Doors Open Ontario

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Guelph

Event information

Saturday, April 27, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Doors Open Guelph is a day-long celebration of Guelph’s finest buildings, creative spaces and artistically or architecturally relevant sites, organized by Guelph Arts Council with support from the City of Guelph, a steering committee and over 100 volunteers. We have the distinction of hosting the kick-off event for Doors Open Ontario, opening the season of Doors Open events.

This is a free community event for all ages – and no tickets or registrations are required. Begin at any featured site and visit as many as you like, in any order. Visitors will be led in small groups through the sites by a tour guide who will tell the site’s story. Some sites will feature activities and music. There may be lineups at popular sites, and the last tour typically runs around 3:40 p.m. to allow the site to close at 4 p.m. At busier sites with longer tours, expect an earlier “last tour” and potential lineup cutoffs.

This year, Doors Open Guelph will be enhanced by Sharing Guelph’s Stories, an event-within-an-event that will increase the role played by the arts in Doors Open. Visitors can experience dramatic storytelling at the Gow's Bridge with artist Jay Wilson, guided public art and downtown gallery walks, and arts activations at Doors Open sites.

Launching the Doors Open Guelph weekend, and Doors Open Ontario season, Guelph Museums’ Doors Open After Dark will celebrate with history and art activations at and around the Civic Museum on Friday, April 26 from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

For more information, visit our website or call Guelph Arts Council at 519-836-3280.

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Community information

“That’s so Guelph” is a term used to describe something that is intrinsically Guelph. Whether you’ve said it, heard it or you’re just discovering it, we hope that you will find yourself saying “that’s so Guelph” as you explore the city during Doors Open Guelph.

Guelph has diverse experiences waiting to be discovered. There is much to see and do, and how to explore Guelph is up to you. Choose your own adventure with our award-winning festivals, one-of-a-kind events like Doors Open Guelph, incredible public art or the thriving culinary scene.

Guelph has something for everyone.

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Become a volunteer

Did you know that our Doors Open Guelph volunteers get a front-of-the-line pass to all of the other Doors Open sites?

Volunteer either in the morning (9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.) or in the afternoon (12:45 to 4:15 p.m.) and spend the rest of the day touring incredible architecture and amazing facilities, and hearing intriguing stories! Volunteer roles mostly involve greeting visitors and helping guide them through the space. Site Captains help support other volunteers throughout the day.

Training is provided to all volunteers. There will be a brief on site training session for each site, where you’ll have the chance to see the space where you'll be volunteering, get a sense of the tour, meet the other volunteers for that site, and ask questions. On site training sessions are held in early April.

Volunteer roles

  1. Tour Guides of historical buildings and creative spaces
  2. Greeters to meet the public and organize tour groups
  3. Counters to assist the greeter and count participants
  4. Sweepers to follow the tours and keep participants moving
  5. Site Captains to put out event signs, welcome and support their site's volunteers, and liaise with staff

Volunteer shifts

Regular volunteer shifts on event day are either from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 12:45 to 4:15 p.m. Site Captains deliver materials and install signs at 9 a.m., collect and return them after 4 p.m., and act as liaison throughout the event day.

Join our volunteer team!

Volunteer training

Please note that there will be two general orientation and information sessions to choose from (March 5 and 7, at 5 p.m. at Guelph City Hall). They are not mandatory but are a chance to get a feel for the event and be one of the first to pick your shift!

There are also onsite training sessions scheduled for early April to help familiarize volunteers with their chosen site and practise the tour. Volunteers from past events have found the onsite session extremely helpful and highly recommend that volunteers attend their site's session, which typically takes about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Onsite training session dates are listed under each site at the Guelph Arts Council’s website and on the volunteer sign-up page.

Doors Open Guelph’s success is due to the enthusiasm and hard work of nearly 200 volunteers who serve as tour guides, sweeps, greeters, counters, researchers, site captains, photographers and more. Join us as a volunteer and help make Doors Open Guelph a true community celebration. Please visit our website to sign up for a shift.

If you have any questions, please contact Katie Wilde at administration@guelpharts.ca or by calling 519-836-3280.

Eva from the Diyode Community Workshop (Photo: Melissa Gobeil)
Visitors enjoying the New Petrie Building (Photo: Ward 1 Studios)
Volunteer Coordinator Katie Wilde with representatives from Community Living (Photo: Katie Wilde)
Chris Campbell guiding through the New Petrie Building (Photo: Ward 1 Studios)
Visitors taking part in Doors Open After Dark at Guelph Civic Museum (Photo: Ward 1 Studios)

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Contact info

Telephone: 519-836-3280
Email: administration@guelpharts.ca
Website: www.guelpharts.ca/doors-open-guelph

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16 sites found

Aberdeen House Doors Open Guelph

New

Aberdeen House

Built circa 1880, Aberdeen House’s new owners hired Evolve Builders in 2016 to reconstruct the interior of this Ontario cottage while leaving its external heritage appearance intact. It is now among the most energy-efficient homes in Guelph, with an airtight envelope, heat pump and many water-saving devices to make this a Blue Built Home. (Photo: Braendli Family)

Tell us your story about this site

  • Guided tours available

Contact info

17 Aberdeen Street
Guelph, Ontario

Architecture

Year built: 1880
Architectural style: Arts and crafts, Ontario cottage
Building type: Historical house

Dates/hours open

Saturday April 27, 2019
Saturday: tours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; last tour leaves at approx. 3:40 p.m.

Art Walks Doors Open Guelph

New

Art Walks

Downtown Guelph is home to many galleries, art spaces and public art. During Doors Open, join artist collective Ahmri + Abby and see what you might have been missing. These unique guided walking tours depart from The People and Information Network/Guelph Community Foundation throughout the day.

Tell us your story about this site

Contact info

Meet at 46 Cork Street East
Guelph, Ontario
Email: administration@guelpharts.ca

Architecture

Dates/hours open

Saturday April 27, 2019
Saturday: tours at 10 and 11:30 a.m., and 1 and 2:30 p.m.

Diyode Community Workshop Doors Open Guelph

Diyode Community Workshop

Diyode is a Guelph-based collective dedicated to re-invigorating the do-it-yourself movement. Situated in the former Carson Reid Homes office, the 232-square-metre (2,500-square-foot) workshop contains tools and supplies for wood and metal working, electronics, prototyping and crafting. During Doors Open, Diyode members will demonstrate uses of the tools and workshop areas.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Parking
  • Washrooms
  • Kid-friendly
  • Guided tours available

Contact info

183 Dufferin Street
Guelph, Ontario

Architecture

Building type: Commercial

Dates/hours open

Saturday April 27, 2019
Saturday: tours from 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.; last tour leaves at approx. 3:40 p.m.

Gow's Bridge Doors Open Guelph

New

Gow's Bridge

This 1897 stone bridge is one of only 10 stone bridges remaining in Ontario. Peter Gow built the first bridge here to bypass the toll gate at Gordon Street. During Doors Open, Guelph theatre artist Jay Wilson will tell stories of the bridge, the Brooklyn area and some of the local scandals. Check the schedule for performance times. (Photo: Leanne Piper)

Tell us your story about this site

  • Partial wheelchair access
  • Guided tours available
  • Communication

Contact info

105 Water Street
Guelph, Ontario
Email: administration@guelpharts.ca

Architecture

Year built: 1897
Architect: Peter Gow
Architectural style: Edwardian
Building type: Attraction, Historical landmark, Transportation
Landscape: Landscape

Dates/hours open

Saturday April 27, 2019
Saturday: performances run between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.; last performance at approx. 3 p.m.

Greenbriar Doors Open Guelph

New

Greenbriar

Built circa 1865, this neoclassical vernacular house on a lot with heritage trees is a treasure trove of antiques and art. The house features original woodwork and glass, art by local artists and many unique collections. No photography permitted. (Photo: Katie Wilde)

Tell us your story about this site

  • Guided tours available

Contact info

92 Speedvale Avenue West
Guelph, Ontario

Architecture

Year built: 1865-70
Architectural style: Gothic revival, Neoclassical, Vernacular
Building type: Historical house

Dates/hours open

Saturday April 27, 2019
Saturday: tours from 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.; last tour leaves at approx. 3:40 p.m.

Guelph Coalition for Active Transportation Bicycle Tour Doors Open Guelph

New

Guelph Coalition for Active Transportation Bicycle Tour

Join the Guelph Coalition for Active Transportation as it conducts guided bicycle tours of the Spring Mill Distillery, Greenbriar, The Victory School and Aberdeen House – all participating sites in this year’s Doors Open Guelph event. Spaces are limited. Register at info@gcat.ca.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Guided tours available

Contact info

Meet at 43 Arthur Street South (Springmill Distillery)
Guelph, Ontario

Architecture

Dates/hours open

Saturday April 27, 2019
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Heritage Hall Doors Open Guelph

Heritage Hall

Built in 1880, Heritage Hall building served as the British Methodist Episcopal Church. Constructed in Gothic revival style with local limestone, it offered a place of safety and community for Guelph’s Black community, including descendants of runaway slaves. In 2012, the building was purchased by the Guelph Black Heritage Society to create a cultural, historical and social centre. (Photo: Guelph Black Heritage Society)

Tell us your story about this site

  • Washrooms
  • Kid-friendly
  • Guided tours available

Contact info

83 Essex Street
Guelph, Ontario

Architecture

Year built: 1880
Architect: William Slater
Architectural style: Gothic revival
Building type: Historical landmark, Place of worship

Dates/hours open

Saturday April 27, 2019
Saturday: tours from 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.; last tour leaves at approx. 3:40 p.m.

KidsAbility Centre for Child Development Doors Open Guelph

New

KidsAbility Centre for Child Development

KidsAability has provided services to Guelph children and youth with special needs since 2000. This new hub has 1,858 square metres of space (20,000 square feet), customized to reflect best-care practices. The stunning Canadiana-themed rooms and hall décor create a vibrant and welcoming atmosphere where children can work to reach their full potential. (Photo: Susan Ratcliffe)

Tell us your story about this site

  • Parking
  • Full wheelchair access
  • Washrooms
  • Kid-friendly
  • Guided tours available

Contact info

503 Imperial Road North
Guelph, Ontario

Architecture

Year built: 2018
Architect: Walter Fedy
Building type: Educational facility, Health-care facility

Dates/hours open

Saturday April 27, 2019
Saturday: tours from 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.; last tour leaves at approx. 3:40 p.m.

Lornewood Mansion Doors Open Guelph

New

Lornewood Mansion

Lornewood Mansion was built by Charles Raymond in 1867 and later enlarged to include Tuscan bays and a tower. It was named after an 1879 visit from the Marquis of Lorne and his wife Princess Louise. The house has been restored to showcase its original, ornate black walnut trim, ceilings, leaded-glass windows, carpets and elaborate furniture. (Photo: Sandra Lastovic)

Tell us your story about this site

  • Guided tours available

Contact info

125 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario

Architecture

Year built: 1867
Architect: C.J. Soule
Architectural style: Italianate
Building type: Commercial, Historical house

Dates/hours open

Saturday April 27, 2019
Saturday: tours from 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.; last tour leaves at approx. 3:40 p.m.

Marcolongo Heritage Farm Doors Open Guelph

New

Marcolongo Heritage Farm

Settled in 1833, this was one of the first farms in Puslinch Township. In 1878, James Blair built the granite fieldstone house. The original, small timber-framed barn and the large bank barn built in the 1880s or 1890s have been restored. Protection of the property as a cultural heritage landscape has been proposed under the Ontario Heritage Act. (Photo: Susan Ratcliffe/Marcolongo Heritage Farm)

Tell us your story about this site

  • Parking
  • Kid-friendly
  • Guided tours available

Contact info

2162 Gordon Street
Guelph, Ontario

Architecture

Year built: 1878
Architect: James Blair
Architectural style: Georgian
Building type: Historical house
Landscape: Landscape, Natural heritage, Trail

Dates/hours open

Saturday April 27, 2019
Saturday: tours from 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.; last tour leaves at approx. 3:40 p.m.

Provincial Offences Court Doors Open Guelph

Provincial Offences Court

Built in 1856, this building served as Guelph City Hall until 2009. Designed by William Thomas in the Victorian Renaissance revival style, it features elaborately carved stone features. In 2009, it was beautifully rehabilitated as a courthouse, conserving original windows, crown mouldings, arched jail cells and a grand performance hall. No photography. (Photo: Provincial Offences Court)

Tell us your story about this site

  • Full wheelchair access
  • Washrooms
  • National Historic Site (Canada)
  • Guided tours available
  • Site has blue and gold provincial plaque
  • Site is protected by the Ontario Heritage Trust

Contact info

59 Carden Street
Guelph, Ontario

Architecture

Year built: 1856
Architect: William Thomas
Architectural style: Renaissance revival, Victorian
Building type: Courthouse, Historical landmark

Dates/hours open

Saturday April 27, 2019
Saturday: tours from 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.; last tour leaves at approx. 3:40 p.m.

Rest stop and Information hub Doors Open Guelph

New

Rest stop and Information hub

The People and Information Network and the Guelph Community Foundation will be opening their doors as a rest stop and information hub for your Doors Open Guelph experience. Come by and rest your feet, gather information about the event and participating sites, or use the washrooms. Art walks will also depart from this location (see separate listing for more information).

Tell us your story about this site

  • Partial wheelchair access
  • Full wheelchair access
  • Washrooms
  • Kid-friendly

Contact info

46 Cork Street East
Guelph, Ontario

Architecture

Building type: Commercial

Dates/hours open

Saturday April 27, 2019
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Spring Mill Distillery Doors Open Guelph

New

Spring Mill Distillery

The limestone building was built as Allan’s Distillery, an addition to their grist mill. The distillery expanded over time. In 1876, the complex became the A.R. Woodyatt Company, which made lawn mowers and hardware. Over the years, several large manufacturers have used the buildings, now extensively restored as a restaurant and distillery. Photography restricted to permitted areas. (Photo: Susan Ratcliffe)

Tell us your story about this site

  • Parking
  • Full wheelchair access
  • Washrooms
  • Guided tours available

Contact info

43 Arthur Street South
Guelph, Ontario

Architecture

Year built: 1835
Architectural style: Georgian
Building type: Attraction, Commercial, Historical landmark

Dates/hours open

Saturday April 27, 2019
Saturday: tours from 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.; last tour leaves at approx. 3:40 p.m.

The Sovereign Doors Open Guelph

New

The Sovereign

Built in Second Empire style, The Sovereign is an interesting neighbour to the Petrie Building. The mansard roof, ornate dormers and false corner tower create an impressive presence. The original ballroom was once used by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, whose symbols survive in the restored offices. It is now the offices of Williams and McDaniel Property Management. (Photo: Susan Ratcliffe)

Tell us your story about this site

  • Partial wheelchair access
  • Washrooms
  • Guided tours available

Contact info

66 Macdonell Street
Guelph, Ontario

Architecture

Year built: 1882-83
Architect: John Day
Architectural style: Second Empire
Building type: Commercial, Historical landmark

Dates/hours open

Saturday April 27, 2019
Saturday: tours from 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.; last tour leaves at approx. 3:40 p.m.

Trails Open: Marcolongo Heritage Farm to Hall's Pond Doors Open Guelph

New

Trails Open: Marcolongo Heritage Farm to Hall's Pond

Enjoy this unique opportunity to view the most important natural area within Guelph city limits – Hall's Pond. Thirty-minute walks begin at the Marcolongo Heritage Farm to this series of kettle lakes embedded within the Paris moraine ponds. Hikes will be led by the Guelph Hiking Trail Club, presenting the 10th year of Trails Open in Guelph. (Photo: Guelph Hiking Trail Club)

Tell us your story about this site

  • Parking
  • Guided tours available

Contact info

Meet at the Marcolongo Heritage Farm (2162 Gordon Street)
Guelph, Ontario

Architecture

Landscape: Landscape, Natural heritage, Trail

Dates/hours open

Saturday April 27, 2019
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Victory School, The Doors Open Guelph

New

Victory School, The

Built after to a local population spike, this school - still in use today - was named in honour of the Allied victory that ended the First World War. The school opened in 1919, with an addition made in 1953. Its original brass rails and wooden floors enhance the gracious image presented by its red-brick exterior and park setting.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Parking
  • Washrooms
  • Kid-friendly
  • Guided tours available

Contact info

135 Exhibition Street
Guelph, Ontario

Architecture

Year built: 1919
Architect: S.B. Coon
Architectural style: Neoclassical
Building type: Educational facility

Dates/hours open

Saturday April 27, 2019
Saturday: tours from 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.; last tour leaves at approx. 3:40 p.m.