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Friday, April 19, 2013

Downtown Guelph featured in this year's Doors Open event

Gummer Building
Guelph, ON -- Guelph Arts Council is set for another great year of Doors Open Guelph.

As always, the Doors Open Guelph program packs a punch with 12 great sites including a Trails Open walking tour offered by the Guelph Hiking Club.

With a particular focus on Downtown Guelph, patrons will be able to park once and travel to all 11 downtown sites.

Several of Guelph’s finest buildings will be featured including the newly renovated Gummer Building, River Run Centre, Red Brick Café, Tovell Building (home of Wellington Cakes), 10 Carden, Gooderham and Worts Building (home of Guelph Chamber of Commerce), Sleeman Centre, and the Canadian Pacific Caboose which will be brought to downtown just for the event.

Other great sites located just outside of downtown include St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, the Wells-Marshall Home (100 Queen Street), and the beautiful Norfolk Guest House.

Now in its 12th year, Doors Open Guelph will take place on April 27th from 10a.m. to 4p.m. Here residents and visitors will have the opportunity to view several of Guelph’s finest buildings, many of which are not normally open to the public. Guided tours are available at some sites, while other sites encourage you to investigate the richness of each building on your own. This is a free and family friendly event and all are encouraged to attend.

There is something for everyone at this year’s event as many of the sites include interactive components. Doors at the Sleeman Centre will be wide open with a rare opportunity to access the facilities belonging to The Guelph Storm. In addition, Sleeman Centre will also play home to an art exhibit featuring the work of local artist as they pay tribute to the Petrie Building.

Live performances featuring the St. Andrew’s Church organist and pianist will take place at the top of every hour. Finally, you’ll get a chance to see some behind the scenes action as the award-winning Guelph Chamber Choir prepares for their evening performance at the River Run Centre.

Doors Open Guelph is an annual, family friendly, free event that is produced by the Guelph Arts Council. This event is supported by the City of Guelph Tourism Services, Guelph Hiking Club, and 100s of volunteers who come together to make this event happen year after year.

The Guelph event is part of Doors Open Ontario, an Ontario Heritage Trust province-wide initiative to celebrate community heritage. Once again, the Guelph event has the distinction of launching the Ontario Doors Open season, among the first of more than 50 such events across the province.

For more information, contact Guelph Arts Council at (519) 836-3280, ed.gac@sentex.net, or visit the Doors Open Guelph website at guelpharts.ca/doorsopenguelph

2013 Site Listings:

1. Gooderham and Worts Granary Building (Home of the Chamber of Commerce)
11 Farquhar Street North
The Central portion of this building was built in 1858 by Gooderham and Worts as a regional grain collection depot for their large Toronto distillery. In the 1990s, it was converted to office space, and is an excellent example of adaptive reuse. Original hand-hewn columns and beams, and wooded cladding of outside walls can still be seen on the ground floor.

2. 10 Carden
10 Carden Street
This beautiful limestone building directly across for the City Hall was formerly Embro Grocery Store. It is now a ‘community hub’, offering affordable space perfect for board meetings, large presentations, workshops, events, parties, smaller scale meetings as well as collaborative and individual work.

3. St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church
161 Norfolk Street
Constructed 1857-58 as the second building to serve St. Andrew’s congregation, this Gothic-style church is mediaeval in form and atmosphere with its nave and transepts, its impressive 150-foot spire, and its buttresses, but departs from mediaeval precedents with its centralized pulpit and curved pews. Fine stained-glass windows memorialize the congregation’s leaders

4. Sleeman Centre 50 Woolwich Street
Sleeman Centre is Guelph’s premier location for sports and entertainment events, trade shows and conferences. Home of the Guelph Storm, this modern well equipped facility will showcase the Storm’s dressing room and player area as well as an art exhibit featuring the historic Petrie building.

5. River Run Centre
35 Woolwich Street
Guelph’s signature performing arts centre, located just steps from the historic downtown, features concert hall, a studio theatre and a spectacular lobby with a panoramic view of the Speed River. Guelph Chamber Choir and the River Run are opening the concert hall during rehearsals for a behind the scenes look.

6. Gummer Building
5 Douglas Street
On Easter Weekend of 2007, the Gummer Building, the Victoria Building and the Stewart Drugs Building (all circa 1850-75) were badly damaged in a fire. In the wake of the fire, Skyline purchased all three buildings and has completed a collective redevelopment of the site. Now deemed a heritage site, Skyline has preserved the facades and other features of these buildings, while developing them into a modern, fully accessible, eco-sensitive commercial complex.

7. Red Brick Café
8 and 10 Douglas Street
The "Savage" Building was built in the 1890's and housed an optical store/factory from inception until the 1960's. For most of its life, the 2nd floor, contained offices. The tour will include the Red Brick Café on the first floor and Broadview Press and Red Brick offices on the 2nd Floor.

8. The Tovell Building (Home of Wellington Cakes)
9 Douglas Street
Built in 1878, this is one of the oldest stone commercial buildings remaining in Guelph’s downtown. Once the home of an undertaking business and associated with the most powerful, early Guelph families, it was built of locally quarried limestone in the Late Italianate style. The building is now home to Wellington Cakes, a boutique cupcake and specialty cake shop, dedicated to creating cake into an art form.

9. Canadian Pacific Caboose 436994
Located on siding close to St. Georges Church (Enter off Woolwich Street)
Built in 1941, this wooden-body caboose served the Canadian Pacific Railway for more than 40 years. For the past 19 years, it has been and continues to be beautifully restored by members of the Guelph Historical Railway Association.
The inside is now a railway museum on wheels, reflecting the glory days of railroading in the mid-20th century. The group recently completed a $10,000 exterior restoration of the caboose thanks to our members and donors.

10. Wells-Marshall House
100 Queen Street
Circa 1895, this home was custom designed by architect W. Frye Colwill. It sits on a 1/3 acre lot with a wonderful view from the top of the Eramosa hill. This house has been lovingly restored by its’ current owners.

11. Norfolk Guest House (formerly Brill House)
102 Eramosa Road (corner of Queen)
Built in 1865 by James Brill of the Guelph Soap Factory, this fine brick home is now operated as a bed and Breakfast. The house has been restored, maintaining much of its heritage flavour, including fine plaster mouldings and a leather-inlaid front door.

12. Starkey Hill Side Trail Parking located on south side of Arkell Rd., 1 km. east of hamlet of Arkell, which is 1.5 km east of the south end of Guelph. NTS 682 218 Built by the Guelph Hiking Trail Club in 1973, this 4 km trail is celebrating its 40th anniversary with the Trails Open event. It is easily to see why this is the most popular walk in the Guelph area: in a word, variety: ups and downs on the Paris Moraine, kettle lakes and ponds, a fine hardwood bush and distant views from the hills of Guelph and even Kitchener. Guided hikes led by the Club at 9:30, 11:30, 1:30, 3:30.

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For more information, contact: Guelph Arts Council 147 Wyndham St N, Suite 404 Guelph, Ontario N1H 4E9 Tel: (519) 836-328

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