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Doors Open Ontario presenting sponsor
Doors Open Ontario presenting sponsor

Kingston

Event information

Saturday, September 26, 2020 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Explore, Discover, Encounter the hidden spaces, places and stories of Kingston

The Kingston Association of Museums, Art Galleries and Historic Sites (KAM) is pleased to announce the return of Doors Open Kingston in 2020. KAM is honoured to coordinate this Ontario Heritage Trust program on behalf of the City of Kingston.

This year’s event includes a small but diverse sampling of Kingston's cultural heritage spaces. Booked tours are required/available for established social bubbles. To register, please visit Doors Open Kingston.

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Community information

At the gateway of the 1000 Islands and the UNESCO-designated Rideau Canal, Kingston is a city rich in history and culture. The city's strategic location – where the St. Lawrence and Cataraqui rivers meet Lake Ontario – have made it an important location for Canada's First Nations long before European settlers ever set foot here.

History thrives here. Kingston is often called "the limestone city" because of the many charming limestone buildings, many of which help tell the story of Canada.

Every year, we host a number of festivals and live concerts – including the Kick + Push Festival, Limestone City Blues Festival, Busker Rendezvous, Fort Fright and FebFest – and we’re constantly brainstorming to create new and engaging events that you’ll want to attend.

Kingston has plenty of museums, art galleries and historical sites to keep you busy – from small, specialized museums and art venues brimming with local and international talent to national historical treasures. Kingston is just begging to be explored.

Snap some pics of the city’s new and historical architecture, visit the Farmers’ Market (the oldest continuously run market in North America, in operation since 1801), and get some shopping done at the authentic boutiques and shops along Princess Street in the downtown core. It’s all waiting for you in Kingston.

Located in Ontario’s backyard, find out why Kingston will soon become your new favourite weekend getaway.

Doors Open Kingston 2020 logo
Tourism Kingston logo
City of Kingston logo
KAM 40th anniversary logo

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Contact info

Telephone: 613-507-4014
Email: info@kingstonmuseums.ca
Website: www.kingstonmuseums.ca/doors-open-kingston

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Barriefield Village Heritage Conservation District and Rock Garden Walking Tour Doors Open Kingston

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Barriefield Village Heritage Conservation District and Rock Garden Walking Tour

Barriefield is a heritage village overlooking the Cataraqui River. Established in 1814, the village boasted taverns, boat-building yards, a sawmill, blacksmiths, carpenters, shops, a village school and a church in its heyday. Barriefield Village was designated as the first Heritage Conservation District in Ontario and still retains its 19th-century character. As well as many restored houses, there is a neo-Gothic church (Brunel), a township hall (Newlands), the Barriefield Rock Garden, an antique shop, river views and vistas. More information, including the self-guided tour, can be found at their website.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Parking
  • Partial wheelchair access
  • Site has blue and gold provincial plaque

Contact info

Start at 414 Regent Street (the Frontenac County Schools Museum)
Kingston, Ontario
Email: david.bakhurst@gmail.com
https://barriefieldvillage.com

Architecture

Year built: Various
Architect: Various
Architectural style: Arts and crafts, Edwardian, Georgian, Gothic revival, Log structure, Ontario Gothic, Regency, Vernacular, Victorian
Building type: Commercial, Historical landmark, Museum, Place of worship, Private residence
Landscape: Garden, Landscape, Natural heritage, Trail

Dates/hours open

Saturday September 26, 2020
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cataraqui Boatyard Project (Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour) Doors Open Kingston

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Cataraqui Boatyard Project (Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour)

The Cataraqui Boatyard Project is led by the Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour – a group of Kingstonians interested in celebrating the harbour with living history projects as Canada's oldest continuous boat-building location. During September 2020, come and witness the community build of a traditional Algonquin birchbark canoe, led by Chuck Commanda, Algonquin Traditional Knowledge Keeper. Drop by from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., including weekends, from September 7 to 27 – with a weekend celebration of Algonquin and Indigenous cultures on September 26-27. Visit our website to learn more.

Tell us your story about this site

  • French services available
  • Full wheelchair access
  • Kid-friendly
  • Parking
  • Washrooms

Contact info

Douglas Fluhrer Park (at the north end of Wellington Street)
Kingston, Ontario
Email: inverarymary@yahoo.com
www.friendsofinnerharbour.com/cataraqui-boatyard-project

Architecture

Landscape: Landscape, Natural heritage, Park

Dates/hours open

Monday September 7 – Sunday September 27, 2020
9:00am – 5:00pm

Frontenac County Schools Museum Doors Open Kingston

Frontenac County Schools Museum

Located in the former Pittsburgh Town Hall in historical Barriefield Village, the Frontenac County Schools Museum provides an authentic 1890s schoolroom experience for visitors of all ages. The classroom and gallery are filled with objects and archival materials that were collected from one-room schools in Kingston and area. Note: Register for a tour here.

Tell us your story about this site

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

Contact info

414 Regent Street
Barriefield, Ontario
Telephone: 613-544-9113
Email: fcschoolsmuseum@gmail.com
www.fcsmuseum.com

Architecture

Year built: 1886
Architect: William Newlands
Building type: Museum

Dates/hours open

Saturday September 26, 2020
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Lower Burial Ground at St. Paul's Anglican Church Doors Open Kingston

Lower Burial Ground at St. Paul's Anglican Church

Kingston's Lower Burial Ground was laid out in 1783 in anticipation of the arrival of Loyalists at Kingston after the American Revolution. Many early citizens of Kingston are buried here, including prominent residents, Black slaves brought by the Loyalists, and sailors of the Great Lakes. A visit to the site will include an opportunity to tour the graveyard, an exterior look at the 1840s Gothic revival St. Paul’s Anglican Church and a unique Doors Open opportunity to see a part of the cemetery that still exists under the church hall, but that is largely unseen and unknown. Note: Register for a tour here.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Parking
  • Site has blue and gold provincial plaque
  • Site is protected by the Ontario Heritage Trust

Contact info

137 Queen Street (at Montreal Street)
Kingston, Ontario
Email: lowerburialground@gmail.com
www.lowerburialground.ca

Architecture

Year built: 1840s (cemetery established in 1783)
Architectural style: Gothic revival
Building type: Cemetery, Historical landmark, Place of worship

Dates/hours open

Saturday September 26, 2020
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston Doors Open Kingston

Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston

Limited behind-the-scenes tours of this historical property will include exterior and interior features. The site, built in 1890, contributed to Kingston’s shipbuilding industry for over 60 years. (The Dry Dock and Engine House – designed by Chief Engineer Henry Perley – were added later.) While still located at their storefront gallery at Portsmouth Olympic Harbour, the museum provides an opportunity for the public to explore the property's historical features. Come and see and learn first-hand the importance of this property to Kingston's heritage and how the museum intends to preserve it for future generations. Note: Register for a tour here.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Guided tours available
  • National Historic Site (Canada)
  • Parking
  • Site has blue and gold provincial plaque

Contact info

55 Ontario Street
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-542-2261
Email: marmus@marmuseum.ca
www.marmuseum.ca

Architecture

Year built: 1890
Building type: Historical landmark, Museum

Dates/hours open

Saturday September 26, 2020
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

McDonald Institute (The Canadian Astroparticle Physics Research Institute) Doors Open Kingston

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McDonald Institute (The Canadian Astroparticle Physics Research Institute)

Get a behind-the-scenes tour of the McDonald Institute Visitor Centre, featuring different demonstrations in the field of astroparticle physics, including Art McDonald's Nobel Prize-winning work. Thirty-minute tours will be conducted by a live guide, and streamed through Zoom. Note: Register for a tour here.

Tell us your story about this site

Contact info

64 Bader Lane
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-533-6000, ext. 77182
Email: mark.richardson@mcdonaldinstitute.ca
https://mcdonaldinstitute.ca

Architecture

Building type: Attraction, Educational facility

Dates/hours open

Saturday September 26, 2020
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Secret Garden Inn at Argyle Place, The Doors Open Kingston

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Secret Garden Inn at Argyle Place, The

This Victorian home was built in 1888 by Scotsman John McKay, a fur and leather merchant, with a tower typical of the period as well as noteworthy terracotta panels with interesting designs. Now a boutique hotel (and a member of the Historic Inns of Kingston), the property was recently renovated inside and out – including the gardens. The house contains original stained glass from 1888, which is the inspiration for the inn’s logo. The finial is also original and is now finished in gold leaf. Note: Register for a tour here.

Tell us your story about this site

  • French services available
  • Guided tours available
  • Parking
  • Washrooms

Contact info

73 Sydenham Street
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-548-1081
Email: info@thesecretgardeninn.com
https://thesecretgardeninn.com

Architecture

Year built: 1888
Architectural style: Victorian
Building type: Attraction, Commercial, Historical landmark, Historical house
Landscape: Garden

Dates/hours open

Saturday September 26, 2020
Saturday: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Spire at Sydenham Street United Church Doors Open Kingston

The Spire at Sydenham Street United Church

The Spire at Sydenham Street United Church has been part of the Kingston skyline for more than 160 years. Built in 1854 by William Coverdale, the building has seen many changes over the years, but retains its Gothic revival character. One popular feature is the pew where Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip sat during their 1959 Kingston visit. The rainbow flag symbolized the commitment of Sydenham Street United, an Affirming congregation, to inclusivity. Note: Register for a tour here.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Full wheelchair access
  • Guided tours available
  • Washrooms

Contact info

82 Sydenham Street
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-542-9616
Email: bruce@thespire.org
www.thespirekingston.org

Architecture

Year built: 1852
Architect: William Coverdale
Architectural style: Gothic revival
Building type: Historical landmark, Place of worship
Landscape: Garden

Dates/hours open

Saturday September 26, 2020
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.