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Doors Open St. Catharines

Doors Open St. Catharines is a new event for 2017 that will allow residents to explore buildings and places that are normally off limit. Places like government buildings, local businesses, heritage sites and places of worship.

Doors Open gives residents a chance to connect with the buildings and institutions at the heart of our city's history.

Doors Open is on Saturday, June 24 and is a free event for everyone.

Volunteer Opportunities

We're looking for enthusiastic locals to take part in Doors Open. All you need is a smile and a desire to share St. Catharines with others.

Please complete our Doors Open online application form if you're interested in volunteering for this great event.

 

Participating locations

 1. Bill Wiley Memorial and Mountain Locks Parks Walking Tours

Location:

343 Glendale Street (Glendale and Mountain Streets: Northwest Corner)

Description:

The Canadian Canal Society and the Niagara Bruce Trail Club have teamed up to offer outdoor tours of two parks in south St. Catharines.  Tours begin in Bill Wiley Park with a discussion of the canals from 1825 to today, and then proceed across the street to Mountain Locks Park to see the remaining locks of the Second Canal.

Tour Times:

10am-4pm

  • Self-Guided with brochure
  • Guided Tours every 30 minutes (last tour at 3:30pm)
  • Please Note: Partially accessible, kid-friendly, closed-toed shoes or hiking boots recommended

Parking:

  • The Keg and Sobey's parking lot
  • Please use crosswalk when crossing the street
 

2. British Methodist Episcopal Church: Salem Chapel

Location:

92 Geneva Street

Description:

Salem Chapel was an important centre of abolitionist and civil rights activity, and was the cornerstone of a growing community of African-American refugees. Harriet Tubman, who attended the church, led many fugitives to St. Catharines. The chapel, built in 1855, has an auditory-hall design which is typical of churches associated with the Underground Railroad movement, and displays many original artifacts.

Tour Times:

10am-4pm

  • Self-Guided with stationed interpreters
  • Please Note: Not accessible, kid-friendly

Parking:

  • The lot across the church on North street
  • Please use crosswalk when crossing the street

Contact:

905-682-0993

 3. The Brown Homestead

Location:

1317 Pelham Road

Description:

Come tour the grounds of The Brown Homestead during Doors Open! Have a bite to eat and learn from heritage professionals about the ongoing conservation and adaptive reuse of this oldest house in St. Catharines. Watch a traditional demonstrations from a Master Heritage Carpenter or explore new digital tools and their applications in heritage sites! They are building a vibrant community space celebrating our agri-food heritage and forging a path to the future.

Tour Times:

10am-4pm

  • Self-Guided with stationed guides
  • Please Note: Partially accessible, kid-friendly, closed-toed shoes recommended

Contact:

905-872-2116

4. Downtown St. Catharines Walking Tours: Historical Society of St. Catharines

Location:

12 Yates Street (at St. Paul Street)

Description:

The Historical Society of St. Catharines will host walking tours of the City's historic downtown. The tours will highlight buildings and businesses that had important roles in town life in 1867. The tours begin and end at the Merritt house (Oak Hill) and will highlight the New Brunswick anchor, St. Paul Street, the original Town Hall, various churches, Alexandra Hall and the Welland House.

Tour Times:

  • Guided Tours at 10am, 11am, 1pm and 3pm (tours will be approximately 90 minutes long)
  • Pre-registration is recommended (Contact below)
  • Please Note: Partially accessible, kid friendly, closed toed shoes are recommended

Parking:

  • City parking lots

Contact

Carla Mackie

905-984-8880 Ext. 5251

cmackie@stcatharines.ca

 

 5. FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre

Location:

250 St. Paul Street

Description:

Architect: Diamond Schmitt Architects, 2015

The FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre is a 95,000 square foot cultural complex comprised of four unique performance venues that host a signature presentation of international and local artists. The Centre plays a vital role in the renaissance of downtown St. Catharines, serving as the catalyst in modernizing the area and reinforcing the brilliance of Niagara Region's diverse cultural cluster

Tour Times:

10am-4pm

  • Self-Guided
  • Guided Tours every 30 minutes (last tour at 3:30pm)
  • Please Note: Fully accessible, kid friendly

Parking:

  • Garden Park-Carlisle Street Garage

Contact:

905-688-0722

6. Knox Presbyterian Church

Location:

53 Church Street

Description:

 Knox Presbyterian Church celebrates their 176th Anniversary this year. They
welcome visitors to enjoy tours highlighting the history of Knox and the
Memorial Stained Glass Windows which are dedicated to many local leaders including Lake Captains, Lake Ship Owners and builders, teachers, businessmen and more. Knox also participates in the 'Out of the Cold' program that provides meals and overnight accommodation for the homeless. 

Tour Times:

10am-4pm

  • Self-Guided with stationed interpreters
  • 1pm: Special performance by Kenneth R. Hutton, Knox Director of Music
  • Please Note: Fully accessible, kid friendly

Contact:

905-641-8868

7. Lock Street Brewing Company (formerly Wellington House Hotel)

Location:

15 Lock Street

Description:

The Wellington House Hotel opened in 1877. Since then, the building has served as a saloon, hotel, ice-cream parlour and now, a brewery. The site features original brick work, chalk signatures that have been written on the walls over the years, rare Douglas Fir support beams which have been preserved, and the some of the oldest horse-shoe pits in Canada.

Tour Times:

10am-4pm

  • Guided tours
  • Please Note: Not accessible

Parking:

  • Lakeside Park or on Lock Street where available
  • Please use crosswalk when crossing the street

8. Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, Brock University(formerly Canada Haircloth Company building)

Location:

15 Artists' Common

Description:

 Brock University's Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts opened in 2015 and is an architectural triumph of adaptive re-use of a 19th-century industrial site. This setting creates a compelling education environment and features a 235-seat theatre, digital media studios, photo darkrooms, instrumental music rooms and other specialized facilities that support students in dramatic arts, music and visual arts

Tour Times:

10am-4pm

  • Self-Guided
  • Guided Tours every hour on the hour (last tour at 2 pm)
  • Please Note: Fully accessible, kid friendly

Parking:

  • Available on site

Contact:

905-688-5550

9. Meridian Centre, St. Catharines Sports Hall of Fame

Location:

1 IceDogs Way

Description:

The St. Catharines Sports Hall of Fame recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of athletes and builders who have significantly contributed to the development of sport in St. Catharines. The current exhibit highlights the accomplishments of the city's rowing community for the last 100 years. The Hall of Fame, which overlooks the ice arena, showcases historic sports-related artifacts and memorabilia..

Tour Times:

10am-4pm

  • Self-Guided
  • Please Note: Fully accessible, kid friendly

Parking:

  • Ontario Street Parking Garage

10. Morningstar Mill

Location:

2714 Decew Road

Description:

Morningstar Mill is one of the few mills in Ontario that houses all its original equipment, and operates its millstones using the original water source. It features a working grist mill rebuilt in 1872, and the home Wilson Morningstar had built for his family in about 1895.  The Friends of Morningstar Mill will be demonstrating the stone ground flour-making process and offering tours of the historic mill and home.

Tour Times:

10am-4pm

  • Self-Guided with stationed interpreters
  • Special Event: 11am milling event
  • Please Note: Partially accessible, kid-friendly, closed toe shoes recommended

Parking:

  • On site but limited

Contact:

905-688-6050

11. Decew Falls Water Treatment Plant, Niagara Region

Location:

2700 Decew Road

Description:

 

Decew Falls Water Treatment Plant (WTP) has been processing drinking water for local residents since 1875. As the Region's largest water treatment facility, it is designed to treat 227 million litres of water per day. The site is unique compared to other water treatment plants in Ontario due to its gravity fed distribution system.  Please join us for a tour.

Tour Times:

  • Guided Tours at 10am, noon and 2pm (tours will be approximately 90 minutes long)
  • Pre-registration is recommended (PLEASE NOTE: REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED - all tours are full)
  • Please Note: Flat closed toed shoes are required, visitors MUST sign a waiver, not fully accessible but some accommodation is possible (Please advise upon registration)

Contact:

Janet Rose

905-980-6000 Ext. 3319

janet.rose@niagararegion.ca

12. Ontario Power Generation, Decew 1

Location:

DeCew Generating Station No. 1, Bottom/east
end of Trail Race Road (off Power Glen)

Description:

Built in 1898, DeCew Generating Station 1(GS1) is one of the oldest continually running hydroelectric power generating station in Canada. Nearly 120 years after it was built, GS1 continues to help OPG generate safe, clean, reliable, low cost power for Ontario. Today, the plant is a working piece of Canada's hydroelectric heritage.

Tour Times:

10am-4pm

  • Pre-registration is required (PLEASE NOTE: REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED - all tours are full)
  • Hourly timed entry
  • Self-Guided with stationed interpreters
  • Please Note: Flat toed shoes are required, not fully accessible (some accommodation is possible, please advise upon registration)

Parking:

  • No parking on-site
  • Please park at Joseph L McCaffery SportsPark, 61 Vansickle Rd (South of Club Roma) for bussing to Trail Race Road

Contact:

Carla Mackie

905-984-8880 Ext. 5251

cmackie@stcatharines.ca

13. Power Glen Heritage District and Valley Walking Tours

Location:

Bottom/East end of Trail Race Road (off Power Glen)

Description:

Local residents will be providing walking tours of the Power Glen Valley from the OPG station to the Laura Secord Bridge. The history of the power and early industry in St. Catharines will be discussed during the hike. Children must be accompanied by adults and good footwear for hiking is advised.

Tour Times:

  • Guided tours at 10:45am, 12:45pm and 2:45pm
  • Please Note: Not accessible, flat closed toe shoes or hiking shoes required

14. Rodman Hall Art Centre, Brock University

Location:

109 St. Paul Crescent

Description:

 

Rodman Hall Art Centre is a contemporary art gallery in the historic Thomas Rodman Merritt House which overlooks the Walker Botanical Garden that descends to the Twelve Mile Creek. Year-round, programming connects the community with art through innovative and thought-provoking exhibitions, events, and art classes for all ages.

Tour Times:

Noon-5pm

  • Self-Guided with brochures available at front desk
  • Guided Tours every 30 minutes beginning at 12:15pm
  • Special event: drop-in art-making for all ages and abilities for the duration of the event. Note that children require an adult companion.
  • Please Note: Partially accessible, kid friendly, closed toed shoes are recommended

Parking:

  • Available on site

Contact:

905-684-2925

rodmanhall@brocku.ca

15. Ridley College Memorial Chapel and the Great (Dining) Hall

Location:

2 Ridley Road

Description:

Established in 1889, Ridley College is an acclaimed co-educational boarding and day school (JK-Gr.12) with some of the richest history in St. Catharines. Explore the architectural beauty of Memorial Chapel (1923) with its intricate pediment, stained glass, grand alter with organ, and vaulted ceiling; and the Great Hall (1950) with its stately beams and 110-foot clock tower.

Tour Times:

10am-noon

  • Self-Guided with stationed interpreters
  • Please Note: Partially accessible, kid friendly

Contact:

905-684-1889

16. St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre

Location:

1932 Welland Canals Parkway

Description:

St. Catharines has a rich and diverse history and the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre tells the stories that shaped our community from Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad to life in St. Catharines during the First World War and more. The City's C150 Task Force and St. Lawrence Seaway Corporation will also be onsite with information tents.

Tour Times:

10am-4pm

  • Self-Guided Museum tours with stationed interpreters
  • Guided Collection tours every hour on the hour (last tour at 3pm), space is limited
  • Canal Walks at 10am and 2pm, space is limited, pre-registration is recommended (contact below)
  • Special Event: Robert Taylor Book signing (This Colossal Project: Building the Welland Ship Canal, 1913-1932)
  • Special Guests: St. Lawrence Seaway Corporation and St. Catharines C150 Task Force
  • Please Note: Accessible, kid friendly

Parking:

  • Available on site

Contact:

905-984-8880

17. St. Barnabas Anglican Church

Location:

33 Queenston Street

Description:

St. Barnabas Anglican Church was designed by Toronto architect Charles T. Gibson.  The foundation stone was laid in 1893.  The exterior features local red-brown sandstone and a slate roof and the interior features solid wooden beams with turned drop finials, intricately carved paneling and stained glass windows dedicated to local citizens. St. Barnasbas' collection of vestments and candelabra will also be on display.

Tour Times:

10am-4pm

  • Self-Guided with stationed interpreters
  • Please Note: Accessible, kid friendly

Parking:

  • Available on site

Contact:

905-684-6421

18. St. George's Anglican Church

Location:

83 Church Street

Description:

St. George's is the first established church in St. Catharines and is celebrating their 225th anniversary this year.  Built in 1840, the Gothic-revival church with carved stone, beautiful stained glass, memorials to those who fought in both World Wars and magnificent pipe organ provides the background for prayer and worship that is steeped in traditional and alive to the need and concerns of today.  St. George's serves a hot breakfast 365 days of the year and hosts 'Out of the Cold'.

Tour Times:

10:30am-4pm

  • Self-Guided with stationed interpreters
  • Guided Tours every 30 minutes (last tour at 3:30pm)
  • Special Event: 11am Pipe Organ Recital
  • Special Event: 2pm Youth Choir
  • Please Note: Accessible, kid friendly

Parking:

  • Available on site

Contact:

905-682-9232

19. St. Ignatius of Antioch Antiochian Orthodox Church

Location:

332 Carlton Street (at 75 Rolls Avenue)

Description:

In 2013, St Ignatius Mission purchased the Queen of Angels Oratory built in the 1950's for Lithuanian Catholics.  The rebuilt chancel and solea include an
iconostasis with early 20th century Russian-style icons of Christ and of his Mother, flanked Archangels Michael and Gabriel, which came from St George Church, Niagara Falls, NY.  Many other icons grace the nave walls.

Tour Times:

11am-4pm

  • Self-Guided with stationed interpreters
  • Special Event: services at 9am and 10am
  • Please Note: Accessible, kid friendly

Parking:

  • Street Parking
  • Accessible parking at 75 Rolls Avenue

Contact:

905-646-4222

20. St. John's Anglican Church

Location:

80 Main Street

Description:

St. John's Anglican is a historic church in Port Dalhousie. A pillar of the community since 1841, St. John's today offers a place of prayer and respite, with beautiful stained glass and hand-carved wooden ambience. Take a break from the world's rush and enjoy our timeless sacred space.

Tour Times:

10am-4pm

  • Self-Guided with stationed interpreters
  • Please Note: Accessible, kid friendly

Parking:

  • Available on site

Contact:

905-935-6021

21. St. Thomas' Anglican Church

Location:

99 Ontario Street

Description:

St. Thomas' Anglican Church has been a landmark in St. Catharines since 1879. Designed by Buffalo architect, Milton Earle Beebe, this Richardson Romanesque church is notable for its magnificent turret and elaborate stained glass windows.  The church is also well known for its long standing Daycare Centre and Annual Civic Carol Sing which showcases the wonderful acoustics under its expansive domed roof

 

Tour Times:

10am-4pm

  • Self-Guided with stationed interpreters
  • Please Note: Accessible, kid friendly

Parking:

  • Around Montebello Park
  • Please use crosswalk when crossing the street

Contact:

905-684-2339

22. Sts. Cyril and Methodius Ukrainian Catholic Church

Location:

14 Rolls Avenue

Description:

The Ukrainian community in St. Catharines begins in about 1912.  In 1943, the property for Sts. Cyril and Methodius was purchased for $600. The Byzantine-style church was designed by well-known architect, Rev. Philip Ruh in 1944. The church is decorated with a full three-level iconostasis (a carved screen containing icons), altars, stained glass windows and chandeliers - it is a jewel inside and out.

Tour Times:

10am-4pm

  • Self-Guided with stationed interpreters
  • Guided Tours every hour on the hour (last tour at 3pm, tours last around 30 minutes)
  • Please Note: Accessible, kid friendly

Parking:

  • Available on site

Contact:

905-646-1275

 23. Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Church

Location:

34 Elgin Street

Description:

Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Church was dedicated in July, 1871.  It was built as a result of a promise made by local St. Catharines' sailors whose lives had been saved through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Star of the Sea, during a rough storm which threatened to capsize them. The
church was enlarged in 1993 to accommodate a growing congregation.

Tour Times:

10am-4pm

  • Self-Guided with stationed interpreters
  • Please Note: Accessible, kid friendly

Parking:

  • Available on site

Contact:

905-646-1275

24. THK Rhythm Automotive Canada (formerly TRW Automotive and originally Thompson Products)

Location:

230 Louth Street

Description:

THK is thrilled to open its site to our community.  Tours begin in Plant #2 (1954) where you will see the machining and assembly of in-house forged parts, then you will walk under Louth Street via an underground tunnel to Plant #1 or 'The Forge' (1929) to see how various auto parts are manufactured for our international clients.

Tour Times:

10am-4pm

  • Guided Tours
  • Please Note: Accessible tour with no accessible washroom, kid friendly

Parking:

  • Available on site

Contact:

905-685-1931

 

We would like to thank all our participating organizations, their staff and volunteers; Doors Open Ontario and the Ontario Heritage Trust; and you for making our first Doors Open St. Catharines possible.  Enjoy the tours!

Copyright © 2014 The Corporation of the City of St. Catharines