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St. Thomas

Event information

Saturday, October 13, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

From the peak of the railroad days to modern times, St. Thomas has been at the intersection of history and innovation. During Doors Open St. Thomas, experience Victorian heritage and modern culture where they meet: in the Railroad City.

Admission is FREE for visitors at all participating sites.

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Community information

Located in the heart of southwestern Ontario, St. Thomas has come a long way since it was settled in 1810. Named after Thomas Talbot, who helped promote the development of this region during the early 19th century, the city was named the seat of the new Elgin County in 1844 and was incorporated as a village in 1852, as a town in 1861 and as a city in 1881.

In the late 19th and early 20th century, several railways were constructed through the city. Located exactly halfway between Detroit and Buffalo, St. Thomas became an important railway junction. By 1914, there were eight different railways operating in St. Thomas, with over 100 trains a day passing through the city, earning it the title of the Railway Capital of Canada, which is still celebrated today in the revitalization of the CASO Station and the Elgin County Railway Museum.

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Become a volunteer

If you are interested in volunteering for this event, contact Railway City Tourism at tourism@stthomas.ca.

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Contact info

Telephone: 519-631-1680, ext. 4132
Email: tourism@stthomas.ca
Website: www.railwaycitytourism.com

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12 sites found

Elgin County Archives Doors Open St. Thomas

Elgin County Archives

This building, designed as a nursing residence for the provincial psychiatric hospital across the road, has minimal decoration and striking curved two-storey bays, reflecting the era’s prevailing art deco style. Since 2002, the Elgin County Archives has been preserving and providing access to municipal government records and private collections – including Alma College and the St. Thomas Times-Journal.

Tell us your story about this site

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

Contact info

450 Sunset Drive
St. Thomas, Ontario
Telephone: 519-631-1460, ext. 154
www.elgincounty.ca/archives

Architecture

Year built: 1939
Architectural style: Art deco

Dates/hours open

Saturday October 13, 2018
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Elgin County Museum Doors Open St. Thomas

Elgin County Museum

The new Elgin County Heritage Centre is located beside the Elgin County Administration Building, with the museum on the fourth floor. The new Centre features changing exhibitions and a permanent space called Talbot’s Castle – a recreation of Colonel Talbot’s ancestral castle where visitors will discover how Talbot helped settle southwestern Ontario. Armour, furnishings and a 10-foot Robert the Bruce statue.

Tell us your story about this site

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

Contact info

450 and 460 Sunset Drive
St. Thomas, Ontario
Telephone: 519-631-1460
www.elgincounty.ca/museum

Architecture

Year built: 1939 and 2017
Architectural style: Art deco
Building type: Museum

Dates/hours open

Saturday October 13, 2018
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Elgin County Railway Museum Doors Open St. Thomas

Elgin County Railway Museum

Come to the Elgin County Railway Museum and visit the century-old Michigan Central Railroad locomotive shops. Take a guided tour and discover displays of railway artifacts, rolling stock equipment and the History in Motion model railway. Climb aboard and explore the interior of a real caboose and the 5700 steam engine.

Tell us your story about this site

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

Contact info

225 Wellington Street
St. Thomas, Ontario
Telephone: 519-637-6284
www.ecrm5700.org

Architecture

Year built: 1913
Architect: John Findlay
Building type: Museum, Transportation

Dates/hours open

Saturday October 13, 2018
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Las Chicas del Café Doors Open St. Thomas

Las Chicas del Café

Three generations of coffee growers and one generation of coffee importers founded Las Chicas del Café. They roast and package coffee out of the location at St. Thomas’ historical CASO Station. The family's farm in Nicaragua produces coffee that is a testament to craftsmanship. The beans are carefully handled and processed by hand – from picking to packaging.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Parking

Contact info

105-750 Talbot Street
St. Thomas, Ontario
Telephone: 519-652-3642
www.laschicasdelcafe.com

Architecture

Year built: 1871
Architectural style: Italianate
Building type: Attraction, Commercial

Dates/hours open

Saturday October 13, 2018
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

London and Port Stanley Railway Station Doors Open St. Thomas

London and Port Stanley Railway Station

The replica London and Port Stanley (L&PS) Railway Station houses the Railway City Tourism office. See displays of railway artifacts and interpretative panels about the railway history of St. Thomas. A guide to walking tours is available, which will help visitors explore the surrounding L&PS corridor, trails and adjacent sites.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Full wheelchair access
  • Kid-friendly
  • Guided tours available
  • Self-guided tours available

Contact info

605 Talbot Street
St. Thomas, Ontario
Telephone: 519-631-1680, ext. 4132
Email: tourism@stthomas.ca
www.railwaycitytourism.com

Architecture

Building type: Attraction, Transportation

Dates/hours open

Saturday October 13, 2018
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Port Stanley Terminal Rail Doors Open St. Thomas

Port Stanley Terminal Rail

The Port Stanley Terminal Rail is an operating tourist railway that runs on the restored London and Port Stanley (L&PS) Railway line to St. Thomas. The headquarters is located in the village of Port Stanley on Lake Erie. For Doors Open St. Thomas 2018, enjoy a train ride from the L&PS Railway Station to the Elgin County Museum.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Washrooms

Contact info

605 Talbot Street
St. Thomas, Ontario
Telephone: 519-782-3730
www.pstr.on.ca

Architecture

Building type: Transportation

Dates/hours open

Saturday October 13, 2018
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Princess Avenue Playhouse Doors Open St. Thomas

Princess Avenue Playhouse

Since 1967, the Elgin Theatre Guild has been treating local audiences to live entertainment. Run entirely by volunteers, the guild attracts hundreds of patrons every year to the Princess Avenue Playhouse. A handsome brick building with three outstanding façades and two distinct towers, it was designed in 1907 as a church.

Tell us your story about this site

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

Contact info

40 Princess Avenue
St. Thomas, Ontario
Telephone: 519-633-8530
www.elgintheatreguild.ca

Architecture

Year built: 1907
Architect: Neil Darrach
Building type: Place of worship, Theatre

Dates/hours open

Saturday October 13, 2018
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Railway City Brewing Company Doors Open St. Thomas

Railway City Brewing Company

Visit this craft brewery, where beer is hand-crafted in small batches, using only the finest ingredients – locally grown hops and carefully selected Ontario-sourced malted grains – without additives, preservatives or pasteurization. Stop by for a tour and sample history in a bottle.

Tell us your story about this site

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

Contact info

130 Edward Street
St. Thomas, Ontario
Telephone: 519-631-1881
www.railwaycitybrewing.com

Architecture

Building type: Commercial, Food and drink

Dates/hours open

Saturday October 13, 2018
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

St. Thomas Elevated Park - Michigan Central Railway Bridge Doors Open St. Thomas

St. Thomas Elevated Park - Michigan Central Railway Bridge

The 86-year-old Michigan Central Railway bridge – the third on this site – has a great story to tell about St. Thomas’s railway heritage. The second phase of this ongoing project – Canada’s first elevated park – will be completed in 2018. Learn more about the history and vision for the site, and enjoy stunning views of the Kettle Creek Valley in fall colours.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Parking
  • Kid-friendly
  • Guided tours available

Contact info

Enter at the intersection of King and Centre streets
St. Thomas, Ontario
Telephone: 519-859-7763
www.elevatedpark.ca

Architecture

Year built: 1930
Building type: Attraction, Historical landmark
Landscape: Park, Trail

Dates/hours open

Saturday October 13, 2018
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

St. Thomas Public Library Doors Open St. Thomas

St. Thomas Public Library

The St. Thomas Public Library opened on October 4, 1974 as a joint venture of the City of St. Thomas and Elgin County. The Toronto architectural firm Brook, Carruthers and Shaw developed the original design in the then-popular brutalist style. Come for a visit and explore the George Thorman Room – the repository for local history collections.

Tell us your story about this site

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

Contact info

153 Curtis Street
St. Thomas, Ontario
Telephone: 519-631-6050
http://stthomaspubliclibrary.ca

Architecture

Building type: Library

Dates/hours open

Saturday October 13, 2018
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre Doors Open St. Thomas

St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre

The St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre has been a part of the community for nearly 50 years. It has the distinction of being a grade A-1 museum facility, and has amassed a collection of 1,700 works of art by local, regional, national and international artists.

Tell us your story about this site

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

Contact info

301 Talbot Street
St. Thomas, Ontario
Telephone: 519-631-4040
www.stepac.ca

Architecture

Building type: Museum

Dates/hours open

Saturday October 13, 2018
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

STEAM Education Centre - Jennings Tire Doors Open St. Thomas

STEAM Education Centre - Jennings Tire

This former garage is now home to the STEAM Education Centre – a place to empower all learners and makers in southwestern Ontario to create the future through play, ingenuity and exploration using STEAM learning tools. The centre delivers a comprehensive educational model focused on developing the creativity and problem ¬solving necessary to explore ideas and foster growth.

Tell us your story about this site

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

Contact info

168 Curtis Street
St. Thomas, Ontario
Telephone: 226-212-0048
Email: info@steameducation.ca
www.steameducation.ca

Architecture

Year built: 1898
Architect: Neil Darrach
Building type: Commercial, Educational facility

Dates/hours open

Saturday October 13, 2018
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.