Doors Open Ontario

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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 Telling 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 Bridge with artist Jay Wilson, guided public art and downtown gallery walks, and arts activations at Doors Open sites.

Launching the weekend, Guelph Museums’ Doors Open After Dark will celebrate Guelph’s 192nd birthday and commemorate the 240th birthday of Guelph founder John Galt, with history and art activations at and around the Civic Museum from 9 p.m. on Friday, April 26 to 1 a.m. on Saturday, April 27. Artists and historians can respond to a Call to Artists for Doors Open Guelph and Doors Open After Dark by visiting

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


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.


Become a volunteer

Did you know that our Doors Open Guelph volunteers get a front-of-the-line pass to all 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 orientation 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. Orientation 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 at 4 p.m., and act as liaison throughout the event day.

Register your interest!

Volunteer training

Please note that there will be two general orientation and information sessions to choose from (to be announced).

There will also be onsite training sessions scheduled for early April to help familiarize volunteers with their assigned 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.

Doors Open Guelph’s success is due to the enthusiasm and hard work of 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 fill out this short form to register your interest. Site Captains will be contacted first. Regular shift volunteers will be contacted in February to select site, role and shift.

If you have any questions, please contact Katie Wilde at 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)


Contact info

Telephone: 519-836-3280


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