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Owen Sound

Event information

Saturday and Sunday, June 2-3, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

From gardens to gables and museums to mansions, Doors Open Owen Sound has given a wide-ranging look into our community’s rich heritage since 2003. The theme for 2018 – equality and a fair society – will focus on exploring the progress made over the past 100 years since women’s suffrage and the equality movement in Ontario.

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Community information

The City of Owen Sound is located on the southern shore of Georgian Bay in a valley below the limestone cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment. It lies at the foot of the Bruce Peninsula, famous for its exceptional geography. Known as the Scenic City, Owen Sound features an expansive harbour and bay, winding rivers, tree-lined streets, extensive parks and trails, and a thriving historical downtown with elegant original architecture.

Owen Sound was first inhabited by the Ojibway First Nations prior to European settlement. From its first survey in 1840, Owen Sound was known as the Village of Sydenham and was the last terminal of the Underground Railroad, used by thousands of slaves seeking refuge across the Canadian-American border between 1830 and the end of the American Civil War. The community gained its current name in 1851 and was incorporated as a city in 1920.

For much of its history, Owen Sound was a major port, known as the Chicago of the North. With a prime location on Georgian Bay and access to the upper Great Lakes, major rail lines moved cargo south. As the Gateway to the West, Owen Sound saw thousands of settlers move through on their way to the prairies.

At one time, industries lined both sides of the bay. Today, most of the former port-based industries are gone, and the city has strived to bring identity back to the waterfront by creating inclusive and inviting spaces where new industry and tourism opportunities can thrive.

For further community and event information, visit owensoundtourism.ca/doorsopen or call us 519-376-4440, ext. 1250.

To stay updated on all the latest community and event information, follow us on Instagram and Twitter, or visit our Facebook page.

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Become a volunteer

We are still looking for enthusiastic volunteers who are interested in participating in our community’s rich heritage. Come and spend some time immersed in one of our many historical Doors Open sites!

Contact us by phone at 519-376-4440, ext. 1256, or by email at sollerton@owensound.ca.

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Contact info

Telephone: 519-376-4440, ext. 1250
Email: jteakle@owensound.ca
Website: www.owensoundtourism.ca/doorsopen

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13 sites found

Active Lifestyles Seniors' Centre Grey-Bruce (McQuay Tannery Building) Doors Open Owen Sound

Active Lifestyles Seniors' Centre Grey-Bruce (McQuay Tannery Building)
This building is all that remains of the 1902 McQuay Tanning Co., who produced fine-grade leather and harnesses that were shipped across Canada and internationally. The building, an example of post-Second World War modern architecture, today houses the Active Lifestyles Centre Grey Bruce, a not-for-profit organization that provides leadership, socialization, programs and activities to support healthy lifestyles and independence.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Parking
  • Full wheelchair access
  • Washrooms
  • Self-guided tours available

Contact info

1852 3rd Avenue East
Owen Sound, Ontario
Telephone: 519-376-8304
www.alscgb.ca

Architecture

Year built: 1946
Building type: Historical landmark

Dates/hours open

Saturday June 2, 2018
Saturday only: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Beth Ezekiel Synagogue Doors Open Owen Sound

Beth Ezekiel Synagogue

First occupied by the Calvary Church, this building has housed the synagogue since 1946. Named for Ezekiel Cadesky, a Russian immigrant who settled here in the early 1900s, the structure draws from the tradition of simple, turn-of-the-20th-century Georgian meeting halls. Intricate stained-glass windows tell the story of many member families. Designated under the Ontario Heritage Act in 1990.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Parking
  • Guided tours available

Contact info

313 11th Street East
Owen Sound, Ontario
Telephone: 519-376-4176
www.bethezekiel.org

Architecture

Year built: 1903
Building type: Place of worship

Dates/hours open

Sunday June 3, 2018
Sunday only: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Billy Bishop Home - Museum, Archives and National Historic Site Doors Open Owen Sound

Billy Bishop Home - Museum, Archives and National Historic Site

The Billy Bishop Home remains a landmark in the heart of Owen Sound. Boyhood home of the First World War Flying Ace, the museum invites you to explore the Bishop family, and to honour the contributions of service men and women, past and present. Dedicated as a museum in 1987, this site became a National Historic Site in 2002.

Tell us your story about this site

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

Contact info

948 3rd Avenue West
Owen Sound, Ontario
Telephone: 519-371-0031
www.billybishop.org

Architecture

Year built: 1884
Architectural style: Gothic revival, Queen Anne, Victorian
Building type: Attraction, Historical landmark, Museum

Dates/hours open

Saturday June 2 – Sunday June 3, 2018
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Central Westside United Church Doors Open Owen Sound

Central Westside United Church

Built in 1910 as the Westside Methodist Church, this building remains much the same as it did then. It was constructed of local materials with Renaissance proportions in the Akron style. A veranda was added to the northeast entrance and a wheelchair ramp at the west entrance. The pipe organ also dates from 1910.

Tell us your story about this site

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

Contact info

310 10th Street West
Owen Sound, Ontario
Telephone: 519-376-8319
www.centralwestside.ca

Architecture

Year built: 1910
Architectural style: Edwardian
Building type: Place of worship

Dates/hours open

Saturday June 2, 2018
Saturday only: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Eddie Sargent House Doors Open Owen Sound

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Eddie Sargent House

The Eddie Sargent House is an elegant and well-preserved Victorian home. The property was the former home of Eddie and Roma Sargent. Eddie was the Mayor of Owen Sound and the Member of Provincial Parliament representing Grey-North from 1963 to 1967 and Grey-Bruce from 1967 to 1987. The home occupies a prominent location on the west hill overlooking Georgian Bay.

Tell us your story about this site

Contact info

2545 5th Avenue West
Owen Sound, Ontario
Telephone: 519-376-3690, ext. 6114

Architecture

Year built: 1881
Architectural style: Gothic revival, Italianate
Building type: Private residence

Dates/hours open

Saturday June 2, 2018
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

First United Church and Wiidosendiwag-Walking Together Tour Doors Open Owen Sound

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First United Church and Wiidosendiwag-Walking Together Tour

First United Church has a history that goes back to 1842 in the Ojibway reserve of Newash. The current First United Church building opened in 1955. This year, First United will be the starting point for the Wiidosendiwag-Walking Together Tour of the traditional territory of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation. Guided tours will be available throughout the Doors Open weekend.

Tell us your story about this site

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

Contact info

435 21st Street West
Owen Sound, Ontario
Telephone: 519-376-1736
www.firstunited-os.com

Architecture

Year built: 1955
Architectural style: International
Building type: Place of worship
Landscape: Natural heritage, Trail

Dates/hours open

Saturday June 2 – Sunday June 3, 2018
Saturday: book and bake sale, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and guided tours, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: morning worship, 10:20 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and guided tours 12:30 to 4 p.m.

Greenwood Cemetery and Mausoleum Doors Open Owen Sound

Greenwood Cemetery and Mausoleum

Greenwood Cemetery, bordered by stately maples and cedar hedges, is the final resting place of ship captains, politicians and prominent business people. It is the only cemetery in Canada in which three Victoria Cross recipients are buried (including Billy Bishop). The Indiana-limestone-clad mausoleum, built in 1927, features marble interiors and impressive stained-glass windows. Walking tour brochure/guided tours available.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Parking
  • Washrooms
  • Guided tours available
  • Self-guided tours available

Contact info

190 1st Street Southwest
Owen Sound, Ontario
Telephone: 519-376-3203
www.owensound.ca/en/living/cemeteries.aspx

Architecture

Year built: 1927 (mausoleum)
Building type: Cemetery

Dates/hours open

Saturday June 2 – Sunday June 3, 2018
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday tour at 11 a.m.; Sunday tour at 1 p.m.; special Friday night tour (June 1) at 8 p.m.

Inglis Falls Conservation Area and Water Filtration Plant Doors Open Owen Sound

Inglis Falls Conservation Area and Water Filtration Plant

One of the three waterfalls on the outskirts of Owen Sound, Inglis Falls cascades 18 metres (59 feet) over the Niagara Escarpment. See the remains of a water flume and grinding stones, once part of a grist, saw and woollen mill complex. Tour the filtration plant, built in 1910, where water was filtered and then gravity-fed to local residents.

Tell us your story about this site

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

Contact info

237785 Inglis Falls Road
Owen Sound, Ontario
Telephone: 519-376-3076, ext. 278

Architecture

Year built: 1862 (gristmill)
Building type: Attraction, Historical landmark
Landscape: Conservation area, Trail

Dates/hours open

Sunday June 3, 2018
Sunday only: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Morland Place Doors Open Owen Sound

Morland Place

Built by the McCallum family in 1920, Morland Place was originally a small, country cottage-style home. The expansion at the rear was modelled after the 1870s regency Georgian villa style. The gardens, started in 1960, were influenced by European architectural style. Containing concrete statues and benches, the Tree Park and Perennial Garden and Maze are not to be missed.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Parking
  • Guided tours available
  • Self-guided tours available

Contact info

102645 Grey Road 18
Owen Sound, Ontario
Telephone: 519-376-4617

Architecture

Year built: 1920
Architectural style: Georgian
Building type: Private residence
Landscape: Garden, Park

Dates/hours open

Saturday June 2 – Sunday June 3, 2018
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Roselawn Bowling Club Doors Open Owen Sound

Roselawn Bowling Club

Lawn bowling has been a popular summer sport in Owen Sound for more than 100 years. The club, originally called Owen Sound North (Brooke) Lawnbowling Club, purchased this property for $200 in 1948. After a fire in the 1990s destroyed the St. George’s Lawnbowling Club facility, Roselawn welcomed its members. Come and visit and try your hand at lawn bowling!

Tell us your story about this site

  • Parking
  • Partial wheelchair access
  • Kid-friendly
  • Guided tours available

Contact info

1555 5th Avenue West
Owen Sound, Ontario
Telephone: 519-376-8597
http://roselawnbowlingclub.com

Architecture

Year built: 1948
Architectural style: Vernacular

Dates/hours open

Saturday June 2, 2018
Saturday only: Noon to 4 p.m.

Roxy Theatre Doors Open Owen Sound

Roxy Theatre

The Roxy Theatre building, which was originally the Grand Opera House, was constructed in 1912 and has long been a landmark in Owen Sound. The Owen Sound Little Theatre, a not-for-profit charitable organization, now uses the building for community theatrical productions as well as many stage performances and musical events.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Partial wheelchair access
  • Washrooms
  • Kid-friendly
  • Guided tours available

Contact info

251 9th Street East
Owen Sound, Ontario
Telephone: 519-371-7456
www.roxytheatre.ca

Architecture

Year built: 1912
Building type: Attraction, Theatre

Dates/hours open

Saturday June 2, 2018
Saturday only: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tone Studio Doors Open Owen Sound

Tone Studio

Built of native stone and dedicated to the Congregational church in 1871, this property was sold in 1902 to the Women's Christian Temperance Union for use as a meeting hall. It became a Lutheran church in 1943, and was then bought by the Christian Science Society in 1963. Today, the building is a thriving yoga, music and dance studio.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Washrooms
  • Women's history

Contact info

900 1st Avenue West
Owen Sound, Ontario
Telephone: 519-935-2610
http://toneyogastudio.com

Architecture

Year built: 1869
Building type: Commercial, Place of worship

Dates/hours open

Saturday June 2 – Sunday June 3, 2018
Saturday: Noon to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Great Lakes Métis Council Doors Open Owen Sound

Great Lakes Métis Council

The Great Lakes Métis Council is a local chartered community council committed to fostering community development and empowerment for Métis citizens. The organization oversees services to the Métis community, including: educational services, economic development, genealogy and the Urban Multi-Purpose Aboriginal Youth Centre. Some of the programs offered include: Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Program, Employment and Training and Infinity Property Services.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Parking
  • Partial wheelchair access
  • Washrooms

Contact info

380 9th Street East
Owen Sound, Ontario
Telephone: 519-370-0435
www.greatlakesmetis.ca

Architecture

Dates/hours open

Saturday June 2, 2018
Saturday only: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.