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August 19, 2017 - August 20, 2017

Rideau Lakes is not just opening its doors … it is opening its arms!

For those who want to know more about the identity of our beautiful township, this summer weekend will provide residents and visitors alike with an experience to remember.

Take in the outstanding view from Spy Rock, experience Ontario's only working grist mill, see a modern-day farming operation, hear the story of our rich boat-building history, marvel at the rescue of one of our history-laden resorts … These and so many more stories await you in Rideau Lakes this summer!

The natural setting of Rideau Lakes Township is highlighted by the rugged Frontenac Axis, a branch of the Canadian Shield – with its rocks and granite baked and blended a billion years ago in the roots of the Grenville Mountains.

Now worn away to their very roots by time, rain, wind, rivers and glaciers, there are only echoes of those mountains left at Foley Mountain. Paleozoic seas washed over this rugged land half a billion years ago and left the beautiful layers of sandstone used in the building of Ontario's only UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Rideau Canal. Our many lakes were gouged out of soft Precambrian marble and filled by the most recent melting of an ice sheet 10,000 years ago.

The Rideau waterway offers excellent canoeing, sailing, boating and fishing, and passage through the locks is free this summer in celebration of Canada's 150th.

This vacation paradise has many scenic villages and hamlets, surrounded by agricultural pursuits and recreational opportunities like swimming, hiking, golf, bicycling or antiquing.

Come and see for yourself what everyone’s talking about!

If you would like to become involved in Doors Open Rideau Lakes:

Contact: Wendy Alford, Coordinator, Rideau Lakes Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee
Email: alfordwendy@hotmail.com

Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Self-guided tours available

Barnyard Gardens

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
9139 County Road 42
Portland, Ontario
Landscape type: Garden
Building type: Attraction, Private residence
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Originally, two brothers farmed these 100 acres (40 hectares). One family’s farm was located behind the other, with a laneway leading to the back farm. This laneway forms an integral part of the stunning gardens that now surround the house (c. 1885) and the barn, which was built in the 1940s.

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

Chaffey's Lockmaster's Museum

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
1724 Chaffey's Lock Road
Elgin, Ontario
Year built: 1844
Building type: Attraction, Museum
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Chaffey’s Lockmaster’s house is the only defensible lockmaster’s house that is still open to the public. The original porch is intact and you can still see traces of the gun loopholes in the stone walls. Inside, you can explore interpretive exhibits about early life on the Rideau Canal.

Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
Self-guided tours available

Chaffey's Lockstation

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
Chaffey's Lock Road
Elgin, Ontario
Building type: Attraction, Military
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

When Rideau Canal surveyors arrived in this beautiful little place, they found a small complex of mills belonging to the Chaffey family. Construction of the lock meant the destruction of the mills, but Colonel John By was armed by the British government with full powers of expropriation and the lock was built circa 1832.

Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
Self-guided tours available

Davis Lockstation

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
Davis Lock Road
Elgin, Ontario
Building type: Attraction, Military
Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sixteen defensible lockmasters' houses were built along the Rideau Canal in response to the Upper Canada Rebellion of 1837 and further tensions between the United States and Britain highlighted by the 1845 Oregon Crisis. See that structure here, which is one of only five remaining that has not been demolished or altered.

Parking
Guided tours available
Site has blue and gold provincial plaque

Elgin Red Brick School

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
3 Halladay Street
Elgin, Ontario
Year built: 1887
Building type: Attraction, Museum
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Previously School Section No. 5 South Crosby, this schoolhouse provides a living history experience for visitors. It also houses the educational archives of Rideau Lakes’ schools. The building features increased window space that was intended to improve the learning atmosphere. The school operated from 1887 until 1963 and then was restored by the Elgin and Area Heritage Society.

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

Foley Mountain Conservation Area

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
105 Perth Road North
Westport, Ontario
Landscape type: Conservation area
Building type: Attraction
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Foley Mountain Conservation Area is the northern star of the Frontenac Arch Biosphere. Nine kilometres (5 miles) of gentle trails include benches for quiet contemplation, picnic tables, spectacular geology, the iconic view from Spy Rock and a natural swimming area. There is also an interpretive centre with a fascinating nature display.

Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
National Historic Site (Canada)
Kid-friendly
Self-guided tours available

Jones Falls Lockstation

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
182 Lock Road
Elgin, Ontario
Year built: 1831
Building type: Attraction, Historic landmark, Military
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Jones Falls has two flights of locks, for a total elevation change of 18 metres (59 feet). There are several structures, including a blacksmith’s shop and the Stone Arch Dam, which is one of the most spectacular engineering structures on the canal. There are also displays and activities about the building of the Rideau Canal and life along the waterway.

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

Leeds County Draft Horse Club

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
6 Kelly's Road (Lombardy Agricultural Society)
Lombardy, Ontario
Building type: Attraction
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Draft horses played a crucial role in the settlement of Rideau Lakes because, prior to 1910, 90 per cent of Canadian agriculture relied on horse power. Meet the different breeds of horses and learn about them. The Lombardy Agricultural Society will host a display about the Lombardy Fair. Wagon rides and a disking demonstration will be on site (weather permitting).

Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available

Maple-Ain Farms

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
21 Hunter's Road
Smiths Falls, Ontario
Building type: Attraction
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Five generations of the Hunter family have used sustainable farming practices, which keep Maple-Ain Farms thriving in the 21st century. The modern tie-stall barn at this farm is home to a herd of purebred Holstein cows. A viewing area allows visitors to see newborn calves in their climate-controlled nursery.

Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
Self-guided tours available

Narrows Lockstation

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
1275 Narrows Lock Road
Portland, Ontario
Building type: Attraction, Military
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This is a great vantage point from which to see boats at this busy entrance to Big Rideau Lake. There were two reasons for this mere one-metre (three-foot) lift lock. The causeway raised the water levels, which meant less excavation (therefore less work and money), and speeding up the work reduced malarial fever, which was common because of the swamps.

Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
Self-guided tours available

Newboro Lockstation

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
Newboro Lock Road
Newboro, Ontario
Building type: Attraction, Military
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Following the electrification of Newboro Lock, citizens protested when the Department of Transport announced plans to modernize all lockstation operations. That six-year battle was resolved in 1972, when Parks Canada took over operations. Visitors will see displays highlighting how the community helped preserve the traditional way of operating the locks.

Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
National Historic Site (Canada)
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available
Self-guided tours available

Old Stone Mill

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
46 King Street
Delta, Ontario
Year built: 1810
Style: Georgian
Building type: Attraction, Historic landmark
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Old Stone Mill – Ontario’s earliest surviving stone gristmill – is beautifully interpreted and has working 200-year-old millstones. You can also explore the Blacksmith’s Shop in the Mill Drive Shed and the Old Town Hall, which has served many roles – including a courthouse, a jail and community theatre.

Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
Self-guided tours available

Poonamalie Lockstation

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
Poonamalie Road
Smiths Falls, Ontario
Building type: Attraction, Military
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

One of 24 lockstations throughout the Rideau Canal, this unusual name comes from the Tamal word for “cat hill.” It is thought that this beautifully serene area may have reminded British Royal Engineers of a previous military posting in Western India. Make sure you take a moment to see the beautifully rebuilt wall along the wooded path beside the waterway.

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

Portland-on-the-Rideau

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
23 Water Street
Portland, Ontario
Building type: Attraction, Food and drink
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Portland-on-the-Rideau Historical Society will be proudly showcasing vintage pleasure boats from the early- to mid-20th century at breathtaking Hanna Park. Wagon tours of the village, Big Rideau Lake boat rides and refreshments served by people in period costume will add to your experience.

Parking
Guided tours available
Self-guided tours available
Site has blue and gold provincial plaque

Royal Sappers and Miners Cemetery

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
8640 County Road 42
Newboro, Ontario
Building type: Attraction, Cemetery
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In 1829, the 7th Company of the Royal Sappers and Miners were assigned to help complete the Rideau Canal at the Newboro isthmus. After being discharged in 1831, many of these soldiers settled along the Rideau Canal and several became lockmasters. Learn more about their stories while touring this cemetery.

Parking
Washrooms
Guided tours available

St. Mary's Anglican Church

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
15 Brock Street
Newboro, Ontario
Year built: 1850
Style: Gothic revival
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

St. Mary's Anglican was built from local stone and timber with box pews. Erected on land donated by Benjamin Tett Sr., this simple church features nine stained-glass windows, one of which is reputed to have been created by Tiffany or students of the "opalescent" school.

Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available

The Opinicon

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
1697 Chaffey's Lock Road
Elgin, Ontario
Year built: 1921
Building type: Attraction, Commercial, Food and drink
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The historical Opinicon Resort at Chaffey’s Lock is throwing open its doors! Beloved by generations of fishermen and vacationers, this iconic resort has undergone substantial upgrades while maintaining its original early- and mid-20th-century charm. Take an insider’s tour of the buildings and hear the stories behind this gem of the Rideau!

Parking
Guided tours available

William Bell House

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
60 King Street
Delta, Ontario
Year built: 1859
Style: Georgian
Building type: Attraction, Private residence
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Built for Irish-born merchant William Bell, this unique and historical Georgian home boasts beautiful gardens, tin shingles, three-meter (10-foot) ceilings, original ornate woodwork and some converted gas lighting. The current owners have done extensive restoration, including reproduction wallpaper, runners by heirloom weavers and many pieces of period furniture.

Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Guided tours available

Wykes Boat Works

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
2351 Harlem Road
Elgin, Ontario
Year built: in operation since 1959
Building type: Attraction
Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This award-winning boat works follows an early 19th-century local tradition of boat building. In the 1950s, Frank Wykes began making pine plank, flat-bottomed fishing boats for local tourism operators. Come and see this third generation family business that is still crafting new boats and restoring antique wooden vessels – many of which are displayed at boat shows throughout North America.