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Saturday, September 1, 2018

I hear you knockin' at Doors Open Waterloo and across Ontario


   One-Tank Trip for Sept. 1/18

   (c) By Jim Fox

  Knock, knock . . . come on in.
   If you want to know more about high-tech start-ups, you’ve come to the right place in Kitchener-Waterloo.
   Meanwhile in London, tour the 427 Wing and Spirit of Flight Aviation Museum and the Banting House National Historic Site.
   Check out the Farewell House, home to Casa Toscana, built in 1839 in Grimsby, CBC-Radio Canada in Windsor and the Elgin County Railway Museum in St. Thomas.
   These and more opportunities are available as Doors Open, the Ontario Heritage Trust popular program, holds its last 19 events for the year through mid-October.
Tech start-up company Shopify is located in the historic former barrel warehouse of Seagram’s distillery.
   There’s a story behind every door waiting to be discovered at these open houses and tours.

    “They reveal unique and fascinating places, open to visitors free of charge – including many that are not normally open to the public,” said the trust’s publicist Catrina Colme.
   This year’s events include historic homes, fire stations, hiking trails, courthouses, schoolhouses, gardens, places of worship and countless others, she said.
   “Many sites are also offering special tours, lectures, exhibits and performances, to better explore the stories inside.”

   Tech savvy
   Waterloo Region is home to numerous high-tech advancements and discoveries with its University of Waterloo (UW) and numerous spin-off companies.
   It’s also the home of BlackBerry smartphones and visitors can learn more at Doors Open Waterloo Region on Sept. 15 as six technology sites host a Start-up Open House.
   “This is where you can explore start-up offices and connect with CEOs and founders who are shaping the future of business,” said publicist Jane Snyder.
Guided walks will be given of the new pedestrian bridge over the Grand River built on former railway tracks in Cambridge.
    “Job seekers, investors and curious neighbours can rub shoulders with innovative local founders and discover what start-up culture is all about,” she added.
   Among those taking part is Shopify Inc., called the “leading commerce platform for small and medium-sized businesses worldwide.”
   It’s a bonus visit to observe history as it’s housed in a former Seagram distillery barrel warehouse from 1878 that was expanded into a museum in 1984.
   Most sites are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and this year’s theme is Places, Patterns and Plans.
   The “planned-and-built environment” involves 23 themed sites that focus on urban planning and land use, infrastructure and engineering, public spaces and transportation, and architectural design.
   Kitchener’s combined arts and technology hub began as a partnership between the UW-based Accelerator Centre and ArtsBuild Ontario.
Doors Open visitors can see the large climate-controlled greenhouses at Elmira’s Own and learn how tomatoes are grown year-round.
   This innovation centre in a former Canada Post depot in Kitchener houses tech companies, studio space and an art gallery.
   There are also bell tower tours at the 1880 Central Presbyterian Church in Cambridge; the 1850 Brubacher House Museum in Waterloo that housed early Mennonite settlers and Indigenous inhabitants; the Conestoga College Applied Research Hub & Grand Innovations; and Elmira’s Own, climate-controlled greenhouses.
   There are 34 sites in the cities and townships while guided walks will be held at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on the new Grand River Pedestrian Bridge in Cambridge. regionofwaterloo.ca/doorsopen; (519) 747-5139

   Doors Open at the Elgin County Railway Museum includes viewing the Canadian National Railways’ steam locomotive number 5700.
   Let me in
   Here is a list of upcoming Doors Open Ontario events:
   - Mississauga and Thunder Bay, Sept. 8;
   - Quinte West, Smiths Falls and Waterloo Region, Sept. 15
   - London, Sept. 15 and 16
   - Belleville and District, Grimsby and Markham, Sept. 22
   - Windsor, Sept. 22 and 23
   - Ajax, Brockton, Burlington, Gravenhurst, Lincoln, Oshawa and Simcoe County, Sept. 29
   - Halton Region, Sept. 29 and 30
   - St. Thomas, Oct. 13
   For details on all the events: 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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