Doors Open Ontario presenting sponsor
Doors Open Ontario presenting sponsor

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Doors Open Ontario:

Ottawa

Digital event information

Digital Doors Open Ottawa

Visitors are invited to explore many 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.

A number of the digital Doors Open sites are also open to live, in-person tours, so if you would like to visit a building in-person, please check to ensure that it is participating in this hybrid format.


The Doors Open Ontario website features some of the participating sites this year. For a full list, visit the City of Ottawa's website.

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Info from the City of Ottawa

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

In celebration of our 20th anniversary, the Ottawa Regional Society of Architects and Doors Open Ottawa have joined forces to create a scavenger hunt. To win one of 50 gift cards from local Ottawa area businesses, submit a digital Doors Open Ottawa scavenger hunt entry form between June 3 and 5, 2022. Visit ottawa.ca/doorsopen for full contest details, and to access this year’s full building list – which will be available online from May 30.

We hope you enjoy the opportunity to visit nearly 100 buildings that are historically, functionally, culturally and architecturally significant in nature – from Cumberland to Carp and everywhere in between!

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Contact information

19 Digital Doors Open sites

360-degree Tour of Blair and Lyon stationsDoors Open Ottawa

  • Digital Doors Open Icon Ontario

360-degree Tour of Blair and Lyon stations

OC Transpo’s 360-degree tour gives you a first-person view of these O-Train Line 1 stations. Please note, footage featured in the online tour was filmed prior to the September 2019 O-Train Line 1 launch. As the easternmost point of the O-Train Line 1, Blair Station is one of the system’s busiest transit hubs. It offers easy transfers between light rail and buses, as well as access to local commercial and residential areas. Lyon Station is an underground station just a few steps away from Sparks Street. A special feature is the non-integrated art piece called With Words as their Actions, created by PLANT, in Toronto. It celebrates women as keepers of history – and in particular, the 32 women who, in 1898, founded the Ottawa chapter of the Women’s Canadian Historical Society (now the Historical Society of Ottawa). Using the tour is simple: you can use your mouse to travel through the interior and change levels by clicking the station level guide in the bottom left corner. To read more about station features, click on the red and white O button seen throughout the station.

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Virtual tours

Contact info

Blair Station and Lyon Station
Ottawa, Ontario

Architecture

Building type: Transportation

Dates/hours open

Dec 02 - Dec 02

Arts CourtDoors Open Ottawa

  • Digital Doors Open Icon Ontario

Arts Court

In 1978, Ottawa’s mayor recommended establishing a municipal arts centre, arts council, arts festival and a permanent art collection for the city. This building initially served as the Carleton County Court House, purpose-built in 1870-71. It was slated for demolition in 1980, but it was saved by the city and turned into the Arts Court. It officially opened in 1988.

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Videos

Contact info

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

Architecture

Year built: 1870-71
Building type: Theatre Gallery
Architect: Robert Surtees

Dates/hours open

Jun 04 - Jun 04

Bytown Museum: Commissariat BuildingDoors Open Ottawa

  • Digital Doors Open Icon Ontario

Bytown Museum: Commissariat Building

Ottawa’s oldest stone building, the Commissariat, was constructed as a storehouse during the Rideau Canal’s construction. It has had many landlords but, in 1951, the Women’s Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa (now the Historical Society of Ottawa) made it the home of the Bytown Museum. On June 4, join a free bilingual outdoor “Lock Talks.” will be offered. Register here.

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Videos
  • Virtual tours
  • Collections and resources
  • Kid-friendly

Contact info

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

Architecture

Year built: 1827
Building type: Historical landmark Museum
Architect: Thomas Mackay

Dates/hours open

Jun 04 - Jun 05

Canada Council Art BankDoors Open Ottawa

  • Digital Doors Open Icon Ontario

Canada Council Art Bank

The Canada Council Art Bank makes contemporary artwork available to the public across the country through its Art Rental, 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. The Art Bank is largely open by appointment, so Doors Open Ottawa is usually a wonderful opportunity to see the collection and storage facility in person. But, as in 2021, the Art Bank is participating in a virtual edition of Doors Open Ottawa this year. This year also marks the Art Bank’s 50th anniversary. They are celebrating this milestone with a virtual tour and curated virtual programming. Join them starting on June 4 and 5 for behind-the-scenes stories and to learn about the collection through staff selections. Or watch the video below to learn more about this fascinating site. For more information on planned anniversary activities, check out their blog. Explore their online collections or find out how you can rent an artwork. Art rental services remain available during the pandemic with the processes adjusted to keep everyone safe. @artbank_banquedart

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Videos
  • Activities and games
  • Collections and resources
  • Kid-friendly

Contact info

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

Architecture

Building type: Museum Gallery

Dates/hours open

Dec 02 - Dec 02

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

  • Digital Doors Open Icon Ontario

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.

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Videos
  • Kid-friendly

Contact info

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

Architecture

Building type: Historical landmark Museum

Dates/hours open

Dec 02 - Dec 02

Canadian Museum of NatureDoors Open Ottawa

  • Digital Doors Open Icon Ontario

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. For Digital Doors Open, visitors can watch the video below to learn more about this engaging museum. Or they can take a 3D self-guided tour and wander the halls to explore the galleries and spaces. Or take a fun and interactive virtual tour of the museum's Natural Heritage Campus and go behind the scenes to see treasures from their collections.

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

Contact info

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

Architecture

Year built: 1912
Building type: Attraction Historical landmark Museum
Architect: David Ewart

Dates/hours open

Dec 02 - Dec 02

Carleton Dominion-Chalmers CentreDoors Open Ottawa

  • Digital Doors Open Icon Ontario

Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre

Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre (CDCC) is Carleton University’s arts, performance and learning centre, and is dedicated to providing a welcoming, professional and safe environment to foster programming that is multi-generational, diverse and inclusive. CDCC is the university’s first downtown Ottawa building and is managed by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. The centre serves a variety of user groups from the university and community at large. It strives to ignite creative exploration and rich presentation opportunities, offering a unique event experience in a historical Ottawa venue for performances, workshops, lectures, meetings, curricular programming, lifelong learning courses and beyond. Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre is a beautiful 1912 heritage building located in Centretown - showcasing unique Romanesque Byzantine architectural styles. Reaching nearly 3,700 square metres (40,000 square feet), the building includes an 870-seat main performance hall that is visually and acoustically stunning, various multi-use event and activity spaces, classrooms and its own beautiful outdoor garden. For Digital Doors Open, watch the video below to learn more about this unique site.

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Videos

Contact info

355 Cooper Street
Ottawa, Ontario
https://carleton.ca/cdcc

Architecture

Year built: 1912
Building type: Educational facility Place of worship Theatre

Dates/hours open

Dec 02 - Dec 02

Chaudière Falls (Portage Power)Doors Open Ottawa

  • Digital Doors Open Icon Ontario

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. As part of Digital Doors Open, enjoy a virtual tour of this site.

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Videos

Contact info

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

Architecture


Dates/hours open

Dec 02 - Dec 02

Christ Church Cathedral OttawaDoors Open Ottawa

  • Digital Doors Open Icon Ontario

Christ Church Cathedral Ottawa

Built in 1872, this church was constructed 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. Architectural features include soaring ceilings, magnificent windows and the bell tower, home to the 516-pound bronze bell cast for the original church in 1839.

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Virtual tours

Contact info

414 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario
https://www.ottawacathedral.ca

Architecture

Year built: 1872
Building type: Historical landmark Place of worship
Architect: King Arnoldi

Dates/hours open

Jun 04 - Jun 05

Delegation of the Ismaili ImamatDoors Open Ottawa

  • Digital Doors Open Icon Ontario

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, and 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 site, 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). As part of Digital Doors Open, explore this site through this engaging interactive virtual tour.

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

Contact info

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

Architecture

Year built: 2008

Architect: Fumihiko Maki

Dates/hours open

Dec 02 - Dec 02

Goulbourn MuseumDoors Open Ottawa

  • Digital Doors Open Icon Ontario

Goulbourn Museum

Built in 1872 as Goulbourn Township’s Town Hall, this site is now the Goulbourn Museum, home to interactive and hands-on exhibits. The museum shares the story of the former township by collecting, preserving, displaying and interpreting nearly 10,000 local artifacts as well as a 40,000-piece archaeological collection. The adjacent History Centre, built in 1961, was the former clerk building. Today, it is used for collections storage, office space and meeting space. The Goulbourn Museum features such exhibits as All the Woods & Waters (which explores the colonization of the township), The Village General Store (where visitors can 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). During Digital Doors Open, take virtual tours of their children’s toy, archaeological and military collections.

  • Digital Doors Open
  • 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

Dec 02 - Dec 02

Heritage Building and Ottawa City HallDoors Open Ottawa

  • Digital Doors Open Icon Ontario

Heritage Building and Ottawa City Hall

Originally built as the Ottawa Normal School in 1875, this site is now Ottawa City Hall. Built in the Gothic Renaissance style, it reflects the influence of the Parliament Buildings – with Italianate windows, Romanesque columns and exterior limestone walls. Purchased by the municipality in 1987, the building was restored and renovated and opened as city hall in 2001.

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Virtual tours

Contact info

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

Architecture

Year built: 1875
Building type: Government building
Architect: R.W. Strickland and Kivas Tully

Dates/hours open

Jun 04 - Jun 05

Lisgar Collegiate InstituteDoors Open Ottawa

  • Digital Doors Open Icon Ontario

Lisgar Collegiate Institute

Ottawa’s first high school has occupied this prime downtown location alongside the Rideau Canal since 1874. The Gothic revival building has been extended and renovated several times. It has many distinct architectural features – including an impressive 660-seat auditorium that maintains much of its original character, and an attic that students used as a shooting range during the Second World War.

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Videos
  • Collections and resources

Contact info

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

Architecture

Year built: 1874, with subsequent extensions and renovations
Building type: Educational facility Historical landmark
Architect: William Tutin Thomas

Dates/hours open

Jun 05 - Jun 05

Ottawa Humane SocietyDoors Open Ottawa

New

  • Digital Doors Open Icon Ontario

Ottawa Humane Society

Built in 2011, the design of the Ottawa Humane Society celebrates its strong community values and commitment to the animals. The Shirley Kearns Memorial Adoption Centre was built to provide easy viewing and visiting of animals available for adoption. In the adoption centre, cats, dogs and small animals are housed in separate areas with rooms and enclosures designed to meet the animals’ daily needs. The education centre – a large, open, naturally lit room – hosts a variety of workshops and camps to teach pet owners about responsible pet ownership and animal welfare. In a modern clinic facility, veterinarians provide regular and emergency medical treatment for animals in shelter care. The clinic includes a critical care unit for Ottawa’s neediest animals, an X-ray room and surgery theatre. Before animals are ready for adoption, they are housed in the holding area. Holding is set up with high-volume/high-changeover air handling systems and full sanitary and wash-down facilities to provide maximum sanitation and to prevent the spread of disease. Administration is adjacent to the adoption centre and holding area to allow ease of access for staff and volunteers to the animal areas. The interconnected design promotes a strong connection between staff of various departments, volunteers and the public. During Digital Doors Open, take a virtual tour of the site and learn more about the important work that they do.

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Videos

Contact info

245 West Hunt Club Road
Ottawa, Ontario
https://ottawahumane.ca

Architecture

Year built: 2011

Architect: Hobin Architecture

Dates/hours open

Dec 02 - Dec 02

Ottawa Main MosqueDoors Open Ottawa

  • Digital Doors Open Icon Ontario

Ottawa Main Mosque

The Ottawa Muslim Association and the Ottawa Mosque was incorporated in 1964 as a charitable organization, with its first phase completed in 1970. The Ottawa Mosque is the first and the oldest mosque in the city, and is one of the oldest in Canada. Its distinct architectural design includes a two-storey prayer hall, library, minaret, central dome and multi-purpose basement.

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Videos

Contact info

251 Northwestern Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario
https://ottawamosque.ca

Architecture

Year built: 1973
Building type: Place of worship

Dates/hours open

Jun 04 - Jun 05

Parliament of Canada: Centre BlockDoors Open Ottawa

  • Digital Doors Open Icon Ontario

Parliament of Canada: Centre Block

Public Services and Procurement Canada is delighted to offer a behind-the-scenes look at the work taking place at the Parliament Building (Centre Block) as part of this year’s Doors Open Ottawa. Centre Block is a familiar sight to many Canadians. And construction is well underway to restore and modernize it. Doors Open participants will discover Centre Block like never before!

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Videos
  • Virtual tours

Architecture

Year built: 1916-2020
Building type: Government building
Architect: John A. Pearson and Jean-Omer Marchand

Dates/hours open

Jun 04 - Jun 05

Senate of Canada Building, TheDoors Open Ottawa

New

  • Digital Doors Open Icon Ontario

Senate of Canada Building, The

The Senate of Canada Building is full of history, art, architecture and parliamentary treasures. It is the Senate’s temporary home in downtown Ottawa, while its permanent home (the Centre Block building with the Peace Tower) is closed for major rehabilitation work. Over the years, this building has hosted many important national events (the repatriation of the Canadian constitution) and has served many different functions (it opened in 1912 as a train station). Today, as the temporary home of the Senate, you can explore – through this virtual tour – where the Senate works.

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Virtual tours

Contact info

2 Rideau Street
Ottawa, Ontario
https://sencanada.ca

Architecture

Year built: 1912
Building type: Government building
Architect: Ross & MacFarlane

Dates/hours open

Dec 02 - Dec 02

United States Embassy in OttawaDoors Open Ottawa

New

  • Digital Doors Open Icon Ontario

United States Embassy in Ottawa

The United States has had an official diplomatic presence in Canada since 1827. Built in 1969, the current building creates a bridge between places, peoples and ideas. Symbolizing a bridge, the building stands for partnership and alliance. As a work of architecture, the magnificence of the building is indicative of the significant relationship that the United States has with Canada.

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Videos

Contact info

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

Architecture

Year built: 1999
Building type: Government building
Architect: Skidmore, Owings and Merrill

Dates/hours open

Jun 05 - Jun 05

Watson's MillDoors Open Ottawa

  • Digital Doors Open Icon Ontario

Watson's Mill

Built in 1860 along the shores of the Rideau River, Watson’s Mill remains active as a water-powered flour mill. Nearby Dickinson House, built in 1867, displays the heritage home of the past mill owners. Dickinson Square is the only industrial heritage site in Ottawa. The site comes to life through tours by costumed interpreters and milling demonstrations.

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Virtual tours

Contact info

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

Architecture

Year built: 1860
Building type: Attraction Historical landmark Museum

Dates/hours open

Jun 04 - Jun 05