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Doors Open Ontario:

Waterloo Region

in-person event information

Saturday, September 21, 2024, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Doors Open Waterloo Region is a day of discovery! Come and explore 26 noteworthy buildings, interesting places and heritage sites. From robots, fire engines and theoretical physics to a 19th-century jail, a farm distillery and exclusive behind-the-scenes tours of theatrical sets, props and costumes, there's something for everyone. See how we activate this year's theme of adaptive reuse in sites like St. Mark's Place — a new 43-unit affordable-housing complex built in a church.

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Contact information

26 In-person Doors Open sites

1820 Log House in Waterloo ParkDoors Open Waterloo Region

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1820 Log House in Waterloo Park

Levi Carroll, born in Maryland, self-emancipated in 1843 and came to Canada via the Underground Railroad. Settling in Berlin (now Kitchener), he lived in Waterloo’s former log schoolhouse when it was located by Kitchener Collegiate Institute. This landmark now resides in Waterloo Park and is Ontario's oldest remaining log schoolhouse, standing as a tribute to education and Black resilience.

  • Digital Doors Open
  • 2024 theme: Adaptive reuse
  • Kid-friendly
  • Self-guided tours available
  • Site has blue and gold provincial plaque
  • Washrooms
  • Photography allowed
  • Videos

Contact info

50 Young Street West
Waterloo, Ontario
Email: musuem@waterloo.ca

Architecture

Year built: 1820
Building type: Private residence Schoolhouse

Dates/hours open

Sep 21 - Sep 21

44 Gaukel Creative WorkspaceDoors Open Waterloo Region

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44 Gaukel Creative Workspace

See how this former Canada Post depot has been repurposed into an arts and culture hub. 44 Gaukel is an innovative, shared creative workplace spanning 929 square metres (10,000 square feet) and located at the core of downtown Kitchener. It offers affordable rentals for local artists and organizations and is operated by ArtsBuild Ontario and the City of Kitchener.

  • 2024 theme: Adaptive reuse
  • Full wheelchair access
  • Guided tours available
  • Kid-friendly
  • Parking
  • Self-guided tours available
  • Washrooms
  • Photography allowed
  • Rental opportunities

Contact info

44 Gaukel Street
Kitchener, Ontario
Email: 44gaukel@artsbuildontario.ca
https://44gaukelarts.com

Architecture

Year built: 1962-64
Building type: Government building Post office Gallery
Architect: Barnett and Rieder Architects, Kitchener

Dates/hours open

Sep 21 - Sep 21

Drayton Entertainment Youth Academy and Production FacilityDoors Open Waterloo Region

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Drayton Entertainment Youth Academy and Production Facility

Go behind the scenes and discover the magic of live theatre. Take a guided tour to see this new, state-of-the-art facility — a cultural incubator for creative thinkers of all ages. Join in the fun and attend a free theatre games workshop. You'll also visit their production centre, which includes a scene shop, paint shop, props and wardrobe.

  • 2024 theme: Adaptive reuse
  • Full wheelchair access
  • Guided tours available
  • Kid-friendly
  • Parking
  • Washrooms

Contact info

145 Northfield Drive West
Waterloo, Ontario
Email: youthacademy@draytonentertainment.com
https://www.draytonentertainmentyouthacademy.com

Architecture

Year built: 2022
Building type: Commercial Educational facility Theatre

Dates/hours open

Sep 21 - Sep 21

Eldale Veterinary ClinicDoors Open Waterloo Region

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Eldale Veterinary Clinic

Tour behind the scenes and meet the staff of one of the longest-running veterinary clinics in Waterloo Region. Independently owned and operated since 1961, Eldale Veterinary Clinic cares for both large and small animals. Major renovations in 2021 (including the addition of dog rehabilitation and daycare facilities) were made to meet the evolving needs of one of Canada’s fastest-growing communities.

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

Contact info

150 Church Street West
Elmira, Ontario
Email: eldalevetclinic1961@gmail.com
http://www.eldaleveterinaryclinic.ca

Architecture

Year built: 1961 (original); 2010, 2021 (renovations/addition)
Building type: Health-care facility

Dates/hours open

Sep 21 - Sep 21

Emmanuel at Brighton Child Care CentreDoors Open Waterloo Region

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Emmanuel at Brighton Child Care Centre

Join the 60th anniversary celebration! A certified forest and nature school licensed by the Ministry of Education, the Emmanuel at Brighton Child Care Centre has been providing quality early-learning and child care at this location since 1964. Come at 11:30 a.m. to hear remarks from local dignitaries. Tours showcasing classrooms and outdoor play spaces will be provided throughout the day.

  • 2024 theme: Adaptive reuse
  • Guided tours available
  • Kid-friendly
  • Parking
  • Partial wheelchair access
  • Washrooms

Contact info

65 Noecker Street
Waterloo, Ontario
Email: executivedirector@eabchildcare.com
https://www.emmanuelchildcare.ca

Architecture

Year built: 1960
Building type: Educational facility

Dates/hours open

Sep 21 - Sep 21

Fashion History MuseumDoors Open Waterloo Region

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Fashion History Museum

This museum opened in the former Hespeler Post Office in 2015. During Doors Open, enjoy two exhibitions: 300 Years of Fashion (which follows the changing silhouette in 40 examples of fashion from the past 300 years) and Only Fans (which features the history of the folding fan, with examples from the collection dating from the 17th century to the 1930s).

  • 2024 theme: Adaptive reuse
  • Full wheelchair access
  • Kid-friendly
  • Parking
  • Self-guided tours available
  • Washrooms
  • Photography allowed

Contact info

74 Queen Street East
Cambridge, Ontario
Email: info@FashionHistoryMuseum.com
https://www.fashionhistorymuseum.com

Architecture

Year built: 1928, 1973
Building type: Museum Post office
Architect: T.W. Fuller, Chief Architect, Department of Public Works

Dates/hours open

Sep 21 - Sep 21

Fire Hall Museum & Education CentreDoors Open Waterloo Region

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Fire Hall Museum & Education Centre

Built in 1898, this was the community’s primary fire station until it closed in 1979. The ground floor is the museum’s main gallery, featuring vintage fire equipment and displays. The second floor was the firefighters’ living quarters and now serves as the fire safety education centre. Please note there are no elevators or accessible washrooms at this site.

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

Contact info

56 Dickson Street
Cambridge, Ontario
Email: info@firehallmuseum.ca
https://firehallmuseum.ca

Architecture

Year built: 1898
Building type: Museum Fire station
Architect: Frederick Mellish

Dates/hours open

Sep 21 - Sep 21

Food Bank of Waterloo RegionDoors Open Waterloo Region

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Food Bank of Waterloo Region

Explore the Food Bank of Waterloo Region's 2,880-square-metre (31,000-square-foot) distribution centre, where staff and volunteers handle over 3 million kg (6.8 million pounds) of fresh, frozen and non-perishable food annually before sending it off to the Community Food Assistance Network to help feed people in Waterloo Region. This food bank was the first of its kind in Ontario.

  • Full wheelchair access
  • Guided tours available
  • Kid-friendly
  • Parking
  • Self-guided tours available
  • Washrooms
  • Photography allowed

Contact info

50 Alpine Court
Kitchener, Ontario
Email: info@thefoodbank.ca
https://www.thefoodbank.ca

Architecture

Building type: Food and drink

Dates/hours open

Sep 21 - Sep 21

Indwell — St. Mark's PlaceDoors Open Waterloo Region

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Indwell — St. Mark's Place

The former St. Mark’s Lutheran Church was renovated, adapted and expanded in 2023 to create 43 much-needed supportive affordable homes, specifically for people who have experienced homelessness or precarious housing. Explore the common areas, including the former sanctuary, and chat with staff from Indwell, who are celebrating 50 years of "Hope and Homes for All" through innovation, imagination and compassion.

  • 2024 theme: Adaptive reuse
  • Guided tours available
  • Kid-friendly
  • Parking
  • Partial wheelchair access
  • Washrooms

Contact info

825 King Street West
Kitchener, Ontario
Email: info@indwell.ca
https://indwell.ca

Architecture

Year built: 1939 (church); 2023 (adapted)
Building type: Place of worship Private residence
Architect: Invizij Architects (2023)

Dates/hours open

Sep 21 - Sep 21

Ken Seiling Waterloo Region MuseumDoors Open Waterloo Region

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Ken Seiling Waterloo Region Museum

During Doors Open Waterloo Region, visit the Ken Seiling Waterloo Region Museum — the largest community museum in Ontario! Explore local history and learn about the region's commitment to managing and reducing waste. Enjoy presentations from the Region of Waterloo's Waste Management department and enter a draw to win a green bin prize pack! Pre-registration is recommended.

  • Full wheelchair access
  • Kid-friendly
  • Parking
  • Self-guided tours available
  • Washrooms
  • Photography allowed
  • Rental opportunities

Architecture

Year built: 2011
Building type: Museum
Architect: Moriyama Teshima Architects

Dates/hours open

Sep 21 - Sep 21

Middleton Water Pumping StationDoors Open Waterloo Region

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Middleton Water Pumping Station

Take the rare opportunity to see inside this landmark pumping station. The pump room and pump house office have changed little in 100 years — with original ceilings, trim, walls and other fixtures and artifacts. One pump still draws water. Decommissioned pumps are in place and carefully preserved. Additional facilities have increased station capacity to 40.3 million litres daily.

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

Contact info

60 Middleton Street
Cambridge, Ontario
Email: rsnider@regionofwaterloo.ca

Architecture

Year built: 1890-91
Building type: Historical landmark
Architect: Design attributed to civil engineer Willis Chipman (Brockville)

Dates/hours open

Sep 21 - Sep 21

Mountainoak CheeseDoors Open Waterloo Region

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Mountainoak Cheese

Owners Adam and Hannie began making cheese 43 years ago in Holland. They moved to this dairy farm in 1996 and Mountainoak Cheese was launched in 2012. Following a traditional Dutch recipe, fresh Mountainoak milk is made into high-quality, all-natural, award-winning Mountainoak gouda with wholesome ingredients. During Doors Open, follow the process and learn how this cheese is made.

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

Contact info

3165 Huron Road
New Hamburg, Ontario
Email: info@mountainoakcheese.ca
https://mountainoakcheese.ca

Architecture

Year built: 2012
Building type: Commercial Food and drink Farm

Dates/hours open

Sep 21 - Sep 21

OTTO MotorsDoors Open Waterloo Region

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OTTO Motors

Founded by four University of Waterloo graduates, OTTO Motors is a leading provider of autonomous mobile robots. These self-driving vehicles automate material movement inside busy factories and warehouses to create safer, more productive and more fulfilling workplaces for manufacturers worldwide. See where and how robots are tested, watch live demos and talk with the team. Access by guided tour only.

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

Contact info

1425 Strasburg Road, Unit 2A
Kitchener, Ontario
Email: klee@clearpath.ai
https://ottomotors.com

Architecture

Year built: 2014
Building type: Commercial

Dates/hours open

Sep 21 - Sep 21

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical PhysicsDoors Open Waterloo Region

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Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

Perimeter sparks big ideas and collaborations. The world’s largest research hub devoted to theoretical physics, Perimeter fosters interdisciplinary research into the workings of the universe, from the smallest particles to the entire cosmos. Explore its award-winning design, from quiet nooks to ubiquitous blackboards. Learn about their work and research areas as they celebrate their 25th anniversary.

  • Full wheelchair access
  • Guided tours available
  • Kid-friendly
  • Parking
  • Washrooms
  • Photography allowed

Contact info

31 Caroline Street North
Waterloo, Ontario
Email: contact@perimeterinstitute.ca
https://perimeterinstitute.ca

Architecture

Year built: 2004 (Perimeter Institute), 2011 (Stephen Hawking Centre expansion)
Building type: Educational facility
Architect: Saucier + Perrotte, Montreal (Perimeter Institute, 2004) Teeple Architects, Toronto (Stephen Hawking Centre expansion, 2011)

Dates/hours open

Sep 21 - Sep 21

Region of Waterloo Libraries — Breslau BranchDoors Open Waterloo Region

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Region of Waterloo Libraries — Breslau Branch

Located in the lower level of the Township of Woolwich's Breslau Community Centre, this former satellite branch is being converted into a full-service library (renovations will be complete in time for Doors Open). The building’s luxury-home feel comes after it was a sales centre for the Empire Communities' Riverland subdivision, who sold it to the township in 2012 for $2.

  • 2024 theme: Adaptive reuse
  • Full wheelchair access
  • Kid-friendly
  • Parking
  • Self-guided tours available
  • Washrooms

Contact info

100 Andover Drive
Breslau, Ontario
Email: brlib@regionofwaterloo.ca
https://www.rwlibrary.ca

Architecture

Year built: 2010; renovations in 2024
Building type: Government building Library
Architect: Ventin Group Architects

Dates/hours open

Sep 21 - Sep 21

Region of Waterloo Libraries — Wellesley BranchDoors Open Waterloo Region

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Region of Waterloo Libraries — Wellesley Branch

Located on the main floor of a former schoolhouse, this library comprises two rooms (the adult and children departments), which were once classrooms. The library shares the building with the Wellesley Township Heritage and Historical Society and Theatre Wellesley (also part of Doors Open). Adaptive reuse-themed Take-and-Make kits for kids will also be available (supplies limited, so visit early).

  • 2024 theme: Adaptive reuse
  • Kid-friendly
  • Parking
  • Self-guided tours available
  • Washrooms
  • Photography allowed

Contact info

1137 Henry Street
Wellesley, Ontario
Email: welib@regionofwaterloo.ca
https://www.rwlibrary.ca

Architecture

Year built: 1898
Building type: Library Schoolhouse

Dates/hours open

Sep 21 - Sep 21

Savvas Chamberlain Music BuildingDoors Open Waterloo Region

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Savvas Chamberlain Music Building

Discover the stunning transformation of the Savvas Chamberlain Music Building at Wilfrid Laurier University. Come and explore the 2,226-square-metre (23,958-square-foot) renovation and addition, creating a prominent campus gateway. Visit the new classrooms, performance venues and practise rooms with the Faculty of Music. Learn about their community programming and the Making Space for Music initiative, showcasing musical excellence at Laurier.

  • Food vendors
  • Full wheelchair access
  • Guided tours available
  • Kid-friendly
  • Parking
  • Self-guided tours available
  • Washrooms
  • Photography allowed
  • Rental opportunities

Contact info

75 University Avenue West
Waterloo, Ontario
Email: choosemusic@wlu.ca

Architecture

Year built: 2022-24
Building type: Concert hall Educational facility
Architect: CS&P Architects

Dates/hours open

Sep 21 - Sep 21

St. Andrew's Presbyterian ChurchDoors Open Waterloo Region

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St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church

You’ve passed it many times, maybe seen it on television or YouTube. But have you been inside? St. Andrew’s Presbyterian, at the corner of Queen Street North and Weber Street East, was rebuilt in 1907. This year, the congregation celebrates 170 years. In the past, Prime Minister Mackenzie King attended St. Andrew’s. Come and learn more about this iconic church.

  • Food vendors
  • Guided tours available
  • Kid-friendly
  • Parking
  • Partial wheelchair access
  • Washrooms
  • Photography allowed
  • Rental opportunities

Contact info

54 Queen Street North
Kitchener, Ontario
Email: office@standrewskw.com
https://www.standrewskw.com

Architecture

Year built: 1907
Building type: Place of worship

Dates/hours open

Sep 21 - Sep 21

Theatre WellesleyDoors Open Waterloo Region

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Theatre Wellesley

Peek behind the curtain of the Studio Theatre for this community group has performed a variety of plays since 1997 as part of their mission to have fun while providing an exciting and entertaining community theatre experience. While you’re in the historical schoolhouse building, visit the Wellesley Township Heritage and Historical Society and the Region of Waterloo Library’s Wellesley Branch.

  • 2024 theme: Adaptive reuse
  • Guided tours available
  • Kid-friendly
  • Parking
  • Washrooms
  • Photography allowed

Contact info

1137 Henry Street
Wellesley, Ontario
Email: rhondalouisecaldwell@gmail.com
https://theatrewellesley.com

Architecture

Year built: 1898
Building type: Schoolhouse Theatre

Dates/hours open

Sep 21 - Sep 21

Waterloo Coin SocietyDoors Open Waterloo Region

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Waterloo Coin Society

The Waterloo Coin Society was founded in 1959 to encourage and promote the collection and study of coins, tokens, paper money, medals, badges, trade money and other currency-related collectibles. Chat with knowledgeable members and browse the collections, which include souvenir treasury notes and medals featuring iconic Waterloo Region landmarks. (Note: Located in the Perimeter Institute during Doors Open.)

  • Full wheelchair access
  • Kid-friendly
  • Parking
  • Self-guided tours available
  • Washrooms
  • Photography allowed

Contact info

31 Caroline Street North (Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics)
Waterloo, Ontario
Email: secretary@waterloocoinsociety.com
https://www.waterloocoinsociety.com

Architecture


Dates/hours open

Sep 21 - Sep 21

Waterloo County Gaol and Governor's HouseDoors Open Waterloo Region

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Waterloo County Gaol and Governor's House

Explore Waterloo Region’s oldest buildings — the 1852-53 Gaol (jail) and the 1878 Governor’s House — and learn how community action saved them from demolition. By combining designation with adaptive reuse, the granite Gaol houses Provincial Offences courtrooms. And the Governor’s House (jail warden’s home) contains legal offices. Questions? The Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (ACO) North Waterloo Branch will be on-hand.

  • Full wheelchair access
  • Self-guided tours available
  • Washrooms
  • Photography allowed

Contact info

73-77 Queen Street North
Kitchener, Ontario
Email: jhaalboom@sympatico.ca
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waterloo_County_Gaol

Architecture

Year built: 1852-53 (Gaol), 1878 (Governor’s House)
Building type: Courthouse Historical house
Architect: Mellish & Russell, Brantford (Gaol); D.W. Gingerich, Waterloo (Governor's House)

Dates/hours open

Sep 21 - Sep 21

Waterloo ION Maintenance FacilityDoors Open Waterloo Region

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Waterloo ION Maintenance Facility

Enjoy this rare opportunity to receive a guided tour of the Waterloo ION Maintenance Facility — including the Control Centre, Maintenance Shop and Rail Yard. See for yourself how the Grand River Transit keeps its fleet of vehicles in top condition, learn about maintenance schedules and techniques and ask questions about the operation of Waterloo Region’s transit system.

  • Full wheelchair access
  • Guided tours available
  • Kid-friendly
  • Parking
  • Washrooms
  • Photography allowed

Contact info

518 Dutton Drive
Waterloo, Ontario

Architecture

Year built: 2014
Building type: Transportation

Dates/hours open

Sep 21 - Sep 21

Waterloo Potters' Workshop at the Jacob Eby FarmhouseDoors Open Waterloo Region

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Waterloo Potters' Workshop at the Jacob Eby Farmhouse

Art and history collide at Waterloo Park’s 1860 Jacob Eby Farmhouse where the Waterloo Potters’ Workshop has operated since 1967. This non-profit co-operative — with its well-equipped pottery studio — offers classes to the public and organizes pottery sales and charity events. A site tour includes the kitchen, wheel room, glaze room and basement electric kiln room — as well as demonstrations.

  • 2024 theme: Adaptive reuse
  • Guided tours available
  • Kid-friendly
  • Parking
  • Photography allowed

Contact info

50 Young Street West (Waterloo Park)
Waterloo, Ontario
Email: info@waterloopotters.ca
https://www.waterloopotters.ca

Architecture

Year built: 1860
Building type: Commercial Educational facility Historical house Gallery

Dates/hours open

Sep 21 - Sep 21

Wellesley Township Heritage and Historical SocietyDoors Open Waterloo Region

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Wellesley Township Heritage and Historical Society

Explore the Historical Room located upstairs in the old schoolhouse in Wellesley. Home to the historical society since 1979, this great space includes a collection of approximately 1,000 artifacts and documents, 2,000 photographs and 200 books. While you’re visiting the building, be sure to visit Theatre Wellesley and the Region of Waterloo Library’s Wellesley Branch as well.

  • 2024 theme: Adaptive reuse
  • Kid-friendly
  • Parking
  • Self-guided tours available
  • Washrooms
  • Photography allowed

Contact info

1137 Henry Street
Wellesley, Ontario
Email: info@wellesleyhistory.org
https://www.wellesleyhistory.org

Architecture

Year built: 1898
Building type: Museum Schoolhouse

Dates/hours open

Sep 21 - Sep 21

Wesley United ChurchDoors Open Waterloo Region

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Wesley United Church

Built in 1879, Wesley United Church is situated in Galt’s historical civic square, adjacent to Cambridge Farmer’s Market and historical city hall. Explore the sanctuary, chapel and hall featuring the Apple Café (where apple dumplings and coffee are sold). Proceeds from this café fund local charities as well as the regular maintenance and upkeep of the church’s beautiful pipe organ.

  • Food vendors
  • Full wheelchair access
  • Guided tours available
  • Parking
  • Washrooms
  • Photography allowed
  • Rental opportunities

Contact info

6 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, Ontario
Email: office@wesleyunitedcambridge.ca
https://www.wesleyunitedcambridge.ca

Architecture

Year built: 1879-95
Building type: Place of worship
Architect: James Dalgleish (Galt)

Dates/hours open

Sep 21 - Sep 21