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Digital Doors Open Hamilton

Explore some traditional Doors Open Hamilton 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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18 Digital Doors Open sites

Ancaster Old Township HallDoors Open Hamilton

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Ancaster Old Township Hall

Enjoy a look inside the Ancaster Old Township Hall. Built in 1871 by William H. Thuresson, it is one of the finest pieces of stone architecture in Ancaster – complete with original apron stage, hardwood floors, arched windows and historically accurate colours. It has undergone several renovations over the years, but the original character remains.

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Videos

Architecture

Year built: 1871
Building type: Historical landmark
Architect: William H. Thuresson

Dates/hours open

Nov 30 - Nov 30

Auchmar Manor HouseDoors Open Hamilton

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Auchmar Manor House

The Auchmar Manor House is a significant cultural landscape. This manor house, the last surviving country estate on Hamilton Mountain, was built for the Honourable Isaac Buchanan – Scotsman, entrepreneur, civic leader, politician and legendary Canadian public figure. Enjoy this rare opportunity to view the main floor of this Gothic revival house and the walled and landscaped grounds that surround it.

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Kid-friendly
  • Parking
  • Site is protected by the Ontario Heritage Trust
  • Washrooms
  • Videos
  • Virtual tours
  • Kid-friendly
  • Site is protected by the Ontario Heritage Trust

Contact info

88 Fennell Avenue West (at West 5th Street)
Hamilton, Ontario
Email: info@friendsofauchmar.ca
http://www.friendsofauchmar.ca

Architecture

Year built: 1852-54
Building type: Historical landmark Historical house

Dates/hours open

May 07 - May 07

Balfour House (Chedoke Estate)Doors Open Hamilton

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Balfour House (Chedoke Estate)

Balfour House is Hamilton’s last great escarpment estate. Several prominent Hamiltonians have called it home since 1836, most recently the family of St. Clair Balfour. Owned by the Ontario Heritage Trust and managed by the City of Hamilton, the building and garden are spectacular.

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Guided tours available
  • Parking
  • Site is protected by the Ontario Heritage Trust
  • Washrooms
  • Videos
  • Site is protected by the Ontario Heritage Trust

Contact info

1 Balfour Drive
Hamilton, Ontario

Architecture

Year built: 1836-38
Building type: Historical house

Dates/hours open

May 07 - May 08

Battlefield House Museum & Park National Historic SiteDoors Open Hamilton

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Battlefield House Museum & Park National Historic Site

Battlefield House Museum & Park was the 19th-century homestead of the Gage Family. The Gages worked the land with their 10 children and became a strong voice in the hamlet of Stoney Creek. During the War of 1812, the family retreated to their cellar as the Battle of Stoney Creek raged outside. A 30.5-metre (100-foot) monument exists on the grounds built in the early 20th century at the pinnacle of nationalistic and imperial sentiment. The monument shows an affinity for architecture steeped in British tradition. It is made entirely of Canadian materials and is an exceptional example of Tudor Gothic revival, favoured for romantic associations with the past. Nestled under the scenic Niagara Escarpment, this historical site encompasses 13 hectares (32 acres) of parkland divided by Battlefield Creek. Recent restoration features include the 1926 Dunington-Grubb-designed landscape. As part of Digital Doors Open, watch the video below and learn about handmade toys that children played with in the early 1800s.

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Videos
  • National Historic Site (Canada)
  • Site has blue and gold provincial plaque
  • Site is protected by the Ontario Heritage Trust

Architecture

Year built: 1796
Building type: Attraction Historical landmark Historical house Museum

Dates/hours open

Nov 30 - Nov 30

Cotton Factory, TheDoors Open Hamilton

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Cotton Factory, The

Join us for an evening of food, dancing and shopping while you experience one of Hamilton's best examples of adaptive reuse. The Imperial Cotton Factory was taken over in 2014. The Cotton Factory is a creative arts centre in the heart of lower Hamilton. Come and explore artist's studios, artisan and vintage markets, and a beautifully restored 1900s factory.

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Full wheelchair access
  • Kid-friendly
  • Parking
  • Self-guided tours available
  • Washrooms
  • Videos
  • Kid-friendly

Contact info

270 Sherman Avenue North
Hamilton, Ontario
Email: laura@cottonfactory.ca
https://www.cottonfactory.ca

Architecture

Year built: 1900
Building type: Commercial Green building
Architect: E.B. Patterson

Dates/hours open

May 07 - May 07

Downtown Hamilton Memory Lane Virtual TourDoors Open Hamilton

New

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Downtown Hamilton Memory Lane Virtual Tour

There are many ways to help educate a community about its history, but there is no better way than to encourage people to get out and experience it firsthand. When in-person walking tours were not possible, the Downtown Hamilton Business Improvement Association (BIA) created an initiative called Memory Lane. Memory Lane offers an in-depth self-guided tour with scannable QR codes. All you have to do to get started is to search out the QR codes across the BIA and scan them to reveal the history of that property, complete with vintage photos provided by Hamilton Public Libraries’ Local History and Archives department. Alternatively, you can navigate Memory Lane online and explore the past from the comfort of your home.

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Self-guided tours available

Contact info

Start at 1 King Street West
Hamilton, Ontario
Email: engage.with@downtownhamilton.org

Architecture

Year built: Various

Architect: Various

Dates/hours open

Nov 30 - Nov 30

Dundurn National Historic Site - Dundurn CastleDoors Open Hamilton

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Dundurn National Historic Site - Dundurn Castle

Dundurn Castle is one of the finest examples of high regency-style architecture in the country. Constructed in the 1830s for Sir Allan Napier MacNab (railway magnate, lawyer and politician), the buildings deteriorated under subsequent owners, but were restored in the 1960s to their original splendour. Today, Dundurn Castle tells the story of the MacNabs and the people who served them.

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Full wheelchair access
  • Kid-friendly
  • National Historic Site (Canada)
  • Parking
  • Self-guided tours available
  • Site has blue and gold provincial plaque
  • Site is protected by the Ontario Heritage Trust
  • Washrooms
  • Videos
  • Virtual tours
  • Kid-friendly
  • National Historic Site (Canada)
  • Site has blue and gold provincial plaque
  • Site is protected by the Ontario Heritage Trust

Architecture

Year built: 1835
Building type: Historical landmark Historical house Museum
Architect: Robert Wetherell

Dates/hours open

May 07 - May 07

Griffin House National Historic SiteDoors Open Hamilton

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Griffin House National Historic Site

Griffin House is a modest one-and-a-half-storey wood-frame residence that was built in the Georgian style with clapboard siding and six-over-six sash windows. Constructed by Englishmen in 1827, it was purchased by Enerals Griffin and his wife Priscilla in 1834 – both born as slaves in Virginia, but who escaped to Canada. On this site, with their 20 hectares (50 acres) of land, the Griffin family lived as part of the Ancaster community for 150 years. Today, Griffin House stands as a testament to the determination of African-American men and women who escaped slavery and found peace in Ontario. For Digital Doors Open, watch the video below to learn more about this fascinating property.

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Videos
  • National Historic Site (Canada)
  • Site is protected by the Ontario Heritage Trust

Architecture

Year built: 1827
Building type: Museum

Dates/hours open

Nov 30 - Nov 30

Hamilton Museum of Steam and Technology National Historic SiteDoors Open Hamilton

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Hamilton Museum of Steam and Technology National Historic Site

The Hamilton Waterworks, 1859, features two 14-metre (45-foot) high, 70-ton steam-powered pumping engines that supplied the city with clean drinking water from 1859 to 1910. The engines were made in Dundas, Ontario and are the oldest surviving examples of their kind in North America. The waterworks complex is a National Historic Site and a civil and power engineering landmark.

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Guided tours available
  • Kid-friendly
  • National Historic Site (Canada)
  • Washrooms
  • Videos
  • Virtual tours
  • Kid-friendly
  • National Historic Site (Canada)

Architecture

Year built: 1859
Building type: Historical landmark Museum
Architect: Thomas Coltrin Keefer

Dates/hours open

May 08 - May 08

MacNab Street Presbyterian ChurchDoors Open Hamilton

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MacNab Street Presbyterian Church

The MacNab Street Presbyterian Church was completed in 1857 during a cholera epidemic. The exterior is solid stone masonry with an updated slate roof. After the First World War, nine-window stained-glass windows by the Scottish artists William Wilson and James Ballantyne were installed. The sanctuary has stone walls and columns, blonde wood and a magnificent Casavant organ.

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Kid-friendly
  • Parking
  • Partial wheelchair access
  • Washrooms
  • Videos
  • Kid-friendly

Contact info

116 MacNab Street South
Hamilton, Ontario
Email: macnabsec@cogeco.ca
https://macnabpresbyterian.ca

Architecture

Year built: 1856; 1935
Building type: Place of worship
Architect: William Thomas (1857); Albert Hills (1930s); Stewart McPhie and William Somerville (1935 addition)

Dates/hours open

May 07 - May 07

People Under the Staircase (The Staircase Theatre)Doors Open Hamilton

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People Under the Staircase (The Staircase Theatre)

The Staircase Theatre is an independent arts incubator under new management as People Under the Staircase. As Hamilton's premier alternative event space, it features live performance, music, video, games and theatre. The building is an adaptive reuse of a former power substation. Formerly known as the Dundurn Station, this 1914 beaux-arts-style building was decommissioned by Hamilton Hydro in 1996. The new venue was named after the cast iron spiral staircase on the interior. The classical detailing and fine craftsmanship of the former station reflects Hamilton’s importance as the Electric City of Canada in the early 20th century. To learn more about Hamilton's innovative electrical infrastructure and its early substations, check out the Power of Design exhibit. And, for Digital Doors Open, check out the video below to learn more.

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Videos
  • Kid-friendly

Contact info

27 Dundurn Street North
Hamilton, Ontario
Email: info@staircasehamilton.com
https://peopleunderthestaircase.com

Architecture

Year built: 1914; renovated 1996
Building type: Theatre
Architect: Unknown

Dates/hours open

Nov 30 - Nov 30

Piggott BuildingDoors Open Hamilton

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Piggott Building

Built in 1920 at the cost of $1 million, the iconic Piggott Building was Hamilton's first skyscraper. The structure employed a steel skeleton rather than load-bearing walls to achieve the height of 64 metres (210 feet) and 18 storeys. With a limestone veneer façade, its design is art deco/Gothic revival with historical features of pointed arch windows, decorative moldings and rib vaulting over the entrance. In the foyer and lobby are facing stained-glass windows set in medieval-style lancets that depict building technology and construction of the Piggott. In addition, there are decorative ceiling tiles and painted murals in the hall and marble on the floors, walls and surrounding the elevator doors. The tower prospered as an office building until the 1970s when it became vacant. After changing hands a number of times, it was slated for demolition. But heritage advocates called for its protection and preservation and the City of Hamilton designated it in 1984 under the Ontario Heritage Act. The stained-glass windows that had disappeared were found in an antique shop and retrieved by the Heritage Hamilton Foundation for $12,000. In the 1990s, the Piggott Building was converted into luxury condos. As part of Digital Doors Open, watch the video below to learn more about the history of this site.

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Videos

Contact info

36 James Street South
Hamilton, Ontario

Architecture

Year built: 1929
Building type: Historical landmark
Architect: Bernard Prack and Fred Prack

Dates/hours open

Nov 30 - Nov 30

Shawn & Ed Brewing CompanyDoors Open Hamilton

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Shawn & Ed Brewing Company

This 1885-86 building in the heart of historical Dundas has served as a foundry, indoor skating/curling rink, bus depot, warehouse and, since 2016, the Shawn & Ed Brewing Company. The wood post-and-beam/brick masonry structure has been preserved yet modernized with the latest in craft beer equipment. The brewery focuses on German-style lagers with an emphasis on quality and authenticity.

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Full wheelchair access
  • Guided tours available
  • Parking
  • Washrooms
  • Collections and resources

Contact info

65 Hatt Street
Dundas, Ontario
Email: taproom@lagershed.com
https://www.lagershed.com

Architecture

Year built: 1860s; renovated: 2015-16
Building type: Commercial Food and drink
Architect: Peter Brass, Hamilton (1885-86); Richard Todd Wilson (2015 renovation)

Dates/hours open

May 07 - May 08

Stewart & Witton Major Works: Stadium Neighbourhood Walking TourDoors Open Hamilton

New

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Stewart & Witton Major Works: Stadium Neighbourhood Walking Tour

The Friends of St. Giles present their first walking tour: Stewart & Witton Major Works: Stadium Neighbourhood, which will feature the architecture firm behind some of Hamilton’s most beloved landmarks, now in their 150th year. Enjoy four beautiful and irreplaceable Stewart & Witton works: the elegant Playhouse Cinema, the Hendry’s Building (home to Hendry’s Barbershop and the Barton Village BIA), the King George School and St. Giles Church (Stewart & Witton’s Gothic-revival masterpiece). All works on this 1.5-hour self-guided tour were designed in the 1910s by the firm, which operated from 1904 until Lt.-Col. Stewart’s death in France at The Battle of Vimy Ridge in 1917. For Digital Doors Open, follow the tour via the map above or visit their website. #StewartWitton150

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Activities and games
  • Self-guided tours available

Contact info

Start at the Playhouse Cinema (177 Sherman Avenue North)
Hamilton, Ontario
https://stewartandwitton.ca/tours

Architecture


Dates/hours open

Nov 30 - Nov 30

Superior Court of Justice Family Court (former Hamilton Public Library)Doors Open Hamilton

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Superior Court of Justice Family Court (former Hamilton Public Library)

The former Carnegie Hamilton Public Library (1913-80), which now houses the Supreme Court of Justice Family Court, was constructed with a grant of $100,000 from American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie and officially opened on May 5, 1913 by the Lieutenant Governor (and fellow-Hamiltonian) Sir John Morison Gibson. This library, which offered visitors open shelving for the first time, was moved after six decades of service to its current location on York Street next to the Jackson Square complex. Designed by local architect A.W. Peene in the neoclassical style, its outstanding architectural features include two-storey pilasters, massive corner piers, the entablature with dentillated cornice and a prominent staired entranceway. A central two-storey atrium with marble balustrade, double staircase and skylight unifies the interior and provides a spacious and elegant entrance lobby. In 1987, it was designated by the City of Hamilton as a significant heritage landmark and one of the finest surviving Carnegie libraries in Canada. For Digital Doors Open, learn more about the history of this building through the video below.

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Videos

Contact info

55 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario
https://www.ontariocourts.ca/scj/family/court-services

Architecture

Year built: 1913
Building type: Courthouse Library
Architect: A.W. Peene

Dates/hours open

Nov 30 - Nov 30

The WestdaleDoors Open Hamilton

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The Westdale

The art deco-style Westdale Theatre was built in 1935 as the first cinema in Hamilton equipped to show “talkies” – motion pictures with sound. It is the architectural centrepiece of North Oval in Westdale Village, Hamilton's first garden-city suburb, and one of the earliest examples in Canada. The distinctive oval-shaped commercial core is surrounded by curved streets with arts and crafts- and modern-style houses. In 2016, this local landmark was destined to be sold to developers, but a group of arts and culture-minded Hamiltonians decided to save it and revitalize it as a cinematic, artistic and community arts hub. After extensive renovations, The Westdale was reborn as a stunningly refurbished art deco single-screen state-of-the-art multidisciplinary arts presentation space. You can still see the original marquee letters mounted inside. As part of Digital Doors Open, check out their extensive selection of YouTube videos to learn more.

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Videos

Contact info

1014 King Street West
Hamilton, Ontario
Email: info@thewestdale.ca
https://www.thewestdale.ca

Architecture

Year built: 1935
Building type: Theatre
Architect: Unknown

Dates/hours open

Nov 30 - Nov 30

Westfield Heritage VillageDoors Open Hamilton

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Westfield Heritage Village

Westfield Heritage Village, a living history museum, consists of over 35 restored historical buildings dating from the early 1800s. Various building types are positioned as a small village within a natural conservation area of over 202 hectares (500 acres). The village was started by two high school teachers – D. Glenn Kilmer and Golden L. MacDonell – who purchased the original 12-hectare (30-acre) site to create an outdoor museum preserving 19th-century rural life. They purchased their first building, the Jerseyville Train Station, outbidding a local farmer who wanted it for his farm as an outbuilding. Six more buildings were added before it was officially opened in 1964. Some 30 buildings later, the village is a thriving cultural centre that features educational programs and events year-round. Take a virtual tour of this spectacular site in the video below.

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Videos
  • Kid-friendly
  • Site is protected by the Ontario Heritage Trust

Contact info

1049 Kirkwall Road (Regional Road 552)
Rockton, Ontario
Email: westfield@conservationhamilton.ca
https://westfieldheritage.ca

Architecture

Year built: Various
Building type: Attraction Museum
Architect: Various

Dates/hours open

Nov 30 - Nov 30

Workers Arts and Heritage Centre (Custom House)Doors Open Hamilton

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Workers Arts and Heritage Centre (Custom House)

The style and construction of the Custom House, one of Canada’s oldest remaining federal public buildings, reflect the rise of Hamilton as a major railway and port. Often cited as one of Hamilton’s foremost architectural landmarks, it currently houses the Workers Arts and Heritage Centre, a community museum dedicated to celebrating all working people through art, history and culture.

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Full wheelchair access
  • Kid-friendly
  • National Historic Site (Canada)
  • Parking
  • Washrooms
  • Collections and resources
  • Kid-friendly
  • National Historic Site (Canada)

Contact info

51 Stuart Street
Hamilton, Ontario
Email: florencia@wahc-museum.ca
https://wahc-museum.ca

Architecture

Year built: 1858-60; 1995-96 (restoration)
Building type: Historical landmark Museum
Architect: F.J. Rastrick and F.P. Rubridge

Dates/hours open

May 07 - May 07