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Digital Doors Open Waterloo Region

Digital Doors Open Waterloo Region is an entirely virtual experience.

The digital program is delivered in video episodes, each spanning 5 to 10 minutes in length.

Follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for sneak peeks leading up to the launch of each episode. Join our mailing list to receive updates and notifications.

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34 Digital Doors Open sites

Blair Sheave TowerDoors Open Waterloo Region

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Blair Sheave Tower

Sheave Tower (owned and operated by the Cambridge branch of the Architectural Conservancy Ontario) is the province's last remaining wooden water-powered hydroelectric generator tower – a 19th-century marvel of ingenuity. This local landmark is neatly tucked away under a canopy of Carolinian forest and set within the boundaries of a provincially significant wetland. The 9.5-metre (31-foot) tower has been restored to its original bold oxblood colour. Built in 1876, it was a remarkable feat of engineering that harnessed waterpower via pulley and cable for the nearby gristmill. It was one of the world’s smallest hydroelectric generating projects. As part of Digital Doors Open, watch the video below to learn more about this important historical building.

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Contact info

Old Mill Road
Cambridge, Ontario
Email: info@acontario.ca
https://www.arconserv.ca/branch.php?b_id=4

Architecture

Year built: 1876
Building type: Historical landmark

Dates/hours open

Dec 02 - Dec 02

Brubacher House MuseumDoors Open Waterloo Region

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Brubacher House Museum

Laura and Josh Enns live in a museum – a Mennonite farmhouse built in 1850 that is located smack-dab in the middle of the University of Waterloo tech park. For the past four years, the young couple has called Brubacher House their home, living in modern accommodations on the second floor as they promote and manage the museum and its grounds. They're also working to update the narrative of the land to reflect its origins as territory belonging to the Attawandaron, Huron-Wendat, Anishnaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. As part of Digital Doors Open, watch the video below to learn more about living and working in this museum.

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Contact info

275 Frank Tompa Drive
Waterloo, Ontario
https://uwaterloo.ca/grebel/about-grebel/our-partners/brubacher-house

Architecture

Year built: 1850; renovated 1970s
Building type: Historical house Museum

Dates/hours open

Dec 02 - Dec 02

Cambridge Butterfly ConservatoryDoors Open Waterloo Region

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Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory

A year-round tropical paradise and home to thousands of exquisite plants, butterflies, moths and bugs, the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory has been a remarkable institution in Waterloo Region since 2001. As a privately owned Canadian corporation, it is entirely self-reliant and must juggle the business of attraction with the responsibility of education, research and conservation. Andalyne Tofflemire, Conservatory Manager and naturalist, tours viewers throughout the magical 2,322-square-metre (25,000-square-foot) facility and its daily behind-the-scenes operations. As part of Digital Doors Open, watch the video below for a behind-the-scenes experience of this tropical paradise.

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Contact info

2500 Kossuth Road
Cambridge, Ontario
https://www.cambridgebutterfly.com

Architecture

Year built: 2002
Building type: Attraction Educational facility

Dates/hours open

Dec 02 - Dec 02

Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery, TheDoors Open Waterloo Region

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Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery, The

Opened in 1993, The Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery in Waterloo has become an integral part of the community while fostering and supporting emerging and established Canadian artists. Join us during Digital Doors Open for a behind-the-scenes tour of the vault, which contains 1,000 contemporary works in ceramics, glass and copper enameling. Curator Peter Flannery selects six pieces from the permanent collection to explore in detail, providing illuminating commentary about the works’ materials, style, esthetics and allure.

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Contact info

25 Caroline Street North
Waterloo, Ontario
Email: info@theclayandglass.ca
https://www.theclayandglass.ca

Architecture

Year built: 1993
Building type: Gallery
Architect: Patkau Architects

Dates/hours open

Dec 02 - Dec 02

Clearpath RoboticsDoors Open Waterloo Region

  • Digital Doors Open Icon Ontario

Clearpath Robotics

Dull, dirty and dangerous. These are the types of jobs that Clearpath Robotics is working to automate. Founded in 2009 by four University of Waterloo Mechatronics Engineering grads, Clearpath and its sister company OTTO Motors develop hardware, software and services to enable self-driving vehicle development, deployment and fleet operation. The award-winning company works with over 500 of the world’s most innovative brands in over 40 countries, serving markets that span industrial materials handling, mining, military, agriculture, aerospace and academia. Find out why Clearpath values automating dull, dirty and dangerous jobs in the following episode of Digital Doors Open Waterloo Region.

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Contact info

1425 Strasburg Road
Kitchener, Ontario
https://clearpathrobotics.com

Architecture

Building type: Commercial

Dates/hours open

Dec 02 - Dec 02

Crow Shield LodgeDoors Open Waterloo Region

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Crow Shield Lodge

This episode of Digital Doors Open Waterloo Region features a conversation with Clarence Cachagee, the visionary behind Crow Shield Lodge – a place for reconciliation, Indigenous land-based teaching and healing. Filmed at the Lodge’s peaceful and remote location near New Hamburg, Cachagee shares his vision for a thriving community that is founded on unity, equality and understanding.

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Contact info

Visit their secondary site at the Ken Seiling Waterloo Region Museum, 10 Huron Road
Kitchener, Ontario

Architecture


Dates/hours open

Dec 02 - Dec 02

Death as Life’s Work TourDoors Open Waterloo Region

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Death as Life’s Work Tour

Author and historian Marion Roes has been surrounded by death her entire life. Her family founded Dreisinger Funeral Home in Elmira in 1904. Roes has written a 500-page book titled Death as Life’s Work, which lovingly and painstakingly documents an illustrated history of more than 120 undertakers and funeral businesses throughout Waterloo Region from 1850 through 2020. As part of Digital Doors Open, join Roes on this journey through the video below.

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Contact info

62 Arthur Street South
Elmira, Ontario
https://www.dreisingerfuneralhome.com

Architecture

Year built: 1904
Building type: Commercial

Dates/hours open

Dec 02 - Dec 02

Eby Manor Golden Guernsey MilkDoors Open Waterloo Region

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Eby Manor Golden Guernsey Milk

For all but 10 days of his life, Jim Eby has lived on this dairy farm in Woolwich, now known as Eby Manor. You'll be moo-ved by his story of the family operation that seized a golden (Guernsey) opportunity to create something truly special in the new niche milk market. Denoted by its unique, creamy texture and iconic glass bottles, Eby Manor and its small herd boast an avid following. As part of Digital Doors Open, find out more about Eby Manor and this dairy operation through the video below.

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Contact info

1174 Weeby Place, RR1
Waterloo, Ontario
https://ebymanor.ca

Architecture

Building type: Food and drink

Dates/hours open

Dec 02 - Dec 02

Filming The Handmaid's Tale in Cambridge - Part 1Doors Open Waterloo Region

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Filming The Handmaid's Tale in Cambridge - Part 1

Part 1 of a two-part series on how Cambridge became Gilead in The Handmaid’s Tale. The architecture, heritage buildings and stunning natural features of Cambridge are showcased in the award-winning web television series The Handmaid's Tale. The city's unique assets, central location and welcoming vibe for the production team made it winner. After three celebrated seasons and 37 major award victories, it's easy now to applaud the city's work to accommodate large production crews with tight schedules and narrow lead times. But what was it like for Devon Hogue, the Business Information Officer for the City of Cambridge during those first days in August 2016 when The Handmaid's Tale was just a concept being pitched for the first time? Just how do you explain to residents why there are gallows erected in the park, army tanks and men with machine guns on the bridge, and three bodies hanging from the wall by the river? Find out in the following episode of Digital Doors Open Waterloo Region. And check the city's map of filming locations.

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  • Collections and resources

Contact info

36 Water Street North
Cambridge, Ontario

Architecture


Dates/hours open

Dec 02 - Dec 02

Filming The Handmaid's Tale in Cambridge - Part 2Doors Open Waterloo Region

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Filming The Handmaid's Tale in Cambridge - Part 2

Part 2 of a two-part series on how Cambridge became Gilead in The Handmaid’s Tale. Under her eye: The award-winning web television series The Handmaid's Tale showcases much of the architecture, heritage buildings and stunning natural features of Cambridge in its fictional rendering of a dystopian Gilead. The city's unique assets, central location, and welcoming vibe for the production team made it winner. After three celebrated seasons and 37 major award victories, many of these key locations have put Cambridge on the map worldwide – with viewers and film production companies alike. Devon Hogue, the Business Information Officer for the City of Cambridge, takes us on a tour of key locations and the many challenges and rewards along the way. Join the tour in the below episode of Digital Doors Open Waterloo Region. And don’t forget to check out the filming locations on the city’s map.

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Videos
  • Collections and resources

Contact info

Downtown Cambridge
Cambridge, Ontario

Architecture


Dates/hours open

Dec 02 - Dec 02

Forest Hill Home of Enchantment, TheDoors Open Waterloo Region

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Forest Hill Home of Enchantment, The

In the 1960s, the burgeoning neighbourhood of Forest Hill in Kitchener was touted by developers as “gracious living,” and its model custom home of distinction was known as the Home of Enchantment. Six decades later, this mid-century modern beauty is celebrating a revival thanks to the ambitious vision of its second owners who have meticulously restored its original character and maximum potential while dressing it in unique, decadent and quirky interiors that make it truly one-of-a-kind. As part of Digital Doors Open, watch the video below for a behind-the-scenes experience of this unique home.

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Contact info


, Ontario

Architecture

Year built: 1960
Building type: Private residence
Architect: Bramley and Friesen Construction Ltd.

Dates/hours open

Dec 02 - Dec 02

Galt Arena GardensDoors Open Waterloo Region

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Galt Arena Gardens

The Galt Arena Gardens is the oldest continuously operating arena in the world. Built in 1921 and refurbished in 1997, it is an imposing structure, representative of the epic achievements within its storied walls. It has been home ice to some of the hockey greats. A celebration of its 100th anniversary in June 2022 brought generations together to revel in its heritage as a landmark at the heart of a community. As part of Digital Doors Open, learn more about this historical local landmark through the video below.

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Architecture

Year built: 1921
Building type: Attraction

Dates/hours open

Dec 02 - Dec 02

Gies Family Centre (Hospice Waterloo Region)Doors Open Waterloo Region

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Gies Family Centre (Hospice Waterloo Region)

Since 1993, Hospice Waterloo Region has provided vital care for those living with advanced illness and support for their loved ones. In 2021, the organization realized a new chapter with the opening of the Gies Family Centre, which includes the 10-bed Cook Family Residence that provides 24-hour care to patients and their families. Located on 2 hectares (5 acres) of land in north Waterloo, this facility embraces visitors through its thoughtful design, warm materials and inviting landscape. While the structure is inspired by the lands and history of the region, the work within its walls is anchored in a holistic approach to care and honouring the life journeys of the community it serves. As part of Digital Doors Open, watch the video below for a behind-the-scenes experience of this state-of-the-art facility.

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Contact info

100 Solstice Way
Waterloo, Ontario
Email: hospice@hospicewaterloo.ca
https://www.hospicewaterloo.ca

Architecture

Year built: 2021
Building type: Health-care facility
Architect: Laird Robertson, NEO Architecture Inc.

Dates/hours open

Dec 02 - Dec 02

Grace Schmidt Room of Local HistoryDoors Open Waterloo Region

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Grace Schmidt Room of Local History

If you attended high school in Waterloo Region, you might be mortified to learn that your high school yearbook (and that hairdo) may be preserved as a historical resource in the Grace Schmidt Room at the Kitchener Public Library. Local yearbooks are one of 10 favourite items that are explored as part of Digital Doors Open by Karen Ball-Pyatt, Manager of the Grace Schmidt Room’s vast collection, which has been documenting the area's history and families since it opened in 1984.

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Contact info

85 Queen Street North
Kitchener, Ontario
Email: karen.ball-pyatt@kpl.org
https://www.kpl.org/localhistory

Architecture

Year built: 1984
Building type: Library

Dates/hours open

Dec 02 - Dec 02

Heritage Home Walking TourDoors Open Waterloo Region

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Heritage Home Walking Tour

On his Instagram account @beautyandruin, Cambridge photographer and history buff Michael Johnston showcases more than 1,000 images of heritage homes and stunning structures that illustrate the fascinating past, present and future of Waterloo Region. In this episode of Digital Doors Open Waterloo Region (entitled Beauty and Ruin in Waterloo Region, shown below), Johnston shares a selection of his favourite images and the stories behind the structures. Sites include: the Dickson Park grandstand, Preston Free School, Jacob Beck home, homes built by architect Ray Hall, Preston Springs Hotel and a selection of churches ranging from Gothic to mid-century modern in design.

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Contact info

Start at Dickson Park, 30 Park Hill Road West
Cambridge, Ontario

Architecture

Year built: Various

Architect: Various

Dates/hours open

Dec 02 - Dec 02

Ken Seiling Waterloo Region Museum Curatorial CentreDoors Open Waterloo Region

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Ken Seiling Waterloo Region Museum Curatorial Centre

With nearly 50,000 items capturing life in Waterloo Region, the collection at the Ken Seiling Waterloo Region Museum is the most comprehensive of any local museum in Canada. These artifacts’ origins range from the 1500s to the modern era and are lovingly obtained by, and preserved in, the museum’s state-of-the-art Curatorial Centre. The acquisition and safekeeping of these items provides a comprehensive visual history of the region and its stories. But the effort to preserve the past also serves the community in understanding the present and navigating the future. Explore the Curatorial Centre in the video below.

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Contact info

10 Huron Road
Kitchener, Ontario
https://www.waterlooregionmuseum.ca/en/index.aspx

Architecture

Building type: Museum

Dates/hours open

Dec 02 - Dec 02

Levi Carroll and The Log SchoolhouseDoors Open Waterloo Region

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Levi Carroll and The Log Schoolhouse

Levi Carroll is best known for a log schoolhouse built in 1820 that was Waterloo’s first educational institution. Once the community outgrew the 5-metre by 6-metre (16-foot by 20-foot) schoolhouse, Carroll lived in it for more than 50 years. This important historical structure now rests in Waterloo Park and provides a backdrop for exploring more about Carroll – an ex-slave from Maryland who, despite the odds, lived into his 90s and was described in his 1897 obituary as “a citizen whom almost everyone knows.” But that familiarity has been lost to time. Author and social historian Joanna Rickert-Hall is working to resurrect Levi Carroll’s narrative and its ties to other lost local stories and important conversations. As part of Digital Doors Open, watch the video below to learn more about Levi Carroll and this iconic landmark.

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Contact info

Waterloo Park, Young Street West
Waterloo, Ontario
https://www.waterloo.ca/en/things-to-do/waterloo-park.aspx#Log-school-house

Architecture

Year built: 1820
Building type: Schoolhouse

Dates/hours open

Dec 02 - Dec 02

Martin's Family Fruit FarmDoors Open Waterloo Region

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Martin's Family Fruit Farm

Seven generations have farmed the land in Woolwich Township that is now home to Martin’s Family Fruit Farm - one of the largest apple growers, packers and shippers in Canada. While the business has blossomed with innovation and expansion in the past decade, each one of the orchards’ millions of apples is still picked carefully by hand, and locals continue to buy apples in the onsite Orchard Market. With the help of up to 300 employees, the Martins still run this family business, and they do so according to their core values that support their mission of growing for healthy communities. During Digital Doors Open, learn more about this family and their thriving business through the video below.

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Contact info

1420 Lobsinger Line
Waterloo, Ontario
https://martinsapples.com

Architecture

Year built: Established in 1971
Building type: Food and drink

Dates/hours open

Dec 02 - Dec 02

MEGHQ-FREEPORT: Kitchener’s Cold War BunkerDoors Open Waterloo Region

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MEGHQ-FREEPORT: Kitchener’s Cold War Bunker

It is nearly impossible to notice at first glance, but an underground bunker known as MEGHQ-FREEPORT sits along the Grand River in Kitchener’s Schneider Park. Owned by the Region of Waterloo, it was conceived and crafted to serve as a Cold War fallout shelter to protect key officials following a nuclear attack. Now, 55 years after its construction, this unique and crumbling piece of local history is sparking debate about its future. Should it be demolished? Or should the space be restored, preserved and reimagined? As part of Digital Doors Open, watch the video below for a behind-the-scenes experience of this Cold War fallout shelter.

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Contact info

3571 King Street East
Kitchener, Ontario
Email: bcoady@regionofwaterloo.ca

Architecture

Year built: 1966
Building type: Government building Military
Architect: Webb Zerafa Menkes and Matthews

Dates/hours open

Dec 02 - Dec 02

North House at rare Charitable Research ReserveDoors Open Waterloo Region

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North House at rare Charitable Research Reserve

From its headquarters on Blair Road in Cambridge, the rare Charitable Research Reserve works to discover the most inclusive practices and answers to environmental issues, stewarding the reserve’s diverse network of natural landscapes for ecological integrity and future generations. rare offers Waterloo Region a diverse network of connected natural areas, protected intact in perpetuity. Its leadership in conservation, research, restoration and education is encompassed in North House, an aspirational 60-square-metre (650-square-foot) solar-powered home and working model of green technology. As part of Digital Doors Open, watch the video below for a behind-the-scenes experience of this fascinating structure.

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Contact info

681 Blair Road
Ayr, Ontario
Email: tamanna.kohi@raresites.org
https://raresites.org

Architecture

Year built: 2009
Building type: Green building

Dates/hours open

Dec 02 - Dec 02

Parkview CrematoriumDoors Open Waterloo Region

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Parkview Crematorium

The death industry is changing and Parkview Crematorium in Waterloo is one of just a handful of crematoriums still owned and operated by municipalities in Ontario. In 2019, it seemed Parkview might also close amidst competition from private operators. But the community rose to save it from the ashes.

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Contact info

335 University Avenue
Waterloo, Ontario
https://www.waterloo.ca/en/things-to-do/cemetery-locations.aspx

Architecture

Year built: 1977

Dates/hours open

Dec 02 - Dec 02

Region of Waterloo International Airport (YKF)Doors Open Waterloo Region

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Region of Waterloo International Airport (YKF)

Once upon a time, the Region of Waterloo International Airport (YKF) consisted of two grass air strips. Today, it consistently ranks as one of the 20 busiest airports in Canada. YKF is unique in many ways and this behind-the-scenes exploration of its daily operation reveals a thriving aviation community that is passionate about safety and growth. Still enchanted by the magic of air travel, the dedicated staff are planning today to better serve Waterloo Region tomorrow. Find out how in the following episode of Digital Doors Open Waterloo Region.

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Videos
  • Virtual tours

Contact info

4881 Fountain Street North, #1
Breslau, Ontario
https://www.waterlooairport.ca

Architecture

Year built: 1929
Building type: Transportation

Dates/hours open

Dec 02 - Dec 02

River Monsters of Waterloo RegionDoors Open Waterloo Region

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River Monsters of Waterloo Region

Waterloo Region has had, over the past 150 years, sightings of two so-called river monsters. Join us as we explore these Loch Ness Monster-like creatures that are part of the region’s history. Sightings of the infamous Nithy of the Nith River were reported in newspapers throughout Ontario in the 1950s. The lesser-known Doon Monster of the Grand River bubbled up a century before. Both of these river monsters generated a groundswell of interest that united and divided neighbours in a wave of debate about con versus phenomenon. As part of Digital Doors Open, the video below begins at what is today the Homer Watson House & Gallery, where a young Homer Watson is regaled with tales of when the sea serpent came to Doon in 1857. In 1929, he shares these stories with a local newspaper, and that article becomes the starting point for this local legend.

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Contact info

1754 Old Mill Road (Homer Watson House & Gallery)
Kitchener, Ontario

Architecture


Dates/hours open

Dec 02 - Dec 02

Shand DamDoors Open Waterloo Region

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Shand Dam

Despite its location in the neighbouring municipality of Centre Wellington, the Shand Dam has been vital to the health and wellbeing of Waterloo Region since it opened in 1942. In this episode of Digital Doors Open Waterloo Region, the Grand River Conservation Authority provides web visitors with exclusive access throughout the dam’s superstructure, explaining the marvellous wartime feats of engineering that created it, and the balance of technology and human knowledge required to maintain it.

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Architecture

Year built: 1942

Dates/hours open

Dec 02 - Dec 02

SPECTRUM - Rainbow Community SpaceDoors Open Waterloo Region

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SPECTRUM - Rainbow Community Space

SPECTRUM is Waterloo Region’s first ever LGBTQ/rainbow community space. The small-but-mighty haven created by SPECTRUM is currently located in the historical Boehmer Box building in Kitchener. This poignant episode explores the rainbow community's long struggle to establish safe gathering spaces within Waterloo Region, and includes a walking tour hosted by SPECTRUM's President, Cait Glasson. Watch the episode below from Digital Doors Open Waterloo Region and explore downtown Kitchener from Glasson's perspective.

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Contact info

283 Duke Street
Kitchener, Ontario
https://ourspectrum.com

Architecture


Dates/hours open

Dec 02 - Dec 02