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May 07, 2016

Celebrate Whitby’s heritage by joining us for Doors Open 2016 and tour unique historical sites, many of which are not normally open to the public.

In 1819, John Scadding, clerk and friend of Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe, established Port Windsor (now Port Whitby), a settlement in the harbour of Windsor Bay on the north shore of Lake Ontario. Since the natural harbour was one of the best along Lake Ontario, Port Windsor thrived and it was not long until the harbour was being used to ship local grain across Canada. The grain from the district was transported to Port Windsor via Brock Street, a plank road that ran north and south from Kingston Road, the main thoroughfare between Toronto and Kingston (now known as Highway 2 or Dundas Street in Whitby).

In 1836, Peter Perry settled at the corner of Highway 2 and Brock Street and opened a wholesale and retail store and a grain business with six branches from Port Windsor north to the Village of Winchester, now known as Brooklin, and Lindsay. Due to Perry’s influence, a large settlement grew up around the four corners, which became known as Perry’s Corners. This area continues to serve as Whitby’s downtown core.

In March 1852, Whitby was chosen as the county town for the newly formed Ontario County, which had been created from the eastern properties of York County. Three years later, on January 20, Whitby – then comprising Port Windsor, Perry’s Corners and Hamer’s Corners, a small settlement to the east of Perry’s Corners – was officially incorporated as a town. Port Windsor was renamed Port Whitby to avoid confusion with the City of Windsor in Essex County.

Development continued in Whitby when the Grand Trunk Railway was constructed in 1856 and a spur line from Port Whitby to Port Perry and Lindsay was added in 1871. With Whitby firmly at the seat of government in Ontario County, construction of the government buildings began in quick succession: the Ontario County Gaol was built in 1853, the County Courthouse was completed in 1854, and the Land Registry building was added later in 1874.When Ontario County was disbanded in favour of the current Region of Durham in 1974, Whitby remained as the location for regional headquarters.

If you would like to lend a hand at one of the Doors Open Whitby sites, please contact Christy Chrus.

Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms

All Saints' Anglican Church

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
300 Dundas Street West
Whitby, Ontario
Year built: 1866
Architect: Henry Langley
Style: Gothic revival
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
All Saints’ Anglican Church, celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, opened in 1866 on a site once used as pasture for sheep. Architect Henry Langley designed the church, just one of 70 throughout Ontario that he designed. This church exhibits characteristic features of the Gothic-revival architectural style, including the lancet arch windows and spire.
Parking

Andrew M. Ross House

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
401 Colborne Street West
Whitby, Ontario
Year built: c. 1879
Building type: Private residence
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Local merchant and politician Andrew M. Ross built this frame clapboard house around 1879; it remained in the Ross family for 100 years. Its unusual plan is a cross with gables at the four ends. The covered porch was added after the 1890s. Original door and window surrounds, cornices and decorative bargeboards remain.
Parking

Brumley House

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
505 King Street
Whitby, Ontario
Year built: 2010-12
Building type: Private residence
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Beven Grey and Jason Brumley designed and conceptualized this house, constructed between 2010 and 2012, modelling it after homes built 100 years earlier. Brumley’s design was inspired by the houses at 600 King Street and 404 Dunlop Street in Whitby. The house is on property that was originally associated with the house at 320 St. John Street West.
Parking

Carnegie Library Building

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
132 Dundas Street West
Whitby, Ontario
Year built: 1914
Architect: William Austin Mahoney
Style: Beaux arts
Building type: Library
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
In 1911, industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie gave Whitby a grant to construct a public library, which opened in 1914. The building has a grand exterior staircase leading up to oversized entrance doors, large columns, a triangular centre gable and large windows flanking the entrance. Flaherty McCarthy Law currently occupies the building and has helped ensure its long-term preservation.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms

Centennial Building

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
416 Centre Street South
Whitby, Ontario
Year built: 1852-54
Architect: Frederic Cumberland and William Storm of Toronto
Style: Neoclassical
Building type: Courthouse, Historic landmark
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This classical revival structure served as the Ontario County Courthouse until 1964. It was renovated for use as a community centre in 1967 as Whitby’s centennial project, and underwent further renovations in 2003. It is home to the Whitby Courthouse Theatre and Whitby Brass Band. Recent Canada 150 funding will be used to make repairs to this building’s façade.
Parking
Washrooms
Guided tours available

Chamber of Commerce Building

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
128 Brock Street South
Whitby, Ontario
Year built: 1948
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Constructed in 1948 for the Public Utilities Commission, this building was at the time one of the most modern in Whitby. A mechanical hoist was added for moving heavy items to and from the basement. The garage and storage areas were turned into additional office space during 1961 renovations. In 1991, the Whitby Chamber of Commerce took over this building.
Parking
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available

Hatch House Montessori School

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
301 Byron Street South
Whitby, Ontario
Year built: 1874
Building type: Commercial, Historic landmark
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Ontario County Sheriff Nelson Reynolds constructed this modest house in 1874. The original plan featured a basement kitchen, and an early-20th-century remodelling included a solarium. When Reynolds died in 1881, the house was sold. Small businesses occupied it in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and it became the Hatch House restaurant in 1973. It is now a Montessori school.
Parking
National Historic Site (Canada)
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available

Intrepid Park - Camp X Memorial

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
2008 Boundary Road
Whitby, Ontario
Building type: Historic landmark
Saturday: guided tour at 10:30 a.m. only
This memorial is dedicated to the men and women employed at the spy training school and communications centre located here during the Second World War. Join historian/best-selling author Lynn Philip Hodgson for a guided tour of the site. Hodgson consulted with the CBC for their hit series X Company, a spy thriller inspired by real-life stories at Camp X.
Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
Guided tours available

Lynde House Museum

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
910 Brock Street South
Whitby, Ontario
Year built: 1812
Style: Georgian
Building type: Museum
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This house – one of Whitby’s oldest – was built for Jabez Lynde, a Whitby pioneer. The house is a rare, well preserved example of the Georgian or Loyalist architectural style, with its front porch, doorway, second-storey central window and symmetrical sash windows. A museum since 1972, the house was moved several times before arriving at its current location in 2014.
Parking

Metcalfe House

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
500 King Street
Whitby, Ontario
Year built: 1942
Building type: Private residence
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This Cape Cod-style house was built for Clayton Metcalfe, president of Metcalfe Foods Limited, a canning factory eventually sold to Stokely Van Camp. The interior was designed to accommodate the entertainment requirements of a company president. The eight-by-seven-foot living room window contains 84 panes of glass! In the 1970s, the original cedar-shake cladding was replaced with aluminum siding.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Guided tours available
Ontario's medical science and innovation

Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
700 Gordon Street
Whitby, Ontario
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This modern facility, which has a zinc roof, opened in 1996 to replace the former Whitby Psychiatric Hospital, built between 1913 and 1916. The original facility served as a First World War military convalescent hospital from 1917 to 1919. The doctors’ residence, visible to the north, is all that remains of the original hospital.
Parking

Revitalized streetscape

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
108-116 Dundas Street West
Whitby, Ontario
Building type: Commercial
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This block of Dundas Street West has been dramatically transformed by investments in buildings once used as a butcher shop, a grocery and a former mayor’s offices. The structure at number 114 received the Town of Whitby Façade Grant, which encourages downtown business owners in Brooklin and Whitby to improve, restore and beautify the exterior appearance of their buildings.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms

St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
903 Giffard Street
Whitby, Ontario
Year built: 1958
Architect: Frank Burcher
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
One of Whitby’s modern architectural gems, this church features a hyperbolic paraboloid roof, or saddle roof, designed by architect Frank Burcher. The roof has both convex and concave curves along its axes. The church accommodates 600 people, who all have an unobstructed view of the altar. This new place of worship replaced the old church built in 1903.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly

Station Gallery

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
1450 Henry Street (beside Iroquois Park)
Whitby, Ontario
Telephone: 905-668-4185
Year built: 1903
Building type: Attraction
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The design of Whitby Junction Station, built in 1903, enabled telegraph operators to view incoming and outgoing trains. The station’s low-hanging roof protected passengers on the platforms, and its low and linear character blends with and enhances the relationship between landscape and architecture. In 1970, the station became an art gallery and, in 2004, relocated to Iroquois Park in 2004.
Parking
Guided tours available
Site has blue and gold provincial plaque

Trafalgar Castle School

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
401 Reynolds Street
Whitby, Ontario
Year built: 1859-62
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This imposing limestone structure was built in the Elizabethan style for Ontario County’s notorious sheriff, Nelson Gilbert Reynolds, who toured England’s palatial homes for inspiration. When Reynolds went bankrupt in 1874, he sold his home to the Methodist Church, which turned it into the Ontario Ladies’ College. Today, it remains an independent girls’ school for Grades 5 to 12.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Self-guided tours available

Whitby Public Library and Celebration Square

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
405 Dundas Street West
Whitby, Ontario
Year built: 2004-05
Architect: Shore Tilbe Irwin and Partners
Building type: Library
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; tours leave on the hour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (and will run 30-45 minutes); maximum of 10 people per tour
This year during Doors Open, take a guided, behind-the-scenes tour of the library’s basement where you’ll learn about the systems, sustainable assets and features that support this building. Also enjoy the Sustainability Fair (in the lobby) and explore sustainability efforts of the Town of Whitby, Durham College, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Whitby Hydro and the Region of Durham.