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Doors Open Ontario presenting sponsor
Doors Open Ontario presenting sponsor

Kingston

Event information

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

Saturday, September 25, 2021 and Sunday, September 26, 2021 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Kingston Association of Museums, Art Galleries and Historic Sites (KAM) is pleased to announce the return of Doors Open Kingston in 2021. KAM is pleased to coordinate this Ontario Heritage Trust program on behalf of the City of Kingston.

This year’s event includes 15 different cultural heritage spaces, including museums, community art hubs, historical gardens cemeteries.

Doors Open Kingston 2021 is an in-person event. Pre-registration is mandatory for all site tours, and COVID-19 health and safety protocols will be in effect. All registrants must self-screen before entering any Doors Open site, wear appropriate personal protective equipment, and maintain social distancing protocols.

Keeping each other safe is the best way to ensure that everyone has a wonderful experience!

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 of many names, many peoples, many stories; from its First Peoples, to the settlers who eventually came to call it home.

Cultural heritage thrives here. 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 often called "the limestone city" because of its charming limestone buildings, many of which help tell the story of Canada.

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.

#visitlocal

KAM 40th anniversary logo
City of Kingston logo
Tourism Kingston 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

Barriefield Village Heritage Conservation District and Rock Garden Walking Tour

Barriefield is a heritage village overlooking the Cataraqui River. Established in 1814, in its heyday the village boasted taverns, boat-building yards, a sawmill, blacksmiths, carpenters, shops, a village school and a church. 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 their self-guided tour, can be found at their website. Or book your in-person tour here!

Tell us your story about this site

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

Contact info

Start at Wellington Street
Kingston, Ontario
https://barriefieldvillage.com

Architecture

Year built: 1800s
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 25 – Sunday September 26, 2021
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Bellevue House National Historic Site - Visitor Centre and Gardens Doors Open Kingston

Bellevue House National Historic Site - Visitor Centre and Gardens

Bellevue House is where Parks Canada tells the full scope of Sir John A. Macdonald’s story. The renewal of the visitor experience at Bellevue House is a continuing process and the historical home remains closed for the renewal of exhibits. Even as we make changes, however, our commitment for your visit is to convey Macdonald’s complex legacy and to offer a place where Canadians can gain a greater understanding of Canada’s history, including aspects that have caused enduring harm. Note: The Bellevue House Visitor Centre is now open. You can register on site only (maximum of 6 people per tour pod) for a 20-minute, indoor, self-guided tour of the Visitor Centre. But, for Doors Open, book your Visitor Centre and garden tour here!

Tell us your story about this site

  • French services available
  • Kid-friendly
  • National Historic Site (Canada)
  • Parking
  • Partial wheelchair access
  • Self-guided tours available
  • Washrooms

Contact info

35 Centre Street
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-546-8666, ext. 105
http://PC.gc.ca/bellevue

Architecture

Year built: 1840
Architect: George Browne
Architectural style: Italianate
Building type: Historical landmark
Landscape: Garden

Dates/hours open

Saturday September 25 – Sunday September 26, 2021
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Frontenac County Schools Museums Doors Open Kingston

Frontenac County Schools Museums

Set in historical Barriefield Village, the Frontenac County Schools Museum collects, preserves and displays artifacts and archival materials from the one-room schools of Frontenac County – from the earliest establishment to the consolidation of school districts in 1970. Featuring a replica one-room school and a display gallery, the museum offers plenty of fun activities for all ages. Book your visit here!

Tell us your story about this site

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

Contact info

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

Architecture

Year built: 1886
Architect: William Newlands
Building type: Government building, Museum, Place of worship
Landscape: Landscape, Natural heritage

Dates/hours open

Saturday September 25 – Sunday September 26, 2021
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Kingston Scout Museum (Selby Scout Hall) Doors Open Kingston

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Kingston Scout Museum (Selby Scout Hall)

Founded in 2008 by a group of dedicated volunteers and following the centenary of the scouting movement in Canada, the Kingston Scout Museum explores, preserves and exhibits 100 years’ worth of scouting history and experience within the Kingston area, as well as its unique contribution to youth and civic development over this period. The Kingston Scout Museum is located in Selby Scout Hall, a former military hut constructed during the Second World War. Book your tour here!

Tell us your story about this site

  • Kid-friendly
  • Self-guided tours available

Contact info

642 MacDonnell Street
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-389-8859
Email: spreid@bell.net
http://www.scoutmuseumkingston.ca

Architecture

Year built: 1940s
Building type: Military

Dates/hours open

Saturday September 25, 2021
Saturday only: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Kingston Theatre Organ Society Doors Open Kingston

Kingston Theatre Organ Society

Since 1981, people have come from afar to see and hear Canada's largest theatre pipe organ – a 3/28 Kimball, which is the showpiece of the Kingston Theatre Organ Society, housed in the Kingston Korean Church. During Doors Open, visitors will be treated to organ presentations and silent film demos. Book your tour here! Note: Proof of vaccination will be required to enter this site.

Tell us your story about this site

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

Contact info

89 Kirkpatrick Street
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-389-6218
www.ktos.ca

Architecture

Building type: Place of worship

Dates/hours open

Saturday September 25, 2021
Saturday only: 10 a.m. to 5 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. Book your tour here!

Tell us your story about this site

  • French services available
  • Guided tours available
  • Self-guided tours available
  • Site has blue and gold provincial plaque

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)
Architect: Henry Bowyer and Joseph Lane (1846); William Hay (1854-56 post-fire);John Power (1872-72 church hall)
Architectural style: Gothic revival
Building type: Cemetery, Historical landmark, Place of worship

Dates/hours open

Saturday September 25, 2021
Saturday only: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston Doors Open Kingston

Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston

Come and enjoy limited behind-the-scenes tours of the Marine Museum, including both exterior and interior features. Built in 1890, the Dry Dock and Engine House (designed by Chief Engineer Henry Perley) was later added to during the world wars, and contributed to Kingston's shipbuilding industry for over 60 years. The museum provides an opportunity for the public to explore the property's historical features and its vision for the future. Doors Open is an opportunity to 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. Book your tour here!

Tell us your story about this site

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

Contact info

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

Architecture

Year built: 1891; First World War; Second World War
Architect: Henry Perley
Architectural style: Victorian
Building type: Historical landmark, Museum

Dates/hours open

Saturday September 25 – Sunday September 26, 2021
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Murney Tower National Historic Site Doors Open Kingston

Murney Tower National Historic Site

The Murney Tower Museum is a community museum operated by the Kingston Historical Society in partnership with Parks Canada. It is located in one of the four Martello Towers of Kingston, and is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Rideau Canal and Kingston Fortifications. It is the oldest operating museum in Kingston with over a thousand domestic and military artifacts. The museum offers tours, programming and exhibits. Book your tour here!

Tell us your story about this site

  • Kid-friendly
  • National Historic Site (Canada)
  • Self-guided tours available

Contact info

2 King Street West at Barrie Street
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-507-5181
https://www.murneytower.com

Architecture

Year built: 1846
Building type: Military, Museum

Dates/hours open

Saturday September 25 – Sunday September 26, 2021
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Museum of Health Care at Kingston Doors Open Kingston

Museum of Health Care at Kingston

The imposing, beaux-arts-style Ann Baillie Building was originally a student nurses’ residence from 1904 to 1969. Now, it’s the home of the Museum of Health Care with its extensive collection of artifacts. Gallery visits, tours of the archives and children’s activities will allow you to experience the history of health care in Canada. Book your tour here!

Tell us your story about this site

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

Contact info

32 George Street
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-548-2419
Email: kevin.moorhouse@kingstonhsc.ca
www.museumofhealthcare.ca

Architecture

Year built: 1903-04
Architect: William Newlands
Architectural style: Art deco, Beaux arts
Building type: Museum

Dates/hours open

Saturday September 25 – Sunday September 26, 2021
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to Noon

St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church Doors Open Kingston

St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church

St. Andrew's has been an integral part of the history of Kingston and Canada since the completion of the city's first stone church on a limestone ridge overlooking the harbour in 1822. It was at St. Andrew's that Queen's University was begun (with a charter that states it must be situated within five kilometres (three miles) of St. Andrew's). Two Fathers of Confederation were members of this congregation. The current sanctuary includes amazing stained-glass windows, the initials of First World War flying ace Billy Bishop and other Royal Military College officer cadets carved into the pews, a 3,000-pipe organ and nine tower bells. The large adjoining manse was completed in 1841 and is listed by Heritage Canada as "one of the finest homes in the city." Book your tour here!

Tell us your story about this site

  • French services available
  • Parking
  • Self-guided tours available
  • Site is protected by the Ontario Heritage Trust
  • Washrooms

Contact info

130 Clergy Street East
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-546-6316
www.standrewskingston.org

Architecture

Year built: 1890
Architect: Joseph Powers and Son
Architectural style: Romanesque revival
Building type: Historical landmark, Place of worship

Dates/hours open

Saturday September 25, 2021
Saturday only: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

St. Mark's Anglican Church Doors Open Kingston

St. Mark's Anglican Church

Built in 1843 by local stone masons, St. Marks has played a formative role in the emergence of Kingston East for over 175 years – in the sense that the church has been a foundation for an active religious community, one initially tied to the Royal Navy establishment in Kingston, and subsequently since the late 19th century, attached to and nurturing the emerging Pittsburgh Township community. Constructed of native limestone, the church is a fine example of Gothic revival architecture. It was built with the aid of funds subscribed by the British Admiralty and by settlers of Barriefield, many of them employees of the Royal Navy dockyard at Navy Bay. Book your tour here!

Tell us your story about this site

  • Full wheelchair access
  • Kid-friendly
  • Parking
  • Self-guided tours available
  • Site has blue and gold provincial plaque
  • Washrooms

Contact info

268 Main Street
Barriefield, Ontario
Telephone: 613-546-3386
Email: oficestmarksbarriefield@kingston.net
http://stmarksbarriefield.com

Architecture

Year built: 1843
Architect: Alfred Brunel
Architectural style: Gothic revival
Building type: Place of worship

Dates/hours open

Saturday September 25, 2021
Saturday only: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning Doors Open Kingston

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Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning

The Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning is a charitable arts organization, operating in the J.K. Tett heritage building on Lake Ontario's waterfront. Now owned by the City of Kingston, it was originally part of the Morton Brewery and Distillery Company (built in the mid-19th century). A fascinating example of the intersection between heritage and contemporary community use, the Tett is home to nine arts organizations, eight creativity studio artists, four rental spaces, and a fully licensed café. Learn more about this fascinating site through the video below. Book your tour here! Note: Proof of vaccination will be required to enter this site.

Tell us your story about this site

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

Contact info

370 King Street West
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 343-266-0009
Email: arts@tettcentre.org
https://www.tettcentre.org

Architecture

Year built: c. 1844
Building type: Educational facility

Dates/hours open

Saturday September 25 – Sunday September 26, 2021
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Spire Doors Open Kingston

The Spire

The Spire is a landmark in downtown Kingston, a vibrant community hub for more than 20 arts and not-for-profit groups. People have gathered here for generations to work, sing, create, provide self-help, find safe harbour, workshop, learn and develop community connections. Visit this beautiful neo-Gothic church, built in 1852, with its rainbow flag, a beacon of hope. Experience the magnificent heritage sanctuary, a popular performance hall for choral music. Learn about the many community groups who call this place home, share in some engaging stories, and learn about secret spaces from the past to the present. Visit the site virtually or book your in-person tour here!

Tell us your story about this site

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

Contact info

82 Sydenham Street
Kingston, Ontario
Telephone: 613-542-9616
Email: sydenham@kos.net
https://www.thespirekingston.org

Architecture

Year built: 1852
Architect: William Coverdale (1852); Colin Drever (1885); Bruce Downey (2017)
Architectural style: Gothic revival
Building type: Historical landmark, Place of worship
Landscape: Garden

Dates/hours open

Saturday September 25, 2021
Saturday only: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.