-guided tours available
Ontario 150

St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
1932 Welland Canals Parkway
St. Catharines, Ontario
Telephone: 905-984-8880
Building type: Museum
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

St. Catharines has a rich and diverse history and the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre tells the stories that shaped this community – from Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad to life in St. Catharines during the First World War, and more. The city’s C150 Task Force and St. Lawrence Seaway Corporation will also be on site.

Parking
Full wheelchair access
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available

St. Ignatius of Antioch Antiochian Orthodox Church

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
332 Carlton Street (with accessible parking at 75 Rolls Avenue)
St. Catharines, Ontario
Telephone: 905-646-4222
Year built: 1950s
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; services at 9 and 10 a.m. with self-guided tours to follow

In 2013, St. Ignatius Mission purchased the Queen of Angels Oratory, which was built in the 1950s for Lithuanian Catholics. The rebuilt chancel and solea include an iconostasis with early 20th-century Russian-style icons of Christ and Mary, flanked by archangels Michael and Gabriel, which came from St. George Church, Niagara Falls, New York. Many other icons grace the nave walls.

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

Sts. Cyril and Methodius Ukrainian Catholic Church

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
14 Rolls Avenue
St. Catharines, Ontario
Telephone: 905-646-1275
Year built: 1944
Architect: Rev. Philip Ruh
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Ukrainian community in St. Catharines began in about 1912. In 1943, the property for Sts. Cyril and Methodius was purchased for $600. This Byzantine-style church was designed by well-known architect Rev. Philip Ruh in 1944. It is decorated with a three-level iconostasis (a screen containing icons and religious paintings), altars, stained-glass windows and chandeliers – a jewel inside and out.

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

St. George's Anglican Church

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
83 Church Street
St. Catharines, Ontario
Telephone: 905-682-9232
Year built: 1840
Style: Gothic revival
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; guided tours at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.; organ recital at 11 a.m.

St. George’s was St. Catharines’ first established church; its congregation is celebrating its 225th anniversary this year. This building has carved stone, stained glass, war memorials and a magnificent pipe organ, providing a beautiful space for prayer and worship that is steeped in tradition. St. George’s also participates in the Out of the Cold program, providing meals for the homeless.

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

St. John’s Anglican Church - Port Dalhousie

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
80 Main Street
St. Catharines, Ontario
Telephone: 905-935-6021
Year built: 1841
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

St. John's Anglican is a historical church in Port Dalhousie. A pillar of the community since 1841, St John's today offers a place of prayer and respite, with beautiful stained glass and hand-carved wooden interiors. Take a break from the world's rush and enjoy this timeless sacred space.

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

St. Thomas’ Anglican Church

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
99 Ontario Street
St. Catharines, Ontario
Telephone: 905-684-2339
Year built: 1879
Architect: Mr. Beebe
Style: Romanesque revival
Building type: Place of worship, Historic landmark
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

St. Thomas’ Anglican Church has been a landmark in St. Catharines since 1879. Designed by noted Buffalo architect Milton Earle Beebe, this Richardson Romanesque church is notable for its magnificent turret and elaborate stained-glass windows. The church is also well known for its long-standing Daycare Centre and Annual Civic Carol Sing, which showcases the acoustics under its expansive domed roof.

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

Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Church

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
34 Elgin Street (Port Dalhousie)
St. Catharines, Ontario
Telephone: 905-934-1170
Year built: 1871
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This church, dedicated in July 1871, was built as a result of a promise made by local St. Catharines’ sailors whose lives had been saved through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the “Star of the Sea,” during a rough storm that threatened to capsize them. The church was enlarged in 1993 to accommodate a growing congregation.

Parking
Full wheelchair access
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available

THK Rhythm Automotive Canada (formerly TRW Automotive)

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
230 Louth Street
St. Catharines, Ontario
Telephone: 905-685-1931
Year built: 1929
Building type: Historic landmark
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

THK is thrilled to be part of Doors Open! Tours begin in Plant #2 (built in 1954), where you will see the machining and assembly of in-house forged parts, before you walk under Louth Street via an underground tunnel to Plant #1 or The Forge (from 1929) to see how various auto parts are manufactured for international clients.