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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Doors are opening across Ontario for visitors, tours


   One-Tank Trip for April 22/17

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Unlock the secrets and happenings behind closed doors in some 145 communities across Ontario.
   It’s time again for the Ontario Heritage Trust program that opens the doors, gates and courtyards of some of the most-interesting cultural sites often off limits to the public.
   This free event called Doors Open Ontario was launched in 2002 and now has had almost seven-million visits to “thousands of unique buildings and spaces.”
Watching ships squeeze through Welland Canal's Lock 3 including the bulk carrier Federal Mackinac. (Jim Fox photo)
   Things start today (April 22) with the Guelph open house and continue through to Halton Region on Sept. 30-Oct. 1.
   Here’s a sampling of events to the end of June with variable hours, often 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

   Iconic watercraft
   Doors Open Peterborough on May 6 celebrates the boat-building industry at the Canadian Canoe Museum.
Canoes and kayaks jam the Peterborough Lift Locks during an event organized by the Canadian Canoe Museum.
   It highlights the “enduring significance” of the canoe, called one of Canada’s “seven wonders,” with displays also of kayaks and related artifacts.

   The Hutchison House, built by the townspeople in 1836 for one of its first physicians, Dr. John Hutchison, is now a “living-history museum” to tour.
   Doors Open Toronto on May 27 and 28 includes more than 150 of the city’s “most architecturally, historically, culturally and socially significant buildings.”
   The spectacular interior of St. Anne’s Anglican Church in Toronto. (Photo by Alexander Meoko/Doors Open)
   It will showcase buildings pre-dating Confederation and from each decade onwards.
   An interesting site is the Horse Palace, home of the Toronto Police Mounted Unit, in Exhibition Place.
   It’s one of the “finest art deco buildings” in the city and opened for the 1931 Winter Fair.
   After renovations in 1999, it became the permanent home of the mounted unit and its 24 horses.
   Tour the Royal Canadian Yacht Club’s Island Clubhouse for which Edward, Prince of Wales, laid the cornerstone in 1919.
   The two-storey, southern-style building is the summer home of the club with a dining room overlooking the city and a large ballroom with murals by Owen Staples.
   Other events next month are Whitby, May 6; Hamilton, May 6-7; Richmond Hill, May 13; and Brockville and the Thousand Islands, May 27-28.

   Gardens to gables
   Owen Sound also marks its 160th birthday at Doors Open on June 3 and 4 that includes the Billy Bishop Home.
   Built in 1884, it is the boyhood home of First World War flying ace William Avery Bishop and is a “well-preserved example of the Queen Anne Revival Style.”
   Ottawa celebrates the nation’s 150th birthday, “paying homage to history, culture and stunning architecture” on June 3 and 4.
   Take a shuttle bus or bike to many of the sites, with the list to be revealed next month.
Visitors can climb to the top of the Point Clark Lighthouse for stunning views at Doors Open Bruce County.
   Climb 112 steps to the top of the Point Clark Lighthouse for stunning views of the Lake Huron shore at Doors Open Bruce County on June 10 and 11.
   The 1859 historic landmark has undergone extensive restoration with more than 300 stones replaced and a facelift given.
   The Bruce Botanical Food Gardens in Ripley grows 10,000 plants using natural, sustainable methods in a park-like setting.
   There are tours of Hoity Toity Cellars in Mildmay while in Southampton is the Outlaw Brew Co. in an 1867-era former hotel.
   In Fergus-Elora, visit an 1833 barn and its barnyard residents, ring a huge 180-year-old church bell, walk a trail and take a peek at some of the area’s finest heritage spaces on June 17.
   Watch the ships pass day and night at the St. Catharines Museum & Welland Canals Centre during Doors Open on June 24.
   Located at Lock 3 of the Welland Canal, there’s a ship viewing platform in this tranquil park-like setting while inside are museum galleries.
   Other events are Whitchurch-Stouffville, June 3; Northumberland County, June 3-4; Clarington and Erin, June 10; Bradford West Gwillimbury and Kingston, June 17; and Gravenhurst, June 24.
   The open houses then take a break until Aurora on Aug. 19. Details: doorsopenontario.on.ca

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Jim Fox can be reached at onetanktrips@hotmail.com
For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca

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