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June 17, 2017

Doors Open is your unique opportunity to explore sometimes-hidden, always-interesting places.

In Fergus-Elora, visit an 1833 barn and its barnyard residents, ring a 1,000-pound, 180-year-old church bell, walk a trail, and have a peek in some of the area’s finest heritage spaces that you don’t get to see any other day!

Celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation in Fergus-Elora and area with 150-plus years of local heritage and storytelling.

To find out more about where to eat, stay, visit and shop in our spectacular community. check out Visit Fergus Elora or our Visitors Guide.

For the history buff, you must visit the Wellington County Museum and Archives.

Are you friendly and outgoing with a passion for your community and the history of the place you call home? Do you love a good story and sharing with others?

Then Doors Open Fergus Elora has an enriching volunteer experience for you. Contact ebender@centrewellington.ca for more information.

Parking
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Self-guided tours available
Trails

Elora Cataract Trailway

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
Meet at the Beatty Line Trailhead (Beatty Line and Hill Street West)
Fergus, Ontario
Landscape type: Natural heritage
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Elora Cataract Trailway follows the route of the Credit Valley Railway, which opened in 1879 and was abandoned in 1988. A group of concerned citizens worked with the Grand River and Credit Valley conservation authorities to acquire the right-of-way and, in 1993, converted the former railway line into a beautiful 47-kilometre (29-mile) multi-use trail.

Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
Self-guided tours available

Elora Centre for the Arts

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
75 Melville Street
Elora, Ontario
Telephone: 519-846-0996
Year built: 1856
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Built in 1856 as the Elora Public School, this building was thought to be the oldest elementary school still in use in Ontario when it closed. The centre, which opened in 2003, includes the Minarovich Gallery, classroom, studio and performance space, the local Centre for Environmental Excellence, a Montessori school, a dance academy and photography classes.

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

Knox Presbyterian Church

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
55 Church Street East
Elora, Ontario
Telephone: 519-846-0680
Year built: 1873-74
Architect: James & Lalor, Toronto
Style: Gothic revival
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Designed by James & Lalor of Toronto, this Gothic revival building cost $21,868.74 and was constructed with both dressed stone from Guelph and local limestone. The cornerstone was laid in May 1873 and the 499-kilogram (1,100-pound) bell installed in November 1874. The tour features a brief PowerPoint presentation on heritage and social activism.

Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Guided tours available

St. James Anglican Church and Butterfly Garden

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
171 Queen Street East
Fergus, Ontario
Telephone: 519-843-2141
Year built: 1948
Architect: Designed by Rev. C.J. Loat, Rector
Landscape type: Garden
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

St. James Anglican Church, built in 1948 alongside the historical Grand River, is the congregation’s third building. The land was donated by Mrs. Groves, widow of the renowned local physician Dr. Abraham Groves. The Butterfly Garden, located behind the church, overlooks the river and contains a wonderful variety of perennials.

Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
National Historic Site (Canada)
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available
Self-guided tours available
Site has blue and gold provincial plaque

Wellington County Museum and Archives

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
0536 Wellington Road 18, RR 1
Fergus, Ontario
Telephone: 519-846-0916
Year built: 1877
Architect: Victor Stewart
Style: Victorian
Building type: Historic landmark, Museum
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Built in 1877 as the Wellington County Home of Industry and Refuge, this National Historic Site is Canada’s only remaining poorhouse. Highlighted this year are the contributions of legendary local doctor Abraham Groves, physician at the poorhouse for over 30 years. Dr. Groves was an innovator, inventor, politician and author. He will make a personal appearance in the afternoon!