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Doors Open Ontario presenting sponsor
Doors Open Ontario presenting sponsor

Ottawa

Event information

Digital Doors Open Ottawa

Visitors are invited to explore nearly 50 of Ottawa’s most beautiful and interesting building sites without having to leave home. The following sites offer tours, videos and activities that will engage people of all ages.

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Info from the City of Ottawa

The City of Ottawa is thrilled to participate in this year’s Digital Doors Open Ontario event. Doors Open Ottawa has been celebrating the unique built heritage of the nation’s capital since 2002 and, after an unpredictable year, we look forward to opening virtual doors to the Ottawa community – and beyond.

We would like to take this moment to acknowledge this year’s building participants. The time and effort they have put forth to ensure that this year’s event is a success has not gone unnoticed. The ingenuity and dedication toward creating virtual experiences for everyone to enjoy is a testament to their community pride.

Thank you for visiting the Ottawa page of Doors Open Ontario. If you wish to see this year’s full building list – available from June 4 to 11 – please visit ottawa.ca/doorsopen.

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Contact info

Telephone: 613-857-5883
Email: doorsopen@ottawa.ca
Website: https://ottawa.ca/doorsopen

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Arts Court Doors Open Ottawa

Arts Court

Before Arts Court was a vibrant centre for performing, media and visual arts, it served as the Carleton County Courthouse. Built for this purpose between 1870 and 1871, the Courthouse was part of a legal precinct that included the former Carleton County Gaol, the Carleton County Registry Office and the former City Registry Office on Nicholas Street. The building was identified for demolition by the Government of Ontario in 1980. In 1985, however, the City of Ottawa took ownership of the building and established the now-dissolved Ottawa Arts Court Foundation trustees as its custodians. Arts Court became Ottawa’s central arts hub in 1988. Currently housed in the building are 18 independent arts organizations. A historical landmark in downtown Ottawa, Arts Court continues to evolve as a vibrant centre for artists and audiences alike. Celebrating the building’s sesquicentennial (150th) anniversary in 2021, Arts Court is excited to welcome people back ... when the time is right. As part of Digital Doors Open, take a virtual tour of this site through the video below.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Video

Contact info

2 Daly Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario
https://artscourt.ca

Architecture

Year built: 1870-71
Building type: Theatre

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

Bytown Museum: Commissariat Building Doors Open Ottawa

Bytown Museum: Commissariat Building

Ottawa’s oldest stone building, the Commissariat, was built in 1827 as a storehouse during the construction of the Rideau Canal. It was commissioned by Colonel By and built by labourers under the direction of stonemason and founder of New Edinburgh Thomas Mackay. The limestone used to build the Commissariat’s 0.8-metre-thick (2.5-foot-thick) walls was quarried locally, and the symmetrical placement of its doors and windows provide a wonderful example of the Georgian architectural style. Its three floors and attic were used to house building materials, and to provide living quarters to officials onsite, revealed by the presence of a Rumford-style fireplace in the third-floor offices. On the first floor, the heavily fortified vault kept black powder, alcohol rations and the money used to pay the workers and soldiers. Over the years, the Commissariat has had many landlords but, in 1951, the keys were handed to the Women’s Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa (WCHSO). Now the Historical Society of Ottawa, the WCHSO made the Commissariat the new home of the Bytown Museum, Ottawa’s oldest community museum, in 1917. The Commissariat underwent a major Parks Canada restoration and renovation in the 1980s to help repair damage and to reinforce the building’s structure, as seen by the inclusion of metal braces and additional wooden beams on the third floor. As part of your Digital Doors Open experience, you can explore highlights from their fascinating online collections, take a virtual tour of the facility (don’t forget your VR glasses), explore the site through the lens of UNESCO’s World Heritage List, and learn more about the building by watching the video below.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Virtual tour
  • Video
  • Collections and resources
  • Kid-friendly

Contact info

1 Canal Lane
Ottawa, Ontario
https://bytownmuseum.com

Architecture

Year built: 1827
Building type: Historical landmark, Museum

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

Canada Council Art Bank Doors Open Ottawa

Canada Council Art Bank

The Canada Council Art Bank makes contemporary artwork available to the public across the country through its Art Rental and Exhibitions and Outreach programs. With more than 17,000 artworks by over 3,000 artists, the site is home to the largest collection of contemporary Canadian art in the world – housing paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs and prints by emerging and established artists, including a significant number of artworks by Indigenous and racialized artists. This year, because of COVID-19, the Art Bank offers a virtual tour only (see the video below). As this tour shows, a curated selection of pieces leads from the entrance into the viewing room. Then, you can head into each of the five bays of presentation racks to experience the works first-hand and engage directly with the collection. A favourite stop on the tour is the sculpture area. As part of Digital Doors Open, you can explore their collection or some of their rotating exhibits. Read more about their programs and activities on their blog or follow them on social media. And check out their Art Rental program, which remains available even during the pandemic.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Virtual tour
  • Video
  • Collections and resources
  • Kid-friendly

Contact info

921 St. Laurent Blvd.
Ottawa, Ontario
http://artbank.ca

Architecture

Building type: Museum

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

Canadian Conservation Institute (Canadian Heritage Information Network) Doors Open Ottawa

Canadian Conservation Institute (Canadian Heritage Information Network)

The Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) and the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN), special operating agencies within the Department of Canadian Heritage, were created in 1972 to advance and promote the conservation of Canada’s heritage collections. The CCI is focused on moving conservation forward through science and practice. It helps heritage institutions care for and share their collections both here in Canada and abroad. The CHIN offers valuable collections management resources to the Canadian museum community and online public access to millions of collections records. The building they occupy houses over 20 laboratories that are used for conservation and research. It also has a library, metal workshop, wood workshop, photography studio – with an industrial radiography laboratory – and over 100 offices. Visitors will note the eccentric figure that sites atop the front entrance of the building, known as “Captain Conservation.” This imposing fibreglass sculpture tells an interesting story. CCI conservator Andrew Todd came across the sculpture in an Ottawa junkyard in the early 1980s. When Todd left the CCI, he left “the Captain” behind. In the early 1990s, however, then-Director General Charles Gruchy bought the statue from Todd for $1, making the Captain the CCI’s official mascot. During the statue’s restoration, a time capsule was placed in its cement base. The capsule is scheduled to be opened in 2042. As part of Digital Doors Open, take a virtual tour of the CCI through the video below and learn more about this fascinating site.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Virtual tour
  • Video
  • Kid-friendly

Contact info

1030 Innes Road
Ottawa, Ontario
www.canada.ca/en/conservation-institute.html

Architecture

Building type: Historical landmark, Museum

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

Canadian Museum of Nature Doors Open Ottawa

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Canadian Museum of Nature

The official name of the Canadian Museum of Nature building is the Victoria Memorial Museum Building. Most of the exhibitions and programs are offered here. This museum is proud to reside in the first building in Canada created to house a national museum. It is a national historic site and the birthplace of Canada's national museums. The Victoria Memorial Museum Building's chief architect and designer, David Ewart, created a fanciful castle-like structure that has been described as Scottish baronial in design. Ewart's structures reflect the Romanesque and medieval styles of Europe, with a combination of Tudor and Gothic features. The massing and interior articulation of the building are influenced by the beaux-arts style, which stressed symmetrical, axial plans. The architecture was intended to mirror the Centre Block of Canada's original Parliament Buildings, one mile due north of the museum's site. Despite the influence of European styles, the building is firmly rooted in Canadian reality. It is one of the first public buildings to incorporate into its design animals and plants found in Canada – in windows, exterior walls and interior embellishments, as well as the two carved moose heads that guard the main entrance. Renewal of the museum was completed and the renovated museum building was celebrated on May 22, 2010 – the International Day for Biological Diversity. The Queen dedicated the new glass tower, called the Queens' Lantern, named for both Victoria and Elizabeth II. As part of Digital Doors Open, take the self-guided online tour, search their digital collections or explore the many online exhibits. Get started by taking the highlights tour shown below or here. Or explore the juxtaposition of music and nature with nature-inspired musical performances.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Virtual tour
  • Video
  • Collections and resources
  • Kid-friendly
  • National Historic Site (Canada)

Contact info

240 McLeod Street
Ottawa, Ontario
https://nature.ca

Architecture

Architect: David Ewart
Building type: Attraction, Historical landmark, Museum

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

Canadian War Museum Doors Open Ottawa

Canadian War Museum

The Canadian War Museum is Canada’s national museum of military history. Its outstanding exhibitions explain Canada's rich military past from earliest times to the present, and its collections are among the world’s finest military holdings. Peruse online collections and educational resources that show Canadian military history in fascinating detail, play their popular online game or download colouring pages. During Digital Doors Open, you can also explore the latest series of videos from the special exhibition Forever Changed – Stories from the Second World War or visit Liberation! Canada and the Netherlands, 1944-1945 online.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Video
  • Activities and games
  • Collections and resources

Contact info

1 Vimy Place
Ottawa, Ontario
www.warmuseum.ca

Architecture

Year built: 2005
Architect: Raymond Moriyama
Building type: Museum

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

Cancer Research Labs at The Ottawa Hospital Doors Open Ottawa

Cancer Research Labs at The Ottawa Hospital

The Ottawa Hospital is a world leader in cancer research, with basic and clinical researchers working together to improve our understanding of cancer, to develop new therapies, and to determine how best to prevent and diagnose this disease. The cancer research labs at The Ottawa Hospital are beside the clinics where cancer patients come for tests and treatments. Passing cancer patients on their way to the lab inspires our researchers to continue their important work. In addition, the proximity to cancer physicians makes it easier to collaborate on projects, leading to stronger research and better care. The cancer research labs are also home to the Biotherapeutics Manufacturing Centre Virus Manufacturing Facility. The highly trained staff in this state-of-the-art facility specialize in making viruses and other biotherapeutics for clinical trials. Viruses are a key ingredient in many vaccines, including some novel vaccine candidates for COVID-19 that the facility is helping to manufacture. Another of the facility’s specialties is oncolytic, or cancer-killing, viruses. These modified viruses infect and kill cancer cells without harming healthy cells. They also stimulate the body’s own immune system to recognize and attack the cancer. For Digital Doors Open, take the video tour below to see some of the steps that researchers take to make these cancer-killing viruses.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Virtual tour
  • Video

Contact info

501 Smyth Road
Ottawa, Ontario
www.ohri.ca/Programs/cancer_therapeutics/default.asp

Architecture

Building type: Health-care facility

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

Centre for Health Innovation, The Doors Open Ottawa

New

Centre for Health Innovation, The

The Centre for Health Innovation (CHI) operates in a beautiful historical building in the heart of downtown Ottawa. The CHI provides evidence-informed integrative medicine, research and education across the spectrum of chronic and acute health-care conditions such as cancer, cardiovascular health, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, mental health, thyroid health, women’s health, diabetes and more. Their approach emphasizes quality of life, support for the body, care of the spirit, and active prevention of disease. The CHI came into being in October 2020 and is the new home for the Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre (OICC). The OICC is known as the first integrative cancer care and research centre in Eastern Canada and has been awarded the two largest-ever integrative cancer care research grants in North America. A variety of integrative and complementary medicine practices are offered through the CHI, including naturopathic medicine, acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine, functional integrative medicine, nutrition and lifestyle counselling, massage, physiotherapy, reflexology, psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, yoga therapy and more. With regards to its integrative cancer care, the CHI team works with patients and their families to help decrease the side effects of cancer treatment, improve the energy, well-being and overall quality of health, balance the body’s immune system, support the mind, body and spirit in the healing process, and provide supportive strategies for cancer prevention and health maintenance. All integrative therapies are designed to be supportive and in alignment with hospital-based care and conventional medicine as a whole. As part of Digital Doors Open, check this place out through the video below.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Video

Contact info

429 MacLaren Street
Ottawa, Ontario
www.thechi.ca

Architecture

Building type: Health-care facility

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

Chaudière Falls (Portage Power) Doors Open Ottawa

Chaudière Falls (Portage Power)

Chaudière Falls is a subsidiary of Hydro Ottawa Holdings Inc. and is a 29-megawatt hydroelectric facility that feeds into the provincial grid and powers 20,000 homes with clean, renewable energy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 115,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide every year. Built entirely below ground, this facility was designed to have minimal-to-zero impacts on the visual, natural and aquatic environments. To ensure safe fish passage through the facility, they have incorporated leading technological solutions to protect migrating American eel, endangered under the Ontario Endangered Species Act (ESA). In addition, there are new spawning beds being built downstream to promote the recovery efforts associated with sturgeon (also endangered under the ESA). Chaudière Falls is home to Canada’s oldest hydroelectric station still in operation. It was responsible for lighting Ottawa’s streets with electricity and fuelled the industrial explosion of the mid-1800s by providing water power for the vast complex of lumber mills that once occupied the shoreline of the Ottawa River. The new site offers safe viewing platforms and greater public access in the form of a defined corridor on the roof of the new below-grade hydro facility. A new bridge across the intake canal is open for pedestrian and cyclist traffic. Using a restorative philosophy, they are maintaining elements of the city’s industrial past, including refurbishing the site’s oldest buildings that survived the Great Fire of 1900. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Chaudière Falls has remained closed to school and general public tours, but you can – as part of Digital Doors Open – enjoy a virtual tour below.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Virtual tour
  • Video

Contact info

4 Booth Street
Ottawa, Ontario
https://chaudierefalls.com

Architecture

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

Christ Church Cathedral Ottawa Doors Open Ottawa

Christ Church Cathedral Ottawa

The parish of Christ Church Bytown was established in 1832 on unceded Algonquin territory. In 1872, architect King Arnoldi completed construction of a bigger church in the English Gothic style to harmonize with the new Parliament buildings. Named the Cathedral of the Diocese in 1897, it continues to nurture faith in creative and traditional ways, and is often used for ecumenical, interfaith and state events. The cathedral offers soaring ceilings and pointed windows, drawing attention heavenward while every line seems to point to the altar. In between, in small details and great windows, key aspects of the Christian story are told. Features include the bell tower, home to the 234-kilogram (516-pound) bronze bell cast for the original church in 1839. Having celebrated the creation of Canada on July 1, 1867, the bell continues to ring for services today. The carved wooden reredos behind the altar reflects the motto of the cathedral. The Chapel of Reconciliation includes the Cross of Nails and represents the call to reconciliation with God, between people and with the created order. This chapel also recognizes the cathedral’s role as the Cathedral to the Anglican Military Ordinariate of the Canadian Forces. The magnificent west window was commissioned to celebrate the sesquicentennial of the founding of Christ Church Bytown. Filling the lower portion of the window, crowds of people represent the diversity of the population served by Christ Church over the years. At the top, Christ the King holds the cathedral safe in his arms. The cathedral mice offer young and old a whimsical perspective from their unique hiding places in the stained glass. As part of Digital Doors Open, take a virtual tour of the cathedral below. You can also participate in livestream services (check their website).

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Virtual tour
  • Video
  • Activities and games

Contact info

414 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario
www.ottawacathedral.ca

Architecture

Architect: King Arnoldi
Architectural style: Gothic revival
Building type: Historical landmark, Place of worship

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

Church of St. Bartholomew Doors Open Ottawa

New

Church of St. Bartholomew

St. Bartholomew’s Anglican Church was established in 1867 by a small number of households living in the newly formed community of New Edinburgh. The building was designed by architect Thomas Seaton Scott on land donated by the estate of canal-builder and pioneer industrialist Thomas MacKay, founder of New Edinburgh and first occupant of Rideau Hall. His son-in-law, Thomas C. Keefer, a civil engineer and businessman, was one of the founders of the parish as well as of the village of Rockcliffe Park. The church is built of local limestone and is a designated heritage building. An active place of worship and concert venue today, its history is closely intertwined with that of the local community, the city of Ottawa and the nation. Artifacts and windows remind us of those connections. Particularly striking is the stained-glass window behind the altar. The East Window, unveiled in 1919, is the only work in North America by renowned Irish artist Wilhelmina Geddes. It commemorates staff members of the Duke of Connaught, Canada’s 10th Governor General, who was killed in the First World War. The window, in An Túr Gloine style, depicts a fallen soldier being welcomed into heaven by other warrior-saints. Against the west wall stands the magnificent Létourneau organ. Installed in 2013, the first pipe organ in Ottawa for a generation, it boasts 17 stops and over 1,000 pipes. Many of the plaques, tablets, fittings and other objects – including the lectern and font – are memorials to clergy, parishioners and individuals associated with the church. Heraldic shields bearing the coats of arms of Canada’s Governors General point to the close links to that office. The church is the regimental chapel of the Governor General’s Foot Guards. Two stands of regimental colours are displayed. For Digital Doors Open, take a virtual tour of the church through the video below.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Virtual tour
  • Video

Contact info

125 MacKay Street
Ottawa, Ontario
www.stbartsottawa.ca

Architecture

Year built: 1867
Architect: Thomas Seaton Scott
Building type: Historical landmark, Place of worship

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

CSS Building Inc. Doors Open Ottawa

CSS Building Inc.

In 1960, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Canadian Department of National Defense (DND) built a satellite communications station (SATCOM) at this location. It supports a 20.7-metre (68-foot) diameter metal space frame radar dome (radome) on its roof, which provides environmental protection for the 15.2-metre (50-foot) diameter SATCOM antenna that it houses. The antenna provided satellite communications between all NATO countries until 1999 when NATO and the DND decommissioned the site. That same year, it was purchased by Canadian Space Services Ltd. to serve as its corporate headquarters and training ground for employees. Today, it is owned by the CSS Building, which rents interior space to various local businesses. The two-hectare (five-acre) property currently has four domes on it that vary in size from three metres (10 feet) in diameter to 20.7 metres (68 feet) in diameter. A guided tour inside the building allows visitors to see inside the antenna to view a section of wave guide and the servo motors. Tours around the grounds and inside the building are available by appointment only. For Digital Doors Open, however, anyone can take a virtual tour through the video below.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Virtual tour
  • Video
  • Guided tours available
  • Kid-friendly

Contact info

2336 Craig Side Road
Carp, Ontario
www.cssbuilding.ca

Architecture

Year built: 1960
Building type: Commercial

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat Doors Open Ottawa

Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat

Designed by Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki, this award-winning building serves a representational role for the Ismaili Imamat in Canada, offering a centre for building relationships, enabling quiet diplomacy, disseminating knowledge and information, while reflecting the wide-ranging humanistic and humanitarian agenda of the Aga Khan Development Network and its associated institutions. Under the general direction of His Highness the Aga Khan, Maki has translated concepts rooted in Islamic tradition into a bold, modern design. This design is inspired by the natural luminosity and multi-faceted shape of rock crystal. Throughout the building, the play of light on transparent and translucent surfaces creates a dynamic visual effect. The notion of openness and transparency is carried through the building. The Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat has received the Governor General’s Medal in Architecture (2012), and two awards from the Ontario Association of Architects: the Celebration of Excellence Award and People’s Choice Award (2010). Learn more about this site here.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Collections and resources
  • Kid-friendly

Contact info

199 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
www.akfc.ca/about-us/visit-us/visit-us-covid19

Architecture

Architect: Fumihiko Maki

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

Dickinson House Museum Doors Open Ottawa

Dickinson House Museum

Dickinson House, along with Watson’s Mill and an associated carriage shed, form the core of Dickinson Square, an enclave of heritage buildings in the historical centre of Manotick. In 1858, Moss Kent Dickinson and his business partner Joseph Currier leased water power rights at the site and built a milling complex. By the time Dickinson became sole owner in 1863, there were mills to grind grain into flour, saw lumber and card wool. In later years, wool fabric and stoppers for barrels were also produced. In 1867, Dickinson constructed the 2½-storey clapboard house that still stands facing the grist mill. Originally used as mill offices and a general store, the house became the Dickinson family home in 1870. They lived in the house for 60 years and were followed by two subsequent mill-owning families – the Spratts (1931-48) and the Watsons (1948-72). Furnished in the Victorian manner, Dickinson House and its costumed guides are happy to welcome you and share the history of the house and its times. As part of Digital Doors Open, take a virtual tour of the site.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Virtual tour
  • Video

Contact info

1127 Mill Street
Manotick, Ontario
www.rideautownshiphistory.org/dickinsonhouse

Architecture

Year built: 1867
Architect: Moss Kent Dickinson
Building type: Historical house, Museum

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

Diefenbunker: Canada's Cold War Museum Doors Open Ottawa

Diefenbunker: Canada's Cold War Museum

The Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum is a four-storey Cold War bunker built to protect the government from a nuclear attack on Ottawa. Once top-secret, this underground facility is now open year-round. During Digital Doors Open, you can explore this site through a series of virtual tours, download some colouring pages from their collections, keep busy with various jigsaw puzzles, or play the online game, Project Rustic (Flash required). And learn more in the video below from Historica Canada about the Cold War and the important role that this site played.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Virtual tour
  • Video
  • Activities and games
  • Kid-friendly
  • National Historic Site (Canada)

Contact info

3929 Carp Road
Carp, Ontario
http://diefenbunker.ca

Architecture

Year built: 1959-61
Building type: Attraction, Historical landmark, Museum

Dates/hours open

Friday May 1 – Wednesday March 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

Dominican University College (DUC) Doors Open Ottawa

New

Dominican University College (DUC)

The stone structure of Dominican University College (DUC) displays the vaulted ceilings typical of neo-Gothic design. An interior courtyard visible through large windows opens onto an elegant garden. The highly reputed library is distinguished by its stained glass and the Wilson Room, which is dedicated to antiquated books dating back to the 15th century. The DUC is housed in a grey stone heritage building, the Saint Jean-Baptiste Dominican convent, with its own church of the same name. Although it seems hard to believe it now but the formidable structure, proudly perched on top of Primrose Hill overlooking LeBreton Flats, was not always as invincible as it may appear at first sight. On the terrible night of February 8, 1931, a fire destroyed St. Jean-Baptiste church and part of the west wing of the old convent. A year later, during Easter 1932, the newly rebuilt convent and church were officially inaugurated. As part of Digital Doors Open, explore this site through the video below.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Video

Contact info

96 Empress Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario
www.dominicanu.ca

Architecture

Architectural style: Gothic revival
Building type: Educational facility

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

Enriched Bread Artists (EBA) Doors Open Ottawa

New

Enriched Bread Artists (EBA)

Enriched Bread Artists (EBA) is a not-for-profit collective of visual artists working in a range of media and techniques. The collective was formed in 1992 by graduates of the University of Ottawa looking for studio space and an artistic community beyond university. EBA members have changed over time and, today, EBA artists come from all over the world. The group’s name refers to the former bread factory where the co-operatively run studios are located. Designed by Sydney Comber, a dairy and bakery specialist, the Standard Bread bakery was built in 1924. It was founded by Cecil Morrison and Dick Lamothe. Designated a heritage site by the City of Ottawa in 2020, the building is one of the few remaining light-industrial buildings left in Ottawa. The Enriched Bread Artists’ studios are now home to contemporary artists who continue to sustain the Ottawa art’s scene. The building’s past as a place to produce bread, and its present as a place to produce art, is of interest. Art, like bread, sustains and stimulates society. During Doors Open Ottawa, they will be highlighting the historical features of the building and its current use. At the end of October, EBA artists will present their annual “Open Studio,” a time when studios will be open to the public to share their work and vision with the Ottawa community, and beyond. 2021 marks the 29th anniversary of Enriched Bread Artists. For Digital Doors Open, check out their virtual tours (2020and 2021). Or watch the video below to see how art has kept EBA alive throughout the pandemic.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Virtual tour
  • Video

Contact info

951 Gladstone Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario
www.enrichedbreadartists.com

Architecture

Year built: 1924
Architect: Sydney Comber
Building type: Commercial

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open

Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa (Roger Guindon Hall) Doors Open Ottawa

New

Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa (Roger Guindon Hall)

Welcome to the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Medicine, the first and largest bilingual medical faculty in Canada. Learners here have access to state-of-the art facilities and specialized institutions as they learn alongside world-class physicians and scientists. The school offers top-quality accredited programs in undergraduate and postgraduate medical education, as well as diverse topics for graduate and postdoctoral studies, and a specialized undergraduate degree in translational and molecular medicine. Nationwide, they rank among the top five medical schools for research intensity and impact. As a faculty, they generate approximately $130-140 million per year in research funding from provincial, federal and international sources, and are among the top faculties of medicine in the world for research impact in biomedical and health sciences. Located in the nation’s capital, they are part of a vast network of health practitioners, policy-makers and leaders with national and international influence. They are proudly partnered with five distinguished local academic health science centres: The Ottawa Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Hôpital Montfort, The Royal and Bruyère Continuing Care. In 2020, the school celebrated their 75th anniversary – and have graduated more than 5,000 medical doctors and trained over 7,000 residents. For Digital Doors Open, travel in the footsteps of these students and faculty by enjoying this virtual tour of the medical school.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Virtual tour

Contact info

451 Smyth Road
Ottawa, Ontario
https://med.uottawa.ca

Architecture

Building type: Educational facility, Health-care facility

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open

Fairfields Heritage House Doors Open Ottawa

Fairfields Heritage House

An impressive 19th-century Gothic revival farmhouse, Fairfields Heritage House represents the homestead and community building legacy of the Bell family. Originally built on 267 hectares (660 acres) of farmland, Fairfields was home to five generations of the Bell family, starting when William Bell purchased the land in 1823. A Georgian-style farmhouse was constructed on the site between 1842 and 1851. Sadly, this original home was razed during the great Carleton fire of 1870. Lakeview Farm, as it was originally named, was rebuilt in 1871-72 using the Gothic revival style that was popular at the time. As a museum, Fairfields Heritage House tells the story of nearly 200 years of rich, local history and the people who helped shape the evolution of the area through farming, community involvement, politics and law. Beautiful green lawns surround the house and are an invitation to spend leisure time here. With a gazebo, gardens and statuesque trees, the space is perfect for picnics, exploration and family-friendly activities. For Digital Doors Open, explore the house through this Matterport tour.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Virtual tour
  • Kid-friendly

Contact info

3080 Richmond Road
Ottawa, Ontario
https://ottawa.ca/fairfields

Architecture

Year built: 1871-72
Architectural style: Gothic revival
Building type: Historical house, Museum

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa Doors Open Ottawa

New

First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa

The Ottawa Unitarian Association was formed in 1898, with the first church built at the corner of Elgin and Lewis streets. In 1967, the congregation moved to its current location on Cleary Avenue. Constructed in 1967, this beautiful building is memorable for its soaring spire and the beauty of its interior design. Upon entering the main doors, visitors are welcomed into the sanctuary, which features tall ceilings of red cedar and an expanse of windows that overlook nature. Its architect, James B. Craig, won second place in an annual city design contest run by the Ottawa chapter of the Ontario Association of Architects. First Unitarian Ottawa has a variety of bright, open spaces that can be used for concerts and personal ceremonies. It also shares its space with various other non-profits. The 1.8-hectare (4.5-acre) parcel of land overlooks the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway and the Ottawa River, and the grounds include the beautiful Meditation Gardens (an Ontario Communities in Bloom award-winner), Unitarian House (senior’s residence) and River Parkway Children’s Centre. To learn more about this property during Digital Doors Open, take a virtual tour.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Virtual tour

Contact info

30 Cleary Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario
www.firstunitarianottawa.ca

Architecture

Year built: 1967
Architect: James B. Craig
Building type: Place of worship

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

French Embassy in Canada Doors Open Ottawa

French Embassy in Canada

The French Embassy is an example of 1930s art deco, built primarily of materials from Quebec and France. In this building, which was inaugurated in 1939, highlights include the Salon de l’hon. George W. Vari (formerly the Birch Bark Room), a replica of the Vimy memorial, bronze decorations by André Bizette-Lindet, a fresco by Alfred Courmes and historical wall engravings. Due to COVID-19, the building remains closed to the public. An exhibition on Sussex Drive, however, will give you more information on this iconic building. In addition, as part of Digital Doors Open, you can take a virtual tour here.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Virtual tour
  • French services available
  • Kid-friendly

Contact info

42 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
https://ca.ambafrance.org/-English-

Architecture

Year built: 1930s
Architectural style: Art deco
Building type: Private residence

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

Goulbourn Museum Doors Open Ottawa

New

Goulbourn Museum

Built in 1872, the building currently known as the Goulbourn Museum was the Town Hall of Goulbourn Township. Despite being the size of a one-room schoolhouse, this popular community hub was home to council meetings, parties and dances. The adjacent History Centre building was constructed in 1961 and was the former clerk building. It is now used to store the museum’s artifact collection, as office space and to hold meetings and research appointments. The museum is located just south of Stittsville at Stanley’s Corners, and is home to interactive and hands-on exhibitions– including the All the Woods & Waters exhibit, which explores the colonization of Goulbourn Township, The Village General Store where visitors dress up, shop or barter for supplies, and SCORCHED: The Great Fire of 1870, which commemorates the 150th anniversary of the fire that had devastating consequences for Goulbourn Township. Goulbourn Museum shares the story of the former township by collecting, preserving, displaying and interpreting local artifacts. The museum cares for 10,000 artifacts and a 40,000-piece archaeological collection. Goulbourn Museum is pleased to partner with Doors Open Ottawa 2021 to host virtual behind-the-scenes tours of their collections in storage. In addition to virtual tours of the collections, museum staff are excited to share ongoing digitization efforts and a preview of the Fall 2021 virtual exhibition. For more Digital Doors Open fun, explore their extensive Museum at Home programming, which includes a virtual escape room, virtual tours, heritage driving tours and educator resources.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Virtual tour
  • Activities and games
  • Collections and resources

Contact info

2064 Huntley Road
Ottawa, Ontario
https://goulbournmuseum.ca

Architecture

Year built: 1872
Building type: Attraction, Historical landmark, Museum

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

Heritage Building and Ottawa City Hall Doors Open Ottawa

Heritage Building and Ottawa City Hall

The Heritage Building was formerly the Ottawa Normal School, built in 1875. It was the second Normal School established in Ontario and is the oldest still standing today. In 1879, a model school for 360 pupils was added. As well, an assembly hall and additional classrooms were added in 1892. The original architect, W.R. Strickland, chose the Gothic Renaissance style to reflect the influence of the parliament buildings. Semi-circular Italianate windows, Romanesque columns and a Second Empire roof complete the Victorian structure. The exterior walls are made from limestone quarried in Gloucester Township. The roof is slate and all the decorative trim is made of cast iron. The building was purchased by the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton in 1987, which built the office complex to the rear. Restoration and renovation work began in early 1988. Renamed the Heritage Building, it officially was reopened as part of Regional Headquarters in May 1990. After municipal amalgamation in 2001, the building became Ottawa City Hall. Today, it is the executive block of Ottawa City Hall, housing the offices of the Mayor, City Manager and City Clerk. The Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame, showcasing Ottawa sports legends, is now permanently housed on the first floor of the building.

Tell us your story about this site

  • French services available
  • Kid-friendly

Contact info

110 Laurier Avenue West (Elgin Street entrance)
Ottawa, Ontario
https://ottawa.ca/en/city-hall

Architecture

Architect: R.W. Strickland and Kivas Tully
Architectural style: Victorian
Building type: Government building

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

Innovation Centre at Bayview Yards Doors Open Ottawa

New

Innovation Centre at Bayview Yards

Bayview Yards is Ottawa’s one-stop business acceleration shop, bringing together innovators, entrepreneurs, industry leaders, investors and community members. Constructed from 1941 to 1947 for the City of Ottawa, City Works Building #4 was established as part of a broader building complex on Bayview Road. During this era, this municipal works building housed key operational and storage capabilities for the City, including machinery storage and repair shops, stables, offices and stock rooms. Although City Works yards featured many buildings during this period, most of these facilities have been demolished. City Works Building #4 is a reinforced concrete construction building with brick panels that embodies modern industrial style architecture. Popular in Canada from the 1940s to the 1970s, this architecture is characterized by modular square or rectangular forms, plain unadorned surfaces, and large windows that sit within reinforced concrete or a steel frame. The former City Works Building exemplifies this style with masonry panels, flat roof and large windows. This building comprises a one-storey central pavilion with flanking two-storey wings. The east wing of the facility is clad in red brick with large multi-pane, single-glazed windows in steel frames. The east elevation of the building is defined by four large service bays with hinged wooden tongue-and-groove doors. The south and east elevations feature loading docks adorned with wooden garage doors that feature rows of windows. The south elevation also dons the landmark name City of Ottawa Workshops on the concrete band that runs along the top of the building. For Digital Doors Open, explore this site through this virtual tour.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Virtual tour

Contact info

Bayview Station Road
Ottawa, Ontario
https://bayviewyards.org

Architecture

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

James Bartleman Centre - Central Archives and Library Materials Management Doors Open Ottawa

New

James Bartleman Centre - Central Archives and Library Materials Management

The Central Archives, the largest branch of the City of Ottawa Archives, is in the James K. Bartleman Centre. It has four climate-controlled vaults, a conservation lab, a reference room and a gallery. The 8,500-square-metre (92,000-square-foot) state-of-the-art facility opened to the public in June 2011, and won the Ontario Association of Architects Award for Design Excellence in May 2012. It received LEED Gold certification (2012) as well as the Archives Association of Ontario Corporate Award. It has been designed with various energy-saving technologies. Renewable materials have also been used (such as bamboo and glass). The building design uses these materials and installation techniques to minimize off-gassing and damage to the archival materials. It is the most energy-efficient archives in Ontario. Researchers can search the historical collections and have access to the collections kept in the vaults. The reference room features a non-circulating library with books about local history and our partner organizations' libraries. The collection currently consists of 20 km (12.4 miles) of records, close to three million photographs, and thousands of plans, maps and drawings. The earliest records (land records) date from the late 17th century. The archives collects records from the City of Ottawa itself, as its primary collection, as well as the records of private individuals, organizations and community groups. It also features exhibitions at the Central Archives and City Hall, as well as virtual exhibits online. As part of Digital Doors Open, learn more about this site through the video below, or explore their many online research tools.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Video

Contact info

100 Tallwood Drive
Nepean, Ontario
https://ottawa.ca/archives

Architecture

Year built: 2011
Building type: Government building, Green building

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

John R. Booth Residence National Historic Site of Canada Doors Open Ottawa

John R. Booth Residence National Historic Site of Canada

The John R. Booth Residence National Historic Site of Canada was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1990 because it is a nationally significant example of the Queen Anne revival style as expressed in domestic architecture. The luxurious house was constructed in 1909 for prominent lumber baron John R. Booth, its corner lot allowing both principal façades to be appreciated independently. When viewed from an angle, balance and harmony is conveyed through the gables of similar design anchored by a tall chimney at the point of intersection. Booth died in 1925 and the house remained in the family until 1947 when it was sold to the Laurentian Club of Ottawa. Trinity Western University acquired the site in 2001 to establish a base for educational programs in Ottawa, and subsequently opened the Laurentian Leadership Centre here in 2002. The exterior of the building is fully finished in brick and the roof is made of copper. Inside the residence, there are 11 public rooms that are each finished with a different variety of wood and handcrafted woodwork. Original tapestries cover the walls, and the residence is adorned with beautiful original stained-glass windows. Seven fireplaces can be found throughout the building, each made of different colours of Italian marble. For Digital Doors Open, tour this beautiful site through a Google Maps virtual tour.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Virtual tour
  • Kid-friendly
  • National Historic Site (Canada)

Contact info

252 Metcalfe Street
Ottawa, Ontario
www.twu.ca/academics/laurentian-leadership-centre

Architecture

Year built: 1909
Architect: John W.H. Watts
Architectural style: Queen Anne
Building type: Educational facility, Historical house

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

Joyful Land Kadampa Buddhist Centre Doors Open Ottawa

Joyful Land Kadampa Buddhist Centre

Established in 1996 under the direction of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche, Joyful Land Kadampa Buddhist Centre is the focal point for the Ottawa community of the modern tradition of Mahayana Buddhism called the New Kadampa Tradition. The centre is housed in a classic 100-year-old-plus Victorian red brick three-storey building located in Chinatown, just around the corner from Little Italy. A group of Buddhist practitioners, both lay and ordained, occupy the second and third floors of the house, while the centre itself spans the first floor. At the heart of the building is a beautiful shrine, where marvellous Buddha statues can be admired, and where members of the Buddhist community can happily chat with guests about the names and functions of all the Buddhas on display. Visitors can also learn about meditation programs that help people develop inner peace and good hearts. The bookshop offers a quiet place to meet with friends, share a cup of tea, and browse the extensive selection of books, ritual implements and artwork. Learn more about this place, as part of Digital Doors Open, through the video below.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Video

Contact info

879 Somerset Street West
Ottawa, Ontario
https://meditateinottawa.org

Architecture

Architectural style: Victorian

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

Lisgar Collegiate Institute Doors Open Ottawa

New

Lisgar Collegiate Institute

Lisgar Collegiate Institute, Ottawa’s first high school, has occupied its prime downtown location alongside the Rideau Canal since 1874. The Gothic revival building, constructed of limestone, was extended several times, and underwent extensive renovations in the 1970s. It has many distinct architectural features, including an impressive 660-seat auditorium (which maintains much of its original character) and an attic that was used by students as a shooting range during the Second World War. To mark the school’s 175th anniversary in 2018, Lisgar's alumni association held a major reunion that included a popular and extensively researched architectural tour led by alumnus David Jeanes, then-President of Heritage Ottawa. It was subsequently turned into a 77-minute, 11-part video tour – available online (introduction shown below). To add to your Digital Doors Open experience, the school's history book, yearbooks and the Athletic Wall of Fame can also be explored here.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Video
  • Collections and resources

Contact info

29 Lisgar Street
Ottawa, Ontario
https://www.lisgar.net

Architecture

Year built: 1874, with subsequent extensions and renovations
Architectural style: Gothic revival
Building type: Educational facility, Historical landmark

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

National Arts Centre Doors Open Ottawa

National Arts Centre

The National Arts Centre (NAC) is Canada’s bilingual, multi-disciplinary home for the performing arts. The NAC presents, creates, produces and co-produces performing arts programming in various streams – the NAC Orchestra, Dance, English Theatre, French Theatre, Indigenous Theatre and Popular Music and Variety – and nurtures the next generation of audiences and artists from across Canada. The NAC is located in the National Capital Region on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation. Named after the National Art Centre’s founding general director, G. Hamilton Southam, the largest and most majestic of their four performance halls is Southam Hall. Home to the NAC Orchestra, it’s an ideal venue to support large-scale productions for a variety of performances and events. The Babs Asper Theatre is the NAC’s second-largest performance space, and the main venue for the NAC’s premier theatrical productions and contemporary dance performances. The design of the theatre’s technical system makes it an ideal setting for all types of musical concerts – from intimate chamber ensembles to jazz, rock and pop. The Azrieli Studio was engineered as a black box space, allowing for a more versatile theatrical experience. A variety of performances are presented in this studio, from contemporary theatre to adventurous dance performances to popular concerts. It is also used for corporate seminars and presentations. The National Arts Centre’s Fourth Stage is the most intimate. Exceptional sound and lighting, as well as cabaret seating, offer audiences an arms-length viewing experience. Every year, the Fourth Stage hosts hundreds of emerging music concerts, speakers and community events. As part of Digital Doors Open, explore this complex and fascinating site through their virtual tour.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Virtual tour
  • French services available
  • Kid-friendly

Contact info

1 Elgin Street
Ottawa, Ontario
http://nac-cna.ca/en

Architecture

Year built: 1969
Building type: Theatre

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

Official Residence of the Embassy of Denmark Doors Open Ottawa

New

Official Residence of the Embassy of Denmark

The official residence of the Danish ambassador to Canada is built in a classic 1970s Danish style and was designed by three Danish. It invites you to experience Danish architecture, design and "hygge." The architectural style is a combination of timeless rusticity and modern simplicity with an openness and emphasis on natural light. Subtle details, such as the way the light flows through the rooms and the way the outside is always visible from the inside, creates a striking unity between the interior and the exterior. The residence is known for its incorporation of both Canadian and Danish materials. The siding and massive crossbeams are from Canada. The wood is Canadian red cedar and pine from British Columbia. The official entrance to the residence is from the lower level – where the entrance hall is laid with red-toned tiles from the Danish island of Bornholm – and a modern semi-circular open staircase, which leads to the upper levels. The second level is the official entertainment floor, which is partitioned into four sections – a dining room, reception hall, living room and library. Most of the rooms have access to the outdoor terrace that surrounds this floor. The vaulted, wood-beam ceiling with massive rafters extends out to the roof and over the terrace and side balconies, protecting it from snow and rain. The dining room and reception hall floor are laid with a neutral-coloured parquet flooring, and the living room and library are laid with an off-white wall-to-wall wool carpet from Denmark. The third level of the house contains a private living area and guest rooms. As part of Digital Doors Open, take a tour of this building through the video below.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Video

Contact info

1420 Lisgar Road
Rockcliffe Park, Ontario
https://canada.um.dk

Architecture

Year built: 1972
Architect: Jarl Heger, Karen and Ebbe Clemmensen

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

Osgoode Township Museum Doors Open Ottawa

New

Osgoode Township Museum

In operation since 1973, the Osgoode Township Museum presents the story of Ottawa South’s agricultural and rural heritage. The main museum building is a mid-century two-room schoolhouse built in 1961. It was designed by Balharrie, Helmer & Associates and built by Paul Daoust Construction Ltd. The main museum building is open year-round and houses an eclectic collection of approximately 11,000 artifacts. Visitors to the museum are invited to explore the permanent exhibition gallery, community gallery, research library and gift shop. Open seasonally, the Agricultural Barn provides a home for the vast farming and industrial collection that includes full-sized tractors, plows and combines, as well as handheld farming tools and industrial equipment. The Agricultural Barn was officially opened on August 12, 1989. Visitors are also invited to explore the 1.2-hectare (three-acre) museum grounds and experience the heritage school garden, orchard and playground. New for 2021 will be their dementia-friendly and accessible garden space, with raised beds and plenty of space to rest in the shaded gazebo. A variety of plants in the garden will be used as a sensory tool to help evoke memories, build happy moments for seniors with dementia and community members of all ages. As part of Digital Doors Open, visitors can also enjoy a virtual tour and explore the museum’s online exhibits.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Virtual tour
  • Collections and resources

Contact info

7814 Lawrence Street
Vernon, Ontario
www.osgoodemuseum.ca

Architecture

Building type: Museum

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

Ottawa Main Mosque Doors Open Ottawa

New

Ottawa Main Mosque

The Ottawa Muslim Association and the Ottawa Mosque were incorporated in 1964 as a charitable organization, with the first phase having been completed in 1970. The Ottawa Mosque is the first and the oldest mosque in the city; in fact, it is one of the oldest in Canada. It can hold up to 900 people. With a distinct architectural design, including its raised minaret and central dome, the Ottawa Main Mosque is hard to miss while driving along Scott Street. Its design includes a two-storey prayer hall, library and basement. The basement is used for a community centre, school and meetings, childcare and social events. The Ottawa Mosque congregation is as diverse as Canada, which is reflected in its structure and decoration. It features furniture and carpets from Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Iran and Pakistan. For the Ottawa Mosque, every day is open doors and everyone is welcome! If you have any questions or would like to visit, please email them at oma@ottawamosque.ca. And, for Digital Doors Open, learn more about the mosque through the video below.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Video

Contact info

251 Northwestern Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario
www.ottawamosque.ca

Architecture

Building type: Place of worship

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

Ottawa Mission, The Doors Open Ottawa

Ottawa Mission, The

Since 1906, The Ottawa Mission has been serving the homeless, the hungry and the lost by providing food, clothing, shelter and skills. In 2019-20, The Ottawa Mission provided emergency shelter to an average of 197 men each night and served an average of 1,422 meals every day. As the oldest and most progressive homeless shelter in the community, The Ottawa Mission also provides health services, mental health and addiction treatment programs, hospice care, dental services, housing services, educational support, job training, spiritual care and clothing to thousands in need in the Ottawa community. In September 2020, The Ottawa Mission marked the one-millionth hour that the shelter has been in existence since its founding in 1906. In 2019, The Ottawa Mission became a housing-focused shelter – reflective of its commitment to a home for everyone as a human right – with the launch of a new housing department. As part of Digital Doors Open, take a virtual tour of the site through the video below.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Virtual tour
  • Video

Contact info

35 Waller Street
Ottawa, Ontario
https://ottawamission.com

Architecture

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

Ottawa Paramedic Service Headquarters Doors Open Ottawa

Ottawa Paramedic Service Headquarters

Welcome to the Ottawa Paramedic Service. Opened in 2005, the 9,290-square-metre (100,000-square-foot) headquarters is a state-of-the-art facility that houses all paramedic operations, a vehicle depot and an administrative area supporting frontline service staff. It is the first city-owned building in Ottawa to receive LEED certification. All Ottawa Paramedic Service staff report for duty at the Don Reid Drive campus, which is in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. The service delivers medical treatment for life-threatening medical emergencies – including cardiac events, strokes, respiratory and traumatic injuries. The Ottawa Paramedic Service also offers first aid and CPR classes to the public, using the facility’s fully equipped training rooms. One interesting fact: a “building” can be found inside the building! To ensure that both paramedics and their equipment undergo proper decontamination and avoid potential cross-contamination, a 204-square-metre (2,200-square-foot) decontamination bay is located within the garage that has its own plumbing and negative pressure HVAC systems. For Digital Doors Open, learn more about this site through the video below.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Video
  • French services available
  • Kid-friendly

Contact info

2465 Don Reid Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
https://ottawa.ca/en/residents/emergency-services/ottawa-paramedic-service

Architecture

Year built: 2005
Building type: Green building, Health-care facility

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

Ottawa Wedding Chapel Doors Open Ottawa

New

Ottawa Wedding Chapel

The Ottawa Wedding Chapel was built in 1907, serving its entire church life as a Baptist church. In fact, the full-immersion baptism tank still lies beneath the floor in the archway at the front of the sanctuary. The building features high tin ceilings and plenty of stunning stained glass – even the basement windows. The stained glass features the trinity in floral motif, but otherwise has no overt religious symbols, except for one window featuring a cross that had been replaced in the 1960s or 1970s. The chapel’s curved pews seat approximately 90 people, with room for up to 150. A major renovation was undertaken in 2012-13 that uncovered the wood flooring and brought all of the wood trim back to its original lustre. The ample back yard features flower gardens and a variety of photo-worthy backdrops. The chapel is mainly used for weddings, but it is also available for other rentals, hosting 40-50 events each year. Check out their website and take a virtual tour as part of Digital Doors Open.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Virtual tour

Contact info

3249 York's Corners Road
Kenmore, Ontario
https://ottawaweddingchapel.org

Architecture

Year built: 1907
Building type: Commercial, Place of worship

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

Richmond Loyal Orange Lodge Doors Open Ottawa

New

Richmond Loyal Orange Lodge

The building that houses the Richmond Loyal Orange Lodge was constructed in the mid-19th century when commercial traffic on McBean Street was at its height and the village was bustling. George Brown, a former village reeve, operated a store here in the 1860s. In 1905, the building became the location of the first bank in the village, the Bank of Ottawa. To accommodate the bank’s vault, the right-hand door, which had provided access to the upper levels, was removed and a new entrance was placed on the north side of the building. In 1923, members of Loyal Orange Lodge (#151) purchased the building. Since then, the upper floors have been used for lodge meetings and social gatherings. For a few months in 1924, public school classes were held on the second floor because the school had been destroyed by fire. The upper floors continue to be the site of Lodge meetings and social gatherings, while the first floor has been used for a variety of purposes. At present, it is a tattoo parlour. Constructed by local stone mason James Scott, the building displays most of the general features of classical revival architecture, including a gable roof, quoins (or cornerstones), returned eaves and general symmetry. This stone building also has a full basement, and the exterior walls are 61 centimetres (two feet) thick. An ogee window, with its pointed arched top, is located in the central dormer. A wooden, octagonal cupola is centred on the roof – a common architectural detail of the time. As part of Digital Doors Open, enjoy this virtual tour and explore this unique site.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Virtual tour

Contact info

3550 McBean Street
Richmond, Ontario
www.richmondheritage.ca/index.php/george-brownbankorange-lodge-building

Architecture

Architect: James Scott

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

Rideau Hall (Official Residence of the Governor General of Canada) Doors Open Ottawa

Rideau Hall (Official Residence of the Governor General of Canada)

Rideau Hall has been the official residence of every governor general of Canada since 1867, and their workplace since 1940. It is a National Historic Site with nearly two centuries of history and has become an important gathering place and site of official activities. The villa, which forms the main part of Rideau Hall, was built in 1838 by Thomas MacKay as a home for his family. In 1868, the year following Confederation, the Government of Canada purchased the house and grounds and declared it the official residence of Canada’s governors general. During the mandate of Canada’s third governor general, Lord Dufferin (1872-78), the ballroom and the tent room were built as wings on either side of the front entrance. The tent room was originally designed as both an indoor tennis court and reception room. It is now used for official and ceremonial functions. In 1913, during the tenure of the Duke of Connaught (1911-16), work was completed on the interior entrance hall and the current front entrance. The front entrance features the massive Royal Arms, visible from the driveway and said to be among the largest in the world. Also in 1913, the long gallery was added and the dining room enlarged. Over the years, the grounds, the building and its interiors have evolved to better reflect and reinforce Rideau Hall’s identity as a national symbol. As part of Digital Doors Open, take part in their online interactive tour experience to learn more about Rideau Hall’s main attractions. The tours are offered free of charge, but registration is required. Visit their website for more information.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Virtual tour
  • French services available
  • Kid-friendly
  • National Historic Site (Canada)

Contact info

1 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
www.gg.ca

Architecture

Architect: Thomas McKay
Building type: Government building, Historical landmark, Historical house
Landscape: Garden

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

Saint Matthew and Great Martyr Hristina Church Doors Open Ottawa

New

Saint Matthew and Great Martyr Hristina Church

Saint Apostle and Evangelist Matthew Parish was founded in 1981, with the blessing of His Eminence Victorin, Archbishop of the Romanian Orthodox Missionary Archdiocese in America and Canada. In April 2010, a piece of land was purchased with the intention of building a new church. The foundation stone was consecrated on June 7, 2015 by His Grace Bishop Ioan Casian, the Romanian Orthodox Bishop of Canada, surrounded by priests and orthodox faithful. Construction began in May 2016 and was completed two years later. It was the first Romanian Orthodox place of worship built in Ottawa after many years of devotion and effort, and it officially opened its doors on May 12, 2018 with a vespers service. In July 2019, the church was adorned with iconostasis and strana carved from dry oak, work executed by the company of Ciprian Stoica from Bacau, Romania. The iconostasis of the church was painted by the painter Liviu Răsteanu from Piatra-Neamț. Holy services have been held by the Very Reverend Father Grigorie Țăpuc since October 2005. Every Sunday, the service is accompanied by the Incognito Choir, a choir that performs exclusively a cappella. As part of Digital Doors Open, visit this church through this virtual tour and learn more about its architecture.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Virtual tour

Contact info

19 Cordova Street
Nepean, Ontario
https://sfmatei.ca/en

Architecture

Building type: Place of worship

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

Scouts Canada National Museum Doors Open Ottawa

Scouts Canada National Museum

Visit the Scouts Canada National Museum to view impressive collections that focus on contributions that scouting has made to Canada’s heritage, while helping to develop youth into valued citizens. The virtual tour below will guide visitors through a series of inspirational, youth-friendly displays that contain valuable artifacts, each of which tells an important story and that capture more than 110 years of Canadian scouting. Learn about age-related scouting programs, and about the founding of the movement in 1907 by Robert Baden-Powell. Visitors will see displays of photos, uniforms, badges, scrapbooks, diaries and other memorabilia. Included are special displays of badges that illustrate changes in scouting programs, recognition of achievements in career-related STEM Skills, and special skills learned by scouts in northern communities. Scout Jamborees, both around the world and here in Canada, play a large part in the scouting calendar. The museum is fortunate to be the location of Scouts Canada’s own amateur radio station (VE3SHQ), which allows youth to participate in the annual Jamboree on the Air and Jamboree on the Internet (JOTA/JOTI) – the largest on-air and on-the-internet scout gatherings in the world.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Video

Contact info

1345 Baseline Road
Ottawa, Ontario
http://voy.scouts.ca/ca/scouts-canada-national-museum

Architecture

Building type: Museum

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

SPAO Centre Doors Open Ottawa

New

SPAO Centre

Designed by Hobin Architecture, the new SPAO Centre building officially opened its doors to the public in 2017. A nondescript warehouse underwent a purpose-built renovation, converting it into a photographic arts centre that is now home to Canada’s only two-year photographic arts diploma in Canada. The SPAO (School of the Photographic Arts: Ottawa) also hosts numerous evening and weekend part-time classes, a unique international artists’ residency and the only gallery in the national capital region dedicated to lens-based art. Nestled in the heart of Little Italy, SPAO’s purpose-built facility is specifically designed for all levels of photographic techniques. The ground-level and wheelchair-accessible space comprises a large studio/lecture space and gallery, perfect for hosting events of many types. The studio is equipped with industry-standard lighting, camera and support equipment for shooting in a large studio, and a selection of 35mm, medium and large format cameras available to full-time students. SPAO’s multi-station, multi-format darkroom for both silver gelatin and alternative printmaking allows for comprehensive study and technical instruction in historical and alternative photographic processes. On the second floor, the media lab is equipped with inkjet printmaking capabilities, including large-format printers, a drum scanner and flatbed scanners. SPAO prides itself on having one of the largest photobook collections in the Ottawa region, thanks in large part to the generosity and commitment of its community. The SPAO Centre is also home to the Ottawa region's only independent and critical gallery space that is dedicated to photographic and video art. Accompanying the indoor gallery space is the Photo-Synthesis Garden, a unique outdoor exhibition space comprising a custom-built hanging system set up over a large garden bed, pairing the natural world with the created photographic one. As part of Digital Doors Open, take a tour of the space through the video below, or learn more about the SPAO on their website, or explore their latest online exhibit.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Virtual tour
  • Collections and resources
  • Kid-friendly

Contact info

77 Pamilla Street
Ottawa, Ontario
http://spao.ca

Architecture

Year built: 2017
Architect: Hobin Architecture
Building type: Educational facility
Landscape: Garden

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

St. Luke's Anglican Church Doors Open Ottawa

New

St. Luke's Anglican Church

The red brick church at the corner of Somerset and Bell streets has been a landmark in Ottawa’s Chinatown neighbourhood for almost 100 years. It houses two ministries of the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa: St. Luke’s Anglican Church and St. Luke’s Table, a day program for neighbours that provides fellowship, food and a variety of social services. In 1922, former Prime Minister Sir Robert Borden laid the cornerstone for St. Luke’s Anglican Church, replacing the original 1889 church built on this site that had been partially destroyed by fire in 1903. A heritage designation recognizes its Gothic revival style, the square entrance tower and belfry, the narrow lancet windows, and the stained-glass windows that date from Depression-era days. A bell in the belfry is still in use when services are held. By 1989, the congregation realized a desire to provide greater social value for the community and demolished the parish hall to build a non-profit social housing development. In the interior, pews were unanchored from the floor, and labyrinths were installed on both levels. Renovations in 1992 transformed the interior, with seating capacity reduced to 200, and most of the pews removed. This flexible and creative space is now used for performances, recitals and monthly labyrinth walks, as well as community meeting space. The three-manual Casavant pipe organ, installed in 1937, shows off the building’s wonderful acoustics. Painted Christian symbols around the upper walls are an unusual decorative feature. These include a descending dove, a winged ox (associated with St. Luke) and a harp, a symbol of praise. With a recent $300,000 grant from the City of Ottawa, St. Luke's is working on adding additional washrooms, showers and laundry facilities to support the work of St. Luke’s Table. During Digital Doors Open, learn more about this church through the video below.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Video

Contact info

760 Somerset Street West
Ottawa, Ontario
https://stlukesottawa.ca

Architecture

Year built: 1922
Building type: Place of worship

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

St. Matthew's Anglican Church Doors Open Ottawa

St. Matthew's Anglican Church

St. Matthew’s Anglican Church was built between 1929-30 as the Great Depression ravaged Canada. Its architect, Cecil Burgess, celebrated the beauty of English ecclesiastical architecture in his design. His use of stone, metal and wood in the construction of the church was informed by his early childhood roots in England, as was the cruciform plan of the modified English Gothic exterior. In his 1988 book “A Church in the Glebe,” historian David Farr noted that “Cecil Burgess chose Indiana limestone for the church and the adjoining parish hall ... there were hand carved oak pews in the nave ... most of the millwork for the building was carried out at the yard and planing mill of G.T. Barrett, a mile to the north on Bank Street.” Two stained-glass windows, one over the altar and one over the Glebe Street entrance, were transferred from the earlier church building that had stood at the corner of First Avenue and Bank Street. Twelve additional stained-glass windows were subsequently added to the nave walls. Hanging on the pillars of the nave are 20 original icons by Heinrich (Heiko) Schlieper (1931-2008) that depict the Passion of Christ. Extensive renovations to the church were launched in 2005 to ensure its structural integrity. Financed by a fundraising campaign, the project earned St. Matthew’s a 2008 Ottawa Architectural Conservation Certificate of Merit. The building has been recognized as a historical city landmark. As part of Digital Doors Open, be sure to explore this church through the video below.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Video

Contact info

130 Glebe Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario
www.stmatthewsottawa.ca

Architecture

Year built: 1929-30
Architect: Cecil Burgess
Building type: Place of worship

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

Supreme Court of Canada Doors Open Ottawa

Supreme Court of Canada

Although this building is currently closed to visitors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it does not mean that it is impossible to obtain a tour. In fact, the remote tour that they have created brings the Supreme Court of Canada to the public. A 45-minute remote tour by one of the court’s guide-interpreters is a unique opportunity to learn about the building, its massive scale and commanding grand entrance hall. The architect Ernest Cormier’s art deco design enhances the natural beauty of the exquisite woods and marble interior. Various topics linked to justice – including the Canadian judicial system, its history and judges through pictures and interesting facts – will be discussed. Visit their website for the tour schedule and to book your Digital Doors Open tour of this fascinating site. Remote tours will be conducted from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Zoom.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Virtual tour
  • French services available
  • Kid-friendly

Contact info

301 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario
www.scc-csc.gc.ca

Architecture

Year built: 1939
Architect: Ernest Cormier
Architectural style: Art deco
Building type: Courthouse, Government building

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

TSB Engineering Laboratory Doors Open Ottawa

New

TSB Engineering Laboratory

The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) Engineering Laboratory is located near the Ottawa/Macdonald-Cartier International Airport. The laboratory plays a pivotal role in the investigation of aviation, marine, pipeline and railway occurrences (incidents and accidents) across Canada. Its staff supports lead investigators across the country by investigating whether mechanical, electrical, material, structural or other deficiencies contributed to accidents. Lab experts analyze information from data recorders (black boxes), electronic equipment and field elements, such as photographs and site surveys, to piece together the sequence of events that led to an occurrence. While visiting the lab, you can expect to see equipment used by investigators to examine materials and electronic systems and the flight recorder analysis area, and learn about their animations/reconstructions that can be derived from flight data recorder information or railway accident site survey data. The TSB Lab offers an opportunity to look behind the scenes of transportation safety investigations in Canada. To learn more about this site during Digital Doors Open, watch the video below.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Virtual tour
  • Video

Contact info

1901 Research Road
Ottawa, Ontario

Architecture

Building type: Government building

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

United States Embassy in Ottawa Doors Open Ottawa

United States Embassy in Ottawa

The United States Embassy in Ottawa, with its design and its function, creates a bridge between places, peoples and ideas. Symbolizing a bridge, the building stands for partnership and alliance. The Unite States has had an official diplomatic presence in Canada since 1827. The original embassy, which was built in 1932 and housed 17 people, was located at 100 Wellington Street. In 1969, planning for a more modern and spacious chancery began. The current embassy consolidates more than 10 embassy-related offices and houses more than 200 people. The magnificence of the embassy building is indicative of the importance and value of the relationship between the United States and Canada. The architect David M. Childs designed a building that responds to the complex urban design contexts that surround it: The ByWard Market area to the east, the Peacekeeping Monument, the National Gallery of Canada and the Ceremonial Parade Route to the north, the Parliament buildings, Major’s Hill Park and the river to the west, and finally the York Steps and the city to the south. As part of Digital Doors Open, learn more about this spectacular building through the video below.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Video

Contact info

490 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
https://ca.usembassy.gov

Architecture

Year built: 1999
Architect: Skidmore, Owings and Merrill

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

University of Ottawa Skills and Simulation Centre Doors Open Ottawa

University of Ottawa Skills and Simulation Centre

The University of Ottawa Skills and Simulation Centre (uOSSC) is a partnership between The Ottawa Hospital and The University of Ottawa and is located at The Ottawa Hospital’s Civic Campus. The uOSSC offers world-class facilities to train the next generation of health-care professionals and it supports current professionals to hone their skills and develop new and innovative procedures. Simulation-based medical education involves a wide range of tools for hands-on training and experience. In addition to education, the uOSSC prioritizes research and development, as well as advancements in teaching practices, equipment and assessment of health professionals, to improve patient outcomes. These facilities include approximately 2,323 square metres (25,000 square feet) of specialized space that includes four state-of-the-art theatre-based simulation rooms. The uOSSC also offers skills training space. These spaces allow trainees to practise many skills, such as intravenous insertion, suturing and intubation. In 2014, the uOSSC began bringing simulation to the point of care with the Simulation Patient Safety Program (SPSP). Using in-situ simulation sessions at the hospital, interprofessional teams of health practitioners can be trained in their own environment. This fosters a culture of patient safety, empowers team members to communicate more effectively, and allows latent safety threats to be identified. When the pandemic hit last year, the uOSSC and SPSP program shifted gears to provide support to The Ottawa Hospital staff as well as other local health-care institutions. This included training sessions for the correct use of personal protective equipment, working with clinical groups to practise and refine changes in clinical protocols for COVID-19 patients, and virtual reality videos for health-care workers and patients. As part of Digital Doors Open, explore their interactive floorplan or take a virtual tour of the site by watching the video below.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Virtual tour
  • Video

Contact info

725 Parkdale Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario
www.uossc.ca

Architecture

Building type: Educational facility, Health-care facility

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

Vanier Museopark Doors Open Ottawa

Vanier Museopark

Located in Richelieu Park, the Richelieu-Vanier Centre occupies two buildings with very different architectural styles. The older section, with red brick walls, is home to the Richelieu-Vanier Community Centre, the offices of the City of Ottawa Archives and the Vanier Museopark. Dating from the 1950s, this building, constructed by the White Fathers, was connected to their scholasticate. Later purchased by the City of Vanier, it served as Vanier City Hall from 1985 until amalgamation with Ottawa in 2001. The Vanier Museopark occupies the second floor of the Richelieu Centre. This non-profit community museum’s name reflects its location in Richelieu Park. The Vanier Museopark began as the dream of local citizens who wanted to create a venue for showcasing Vanier’s cultural heritage, one that would also serve as a beacon for the conservation of the region’s Francophone heritage. A group called Action Vanier, presided over at the time by René Doré, established a committee responsible for creating the museum. On October 11, 2006, the Vanier Museopark officially launched its inaugural exhibition, entitled Vanier-on-the-Outaouais: Today for Tomorrow. This exhibition covered a range of themes, including the area’s Indigenous inhabitants, the early years of Vanier, the city’s changing population, education, religion and economic life. The Vanier Museopark is Ottawa’s only Francophone museum and one of just a small number of museums outside of Quebec dedicated to the Francophonie. As part of Digital Doors Open, learn more about maple tapping at the Museopark through the video below. Or explore the sled dogs featured as part of the Vanier Sugar Festival here.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Video
  • French services available
  • Kid-friendly

Contact info

300 Pères-Blancs Avenue, 2nd floor
Vanier, Ontario
https://museoparc.ca/en

Architecture

Building type: Museum
Landscape: Park

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

Watson's Mill Doors Open Ottawa

Watson's Mill

Nestled in the heart of Manotick village, Watson’s Mill and Dickinson Square share a remarkable past rooted in Canadian history and industrial ingenuity. Built in 1860 along the shores of the Rideau River, Watson’s Mill remains active as a working water-powered flour mill and is the only industrial heritage site in Ottawa. Conveniently located only 25 minutes south of downtown Ottawa, Dickinson Square also boasts Dickinson House, which displays the heritage home of past mill owners, the Manotick Dam, Watson’s Mill’s Famous Used Book Store and Manotick’s Remembrance Park. Live milling demonstrations are hosted each week, grinding flour the old-fashioned way. The stone-ground whole wheat flour is then available for purchase. Whether you are interested in industrial machines, historical buildings, a stroll through the village with the family or simply feeding the ducks, Watson’s Mill is the ideal site for your Ottawa daytrip, providing a wonderful escape from the hustle and bustle. As part of Digital Doors Open, take a virtual tour of the site.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Kid-friendly

Contact info

5525 Dickinson Street
Manotick, Ontario
http://watsonsmill.com

Architecture

Year built: 1860
Building type: Attraction, Commercial, Historical landmark, Museum

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa