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Doors Open Ontario presenting sponsor
Doors Open Ontario presenting sponsor

Windsor

Event information

Digital Doors Open Windsor

Explore some traditional Doors Open Windsor 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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Assumption Church (Our Lady of Assumption) Doors Open Windsor

Assumption Church (Our Lady of Assumption)

Founded in 1728 to serve the Huron Indians, Windsor's Our Lady of Assumption Church is the centerpiece of Canada's oldest Catholic parish west of Montreal. There have been four buildings on this site, beginning with a chapel that was built in the 1740s. The current church, constructed from 1842-45, was designed in the Gothic revival style by Robert Thomas Elliott, who received $10 for his work. Assumption Church, as it is better known, is graced with many distinguishing architectural features – from arched doors and stained-glass windows to buttresses and towering steeples. The focal point of the interior is the intricately carved pulpit that was moved from an earlier building. It is the only known Indigenous French-Canadian carving from that period in Ontario. Designated under the Ontario Heritage Act, Assumption Church was closed in 2014 due to safety concerns over building deterioration. While closed, the church celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2017. In 2019, Assumption Church reopened following a huge fundraising campaign that assisted in the restoration of the structure inside and out. Restoration remains ongoing; you can follow its progress here. Or, as part of Digital Doors Open, watch the Art and Architecture video series that explores the symbolism of the church as presented through art and architectural features (Part One of four is shown below).

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Video
  • Collections and resources
  • Site is protected by the Ontario Heritage Trust

Contact info

350 Huron Church Road
Windsor, Ontario
https://assumptionparish.ca

Architecture

Year built: 1842-45
Architect: Robert Thomas Elliot
Architectural style: Gothic revival
Building type: Place of worship

Dates/hours open

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

Local History Branch - Windsor Public Library Doors Open Windsor

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Local History Branch - Windsor Public Library

The Local History Branch is an important link to Windsor’s rich and diverse heritage. Located in historical Sandwich, the archives contains information that dates from the late 1700s – including newspapers, magazines, photographs, city directories, yearbooks and a rich collection of published material on the history of Windsor and area. The multimedia collection also includes paper documents (journals, letters, diaries), posters, audio tapes and memorabilia. The branch also contains a variety of genealogical resources – census records, birth, marriage and death records, passenger lists, church registers, cemetery listings and baptismal records. The holdings of the Essex County Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society are housed here, too. While this branch is currently closed to the public, the archives remain available so that you can continue to do your research. Simply email us for assistance. As part of Digital Doors Open, watch the video below for an introduction to the genealogist and archivist who are both onsite to answer your questions.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Video

Contact info

3312 Sandwich Street
Windsor, Ontario
Telephone: 519-255-6770, ext. 4437
Email: localhistory@windsorpubliclibrary.com
www.windsorpubliclibrary.com

Architecture

Building type: Library

Dates/hours open

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

Masonic Temple Doors Open Windsor

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Masonic Temple

Opened in 1922, Windsor's Masonic Temple is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Designed by architect J.C. Pennington in the neoclassical revival style, it was designated under the Ontario Heritage Act in 1995. Many of the furnishings in the lodge rooms date back to the late 1800s. As well as providing a meeting place for Masons, the Temple has a large ballroom that was a popular dance hall in the 1940s and 1950s. It remains available to rent for special occasions today (when it again becomes safe to do so). The Temple is also home to the Windsor Scottish Rite Learning Centre, which provides tutoring for individuals with dyslexia. As part of Digital Doors Open, Professor William Moore of Boston University discusses the architecture and style of this Masonic Temple in a video below. Moore specializes in material culture, the built environment and cultural history and is the author of a couple of books on freemasonry and masonic temples.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Video

Contact info

986 Ouellette Avenue
Windsor, Ontario
Telephone: 519-253-3615
www.masonictempleballroom.com

Architecture

Architect: J.C. Pennington
Architectural style: Neoclassical
Building type: Historical landmark

Dates/hours open

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

Willistead Manor, Coach House and Gate House Doors Open Windsor

Willistead Manor, Coach House and Gate House

Willistead Manor is a 36-room mansion nestled within a six-hectare (15-acre) park in the heart of Walkerville, and offers gracious accommodations for weddings, receptions, meetings and other special events. It was built in 1906 for Edward Chandler Walker, the second son of Hiram Walker, founder of the world-renowned distillery. Albert Kahn, noted Detroit architect, actually built three buildings on the estate: the Manor House, the Coach House and the Gate House. Designed in the 16th-century Tudor-Jacobean style of an English manor house, the main building was started in 1904. No expense was spared in the materials or labour. The exterior of grey limestone, quarried in Amherstburg, was hand-cut at the worksite by Scottish stonemasons specifically imported for the project. The interior is graced with rich wood panelling, detailed hand carvings and Carrera marble. The house was in the family until 1921 when it was deeded it to the town of Walkerville. Following a 1935 amalgamation, the City of Windsor inherited this magnificent building. Managed today by the City of Windsor Recreation, Culture & Parks, Willistead Manor offers seven uniquely designed rooms to rent for special occasions and events. During Digital Doors Open, take a virtual tour of this property and enjoy the beauty and elegance from another era.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Virtual tour

Contact info

1899 Niagara Street
Windsor, Ontario
Telephone: 519-253-2300, ext. 2752
Email: willistead@citywindsor.ca
www.willistead.ca

Architecture

Year built: 1904-06
Architect: Albert Kahn
Architectural style: Edwardian
Landscape: Garden, Park

Dates/hours open

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