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Sunday, September 3, 2017

Doors Open: I hear you knockin' and you can come in!

   One-Tank Trip for Sept. 2/17

   By Jim Fox

   Knock, knock who’s there?
   It’s just us getting a peak at Ontario cultural treasures that are often closed to the public.
   Doors Open, a program of the Ontario Heritage Trust, swings into its final month for this season that highlights cultural and heritage spots across the province.
   Things kick off this month on Sept. 9 and 10 in Kawartha Lakes highlighting “150 years of cultural and religious diversity.”
   They wind up on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 as Halton invites visitors to “share its rich heritage, cultural diversity and stunning natural beauty.”
Doors Open visitors can climb to the top of Port Burwell’s historic lighthouse.
   This free event started 15 years ago and has counted about seven-million visits to “thousands of unique buildings and spaces.”
   Here’s a look at some of the special things to see and do with variable hours, often 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

   Shine your light
   Climb to the top of Port Burwell’s historical lighthouse for a view of Lake Erie, the harbour and surrounding village.
   During Doors Open East Elgin on Sept. 16 Aylmer and Bayham have also partnered to offer  sites.
   The 1840’s wooden lighthouse, restored in 1986, played a vital role in guiding Lake Erie ships to safety.
Aficionados can find historic items from three centuries at the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge.
   The marine museum has collections of historical and marine artifacts, period photographs, lighthouse lenses and a model of the railway car ferry Ashtabula.
   Also in Port Burwell is the 181-year-old Trinity Anglican Church, constructed entirely of wood with original stained-glass windows and bell.
   Waterloo Region goes all out on Sept. 16 highlighting “Identity + Innovation” with 50 participating sites “selected for their architecture, heritage or the interesting things going on inside.”
   This includes the Centre for International Governance Innovation, a think-tank on global issues, at the historic Seagram Distillery site.
A picture-perfect spot is the Otterville Mill built in 1845 on the Otter River.
   The Detweiler Meetinghouse in Roseville is Ontario’s only surviving stone Mennonite building of its kind with an 1855 appearance, Georgian hand-blown windows and original pine floors.
   The Fashion History Museum in Cambridge is where the Hespeler Post Office operated from 1929 and has 12,000 items from the past 300 years.

   Would you believe?
   London’s Doors Open, Sept. 16 and 17, is called “Unconventional. Unbelievable. Unforgettable.
   With 40 locations, sites include the Banting House National Historic Site, HMCS Prevost and the Hume Cronyn Memorial Observatory on the Saturday from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m., with stargazing starting at 7 p.m.
   Doors Open Oxford-Norwich, Sept. 23, invites visitors to discover its Quaker history, early Black settlement and agricultural heritage.
   Locations include the 1856 African Methodist Episcopal Church site and Cemetery in Otterville where early settlers were escaped slaves and free immigrants.
   The picturesque Otterville Mill was built in 1845 and is run by water power supplied by a dam on the Otter River.
   There’s also Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese and Ross Butler Agricultural Art Gallery, both at RR 4, Woodstock, the Norwich District Museum and the 1875-era Norwich United Church.
   St. Marys, known as “Stonetown,” invites visitors on Sept. 30 to see the town “filled with architecture featuring locally quarried limestone.”
   One such building is the St. Marys Town Hall built in 1892 of the local stone “with contrasting sandstone accents.”
The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in St. Marys can be toured during Doors Open. (Jim Fox photo)
   Visitors can tour the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum in its 1860s limestone building on a picturesque site overlooking the locally famous quarry swimming hole.
   Built of stone in 1867 is the Westover Inn, known as a “charming Victorian mansion,” that was a Roman Catholic seminary in the 1930s.
   Other Doors Open events are in Belleville and Quinte West, Sept. 16; Carleton Place, Minden Hills and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Sept. 16-17; Grimsby, King Township, Mississauga and Wellington North, on Sept 23.
   The season winds up with Brampton, Burlington, Markham, Orillia, Oshawa, Timmins, all on Sept. 30, and Halton Region, Sept. 30-Oct. 1.
   For more details: doorsopenontario.on.ca


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

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